New Music: Songs To Play by Robert Forster + Live Gigs: Forster @ Toff

Once again it’s another album that’s been out for a while and it’s another one I got over east at Rocking Horse Records in Brisbane. Forster actually came into the shop when I was looking at this record at the time, he was looking from someone from the staff of the store but seen me and told me I should get that album or something, which is pretty funny having Robert Forster telling you that. A week or so later I was in Melbourne and got to see him live at the Toff In The Town on March 10th 2016. It’s taken me a while to write up and post but I’m not a music Journo or anything. So they seems like they should go together here in one post, the album and gig so I’ll write a little about both now.


I wanted to go to the Toff last time I was over east but didn’t get to it so when notices Robert was playing it I just had to get tickets. It’s great venue and oh my god he didn’t disappoint at all, it was a wicked gig. I never seen him before, I missed The Go-Betweens too, even the reunion I didn’t see so it was a special night for me, well it end up to be. He played alot of the last Go-Betweens album Oceans Apart which is pretty much my fave album of their and I think it’s better than all the 80’s stuff. Most people will think I’ve got that around the wrong way because that’s all the really famous songs. To me Here Comes A City, Finding You, Born To A Family and Darlinghurst Night are all total killers. Those track just kill me every time and live was just beyond  everything. He also played Surfing Magazines too which again is a fave track from the album The Friends Of Rachel Worth. I don’t think he couldn’t really have a better setlist with the new songs too that I’d been listen to for that week or so. And now I’ve been listening to Songs To Play alot so then, here’s the…

Songs To Play tracklisting:

1. Learn To Burn
2. Let Me Imagine You
3. Songwriters On The Run
4. And I Knew
5. A Poet Walks
6. I’m So Happy For You
7. Love Is Where It Is
8. Turn On The Rain
9. I Love Myself (And I Always Have)
10. Disaster In Motion

It was released in the middle of September last year so I’m a bit late to jump on the bandwagon. I think it’s a bit better than his last solo album The Evangelist which put out soon after the last Go-Betweens album which is, like I said before is the best one. Songs To Plays goes somewhere in between the two. Maybe it’s the fact I got to see these tracks play live, that always helps liking or loving an album more. It’s been a long time waiting to see him live too, I’ve miss him when he came over west last time and it’s been along time since his last album. I’m just putting it down to luck he was playing when I was over east because I don’t think he’ll come here anytime soon so lucky, I guess.

Scott Bramley and Luke McDonald of The John Steel Singers produced with Robert. Luke and Scott both playing on the album too and at the show they swapped instrumentals alot. Also with Matt Piele on drums and Karin Baumler on violin, backing vocals.

Learn To Burn such a great opening track with lyrics like “I mistook Memphis for a house in Surrey, You can miss details when you’re in a hurry.” Let Me Imagine You is more great songwriting. Songwriters On The Run is just pure genius. “And I Knew my future wife lived another life” is how the next song starts. A Poet Walks, I’m So Happy For You, Love Is Where It Is and Turn On The Rain are a great middle run of tracks. I Love Myself And I Always Have is another work of true genius, maybe the best on the album. Disaster In Motion is a great closing track too. I’ll give it four and half playing songs out of five because it’s not as great as Oceans Apart but it’s pretty close, really is anything going to top that album anyway? Maybe I shouldn’t compare the two albums but each time I listen this new album I like it even better so ask me in another few months, OK?


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