Tuesday, December 17, 2013

before hollywood

The Go-Betweens moved to London and coalesced into the bigger brighter world of a new masquerade with the pretty and primitive post punk grooves of this indie pop pleasure.  The trio of Robert Forster on vocals and rhythm guitar; Grant McLennan on vocals, bass guitar, and lead guitar; and Lindy Morrison on drums and vocals formed in Brisbane, Australia and recorded their debut 'Send Me a Lullabye' in Melbourne.  Their sound was influenced by new wave groups like Wire, Television, and Talking Heads.  They were signed to Rough Trade Records and relocated to England to record the follow up, 'Before Hollywood' at the International Christian Communications studio at the seaside resort of Eastbourne in East Sussex with producer John Brand.   The sessions featured Robert Forster on vocals, lead guitar, and rhythm guitar; Grant McLennan on vocals, bass guitar, and guitars; and Lindy Morrison on drums and backing vocals with Bernard Clarke adding organ and piano.  

Forster says:   "John Brand, who produced 'Before Hollywood', was supposed to be the 'real' producer we had never really worked with. He had done XTC, Aztec Camera, and he was amazed:  'Do you realize that everything you're doing is in fours? The song constructions are all classical, the middle eights, everything.'  You couldn't hear this because the music was quite strange. But Grant, myself, and Lindy knew all this stuff. We did have classical underpinnings...It was like the middle eight, intro here, the two verses, there's another, there's an outro, then we bring back the middle eight.. And it's all in eighths, and fourths, and sixteenths, and it's all classic punk stuff. But it didn't sound like it, because we were experimenting with rhythms. And because my guitar parts were quite skittish. Rhythm and lead guitar mixed. Our singing might not have been traditional. We didn't have a baritone rock star up front."

McLennan would expound:   "As a statement, 'Before Hollywood' was less about braggadocio, before we were famous, and way more about that period in America at the end of the 19th century when the film industry was based on the East Coast, before Hollywood.  It's a mixture of nostalgia but also a tribute to the east coast art, as exposed to the sunlight, business and style of Hollywood. No, not arrogance.   I think we were to go on and make far more arrogant statements."

Morrison muses:  "Grant was incredibly homesick for the first couple of years we were in England and he spent those first couple of years thinking about his past. He was obsessed with it. A lot of those songs on 'Before Hollywood' have the imagery of Australia. I think "Catttle and Cane" is a master song."

'Before Hollywood'  went to number two on the UK independent album chart.  


"Cattle and Cane" reached number four on the UK independent singles chart.

"Two Steps Step Out" 

"Dusty in Here"

"By Chance" 

"That Way" 

'Before Hollywood' 
full album:

1. "A Bad Debt Follows You"   G. McLennan 2:24
2. "Two Steps Step Out"   G. McLennan 3:28
3. "Before Hollywood"   R. Forster 3:44
4. "Dusty in Here"   G. McLennan 4:09
5. "Ask"   R. Forster 5:14
6. "Cattle and Cane"   G. McLennan 4:20
7. "By Chance"   R. Forster 2:20
8. "As Long As That"   G. McLennan, R. Forster 5:25
9. "On My Block"   R. Forster 3:49

10. "That Way"   G. McLennan 4:07

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