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UPDATE: Mediafire have suspended my account and locked my downloads. Having endured the tedium of re-uploading everything I had previously hosted on Mega Upload onto Mediafire earlier this year, I can't be arsed re-uploading everything again.

So please don't ask for things to be reuploaded!

I undertake this venture knowing that I don't have the spare time to do it, but feel that these artists NEED TO BE HEARD (please excuse my shouting!). Or is that I think I need to be heard? Or that there are (or have been) some great music blogs that have inspired me to wanna jump on the bandwagon? Probably all of the above??I hope you enjoy the blog. If I turn one person onto these bands that turned me on then it will all have been worth it!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

G. W. McLennan/The Go-Betweens

I used to think there were no great Australian bands, and I had some weird-assed theories why this may be the case. Some of the more rationale theories were that the sunshine disintegrated peoples brains, or that life was too comfortable here to produce the pain, suffering and mental anguish needed to produce great art! Sure, there were some good bands from time to time, such as Split Enz (Kiwis actually - but we'll claim good ones as our own) and The Hoodoo Gurus, but no great bands.

My thoughts started to change once youth radio station JJJ started transmitting into Adelaide in the early 1990s. In the space of a week I heard The Go-Betweens Cattle and Cane and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds The Witness Song on JJJ. This led me to delve into both bands back catalogues, and I slowly came to the realisation that there were actually two great Australian bands! And then I dug further into Nick Cave's past and found The Birthday Party! Three great Australian bands!

By this time the Go-Betweens had split, and Robert Forster and Grant McLennan, or G. W. McLennan as he became known (apparently it made him sound like an author!), were making their first foray into solo-dom. I was lucky enough to see G. W. McLennan at the Adelaide Tivoli in Adelaide in 1991, at an acoustic show accompanied by Phil Kakulas on double bass. He performed songs from his soon to be released debut album Watershed, his Go-Betweens songs, and a memorable version of Clouds, written by his former Go-Betweens bandmate Robert Forster.

McLennans debut single Easy come easy go came out a few weeks later. This contained two non-album cuts, The man who died in rapture and She's So Strange, which I felt surpassed most of the songs on the Watershed album. Both songs are sparse, acoustic guitar numbers, the latter drenched in reverb, with accompanying double bass and violin, and clocking in at just over two minutes - leaving you wanting (much) more. Possibly McLennans finest moment? The CD single also came with a bonus 5-track cassette Live Last Monday recorded at The Club, Melbourne, Australia, May 27th 1991. This features the aforementioned Clouds and She's So Strange, plus Haven't I Been A Fool and Just Get That Straight from Watershed, and Providence from the Jack Frost album, McLennan's collaboration with Steve Kilbey of The Church.

The Go Betweens eventually reformed in 2000. A highlight of their reunion was their show at the Barbican in London, June 27th 2004, where they performed an eccentric collection of rarely played songs, including early songs such as Karen, the legendary B-side from their debut single. A subset of this performance was released as a bonus CD with the Oceans apart album. The whole performance was available on a double CD Live in London, sold at shows on the Oceans apart tour.

McLennan passed away from a heart attack at his home in Brisbane on 6 May 2006, aged 48. Some of the material he had written for the next Go-Betweens album was used by Robert Forster on his 2008 solo album The Evangelist, including Demon Days, which Forster felt was one of the best songs McLennan ever wrote.

G. W. McLennan - 1991 - Easy Come Easy Go (CDS)


G. W. McLennan - 1991 - Live Last Monday

1. Clouds
2. She's So Strange
3. Providence
4. Haven't I Been A Fool
5. Just Get That Straight


The Go-Betweens - 2004 - Live in London

CD 1

01. The Sound of Rain
02. It Could be Anyone
03. Your Turn, My Turn
04. Hammer the Hammer
05. People Say
06. This Girl, Black Girl
07. Make Her Day
08. Karen
09. Magic in Here
10. Poison in the Walls
11. Surfing Magazines
12. Baby Stones
13. Cattle and Cane
14. The Clock

FLAC Pt1, Pt2, Pt3, Pt4

CD 2

01. Too Much of one Thing
02. He Lives My Life
03. The Wrong Road
04. Right Here
05. Spring Rain
06. Here Comes a City
07. Love Goes On!
08. The House That Jack Kerouac Built
09. Spirit
10. German Farmhouse
11. Bye Bye Pride
12. When People Are Dead
13. Streets of Your Town
14. In The core of the Flame

FLAC Pt1, Pt2, Pt3, Pt4, Pt5


  1. GW was great. Lucky to see him and Forester in Chicago before GW passed away. Thanks