Recorded by Mark Louttit
Live Mix by Katie Yowit
Recorded at Baroona Hall, Brisbane, 3rd July 1983
Brisbane, Australia – 1983. The city was in the midst of its adolescence, trying desperately to shake off the ‘big country town’ stigma and evolve into something resembling a modern city. The wink of Matilda’s eye may have evaporated, but government authorities were already getting ready to unleash the charming powers of Expo Oz the Platypus, a mascot that apparently heralded the emergence of a more adult Brisbane as the city sweltered towards the 1990s.
Still, the music and art scene was locked in a perennial ‘pig city’ skirmish with the destructive forces of the Bjieke-Petersen government. The Saints had emerged and promptly moved abroad, while local radio 4ZZZ, still based at the University of Queensland, continue to agitate its way through the veins of the modern Brisbane alternative landscape.
In late ‘83, The Dead Kennedys would play a blistering set before being strong armed towards the jailhouse by the local Queensland junta and David Bowie would end up feeding camping fans outside Lang Park with steak sandwiches ahead of his concert stopover in November of the same year.
A month before the Kennedys legendary encounter with the Queensland police, local heroes The Go Betweens organised a show on the 3rd of July, 1983 at the heritage listed Baroona Hall in Caxton Street, Petrie Terrace testing out a few new tracks that would later feature on their third album, Spring Hill Fair.
The band would play an early version of future Forster single “Man O Sand to Girl O Sea”, before later returning to London to re-record the song for the forthcoming record – something Forster later considered a mistake in his Go Betweens autobiography, Grant and I. Xero member and future Go Between, John Wilsteed was present at the show, circulating leaflets accusing the Go Betweens of betraying the Brisbane punk music scene.
We’re very fortunate today to have located a live recording of that 1983 gig. This is the band in their transitional phase, moving on from nostalgia of Cattle and Cane towards the endearing beauty of Bachelor Kisses. Sit back, relax and enjoy the sound of the early Go Betweens.
Airing details: Originally via Zed Digital, 7-8pm, Sunday 27th of August 2017.
Show production and engineering: Branko Cosic.