Back in the days when Comet Records existed in Cork, I got into The Go-Betweens (Comet later became Plugd, which has now moved around the corner from Washington Street to the Triskel Arts Centre building). In those days, Comet used to sell Beggars Banquet releases on cassette for a fiver - and in those Walkman days, cassettes were my medium of choice. And so I found The Go-Betweens: 1978-1990. I was vaguely aware of the band - I think I had heard Bachelor kisses on Dave Fanning's radio show a few times during the 80's. But I didn't own anything by the band. Of course, typical me, to become interested in the band after they'd broken up (in fact, both Grant McLennan and Robert Forster had released their first solo efforts by this time). I think it was the sleevenotes that sold me on it. Each song had a short note from either Grant or Robert. Like this one by Grant, for Bye bye pride -
Cairns is a lazy, small town full of boats and cane fields. It is also unbearably hot.…
The bass player with the renowned Norwegian band Sereena Maneesh strikes out into intriguing Tame Impala (grooves) meets Ariel Pink (bittersweet pop sensibility) territory.
The first thing you notice is the bass playing. It’s front and centre in the mix, a beautiful warm sound and full of circular figures which are insistent and groovy. It immediately brings to mind The Byrds from around 1965-67, in which the bass went far beyond simple root notes to bring an extra voice to the arrangements. Think ‘Eight Miles High’ or ‘So you wanna be a rock and roll star’. It’s a brilliant foil to Nikolaisen’s unusual and enigmatic vocal and you’d be inclined to be humming these basslines to yourself after one listen.
The next thing to say is that the songwriting has the ability to make different moods rub shoulders together without it sounding forced or for effect, but instead inherent to the song. It’s a joy, that.
So the wonderful opener ‘Hermitage’ follows an urgent psych pop beginnin…
Great to see Sean O’Hagan again recently back in the People’s Republic.
A sticky midsummer evening. Not so much sunshine but still with a promise of summer about it. In the background the lush green sward of the pitch and the hedgerows and St Vincent’s Church in Sundays Well towering on the hill across the river.
Sash windows. Smokers (most of them cricketers wearing the club blazers as opposed to gig goers per se) watching from outside on the balcony.
There was a convivial atmosphere in the long room. Something like a reunion of old friends. A room decorated by black and white photos of cricket teams. Behind the small stage a giant framed drawing on the wall of the Cork Exhibition in 1902 which took place on this very ground. Where we sported and played.
An audience that came up in the 1970s and 80s. Who might have seen Sean play in Microdisney in one of Cork’s dingy/beautiful venues. There may have been some nostalgia in the air although Sean always comes across as …