I was late to the Go-Betweens party; no sooner had Ken exposed me to their pop beauty than they decided to split up. Grant and Robert both released excellent solo albums and played London within days of each other. First up Grant at the Borderline played a decent and solid set and was joined by Robert for an encore (of Clouds, if memory serves), I left happy if not blown-away. Then at the Subterranea, Robert Forster and a backup band he'd apparantly picked up in Berlin, staked his claim as my favourite ex-Go-Between.
I saw him many times after both with and without Grant and eventually I finally got to see the pair of them billed as The Go-Betweens. I guess they realised what too few other people already knew, that the world was a better place with The Go-Betweens in it...and is a worse place now we don't have that luxury any more. The Subterranea show was amazing, organ-drenched and sleazy, Robert swaggered, scrounged drinks from the audience and finished with an astounding version of Grant Hart's 2541 - the version he released on I Had a New York Girlfriend a couple of years later doesn't even hint at the majesty of that first time.
Danger in the Past still sounds like it always did, I could pick out songs..."Baby Stones" is an exceptional opener and "Is That What You Call Change" is a beautifully worded tirade, but picking the best from an album of greats is really too hard. None of his subsequent albums channeled his cockiness quite so eloquently and none of them really hit the mark like this one.