The Go-Betweens: London, Shepherd's Bush Empire, 25th October 2000

Your Turn, My Turn
Magic In Here
Head Full of Steam
Baby Stones
Streets of Your Town
Orpheus Beach
Draining The Pool For You
Going Blind
German Farmhouse
He Lives My Life
Bye Bye Pride
The Clock
Spring Rain
When She Sang About Angels
Bachelor Kisses
Easy Come Easy Go
Danger In The Past
Apology Accepted
Surfing Magazines
One Plus One

Pictures from the London show: high res or low res

There's a drum kit on stage. Normally a given, but tonight a huge reassurance, they ARE back after eleven years. Sure, frontmen Grant McLennan and Robert Forster have indulged in some acoustic forays together, but now they've plugged in and there's not an inch of room to spare in the house.

Ambling on looking like four disparate eccentrics, Forster seems to have come from a 30's boating regatta, McLennan a construction site. Drummer Mattheus resembles Joe 90's eccentric brother and bassist Adele is barely visible, lurking in the shadow of her amp cabinet in her dark suit. It's a slow and shaky start, 'Your Turn, My Turn', the first track from their first album. It barely stands up, maybe time hasn't been kind. Third song in and they start to look confident. The title couldn't fit better, 'Magic In Here', it opened their new album, 'Friends Of Rachel Worth' and prompted the comeback rumours. On record it shines in this time of musical darkness, reminding us of why, long after their demise, they're still a force. Live it's blinding, Adele, out of the shadows, joining the boys as the vocals take flight. Into 'Head Full Of Steam' and it's even more apt, they're up and running now, doing what they do best, moving relentlessly and taking with you, powerless to resist. Their secret is simple, no fuss, just wonderful songs that nestle in the corner of your head. When released they whirl hand-in-hand with the new ones making your soul buzz with excitement. On stage they just go about their business, Robert all gangling theatrics, hogging the spotlight even when not at the mic, letting Grant and Adele croon around him. New single 'Going Blind' is pure pop, topped with melt-in-the-mouth icing while 'Bachelor Kisses' is so swooningly beautiful I feel I might faint . When 'Apology Accepted' kicks in my neighbour explodes with joy.

Even after three encores it was never going to be enough. You can't fit nineteen years of music into one hundred minutes, but at least you can reaffirm the legend. They may have been ignored in the eighties and non-existent for the nineties, but this time around the world must listen.


Laurence Arnold

Eyewitness report:
After doing a wonderful cover of 'Lee Remick', a few years back it was no surprise to see Swedish rockers the Wannadies in attendance and enjoying the gig. Christina proclaimed The Go-Betweens as 'the greatest band in the world' while Par was so moved he said he was shaking.

The Wannadies and Gideon Coe, of VH1 and London Live, all agreed that the song they most wanted to hear that wasn't played was 'Cattle And Cane'. Par then went on to list every other Go-Betweens song as well, while still shaking.

This is the unedited version of the review which can be found on - Thanks to Laurence for sending the original review.