Go Betweens. 1983
The Everyman is the oldest rep cinema in the world and in the early 80s was still a one screen flea pit. Someone had the idea of a week of gigs and each band chose their favourite film as a support act. So, I’d bought the debut album “Cattle & Cane” (on Rough Trade) after reading an NME review, so, we thought, let’s go. It was A Sunday. We didn’t have all-day opening then so doing anything on a Sunday felt weird.
The film, I think, was “Washington Square”. It was great seeing an old black and white movie on the big screen. Then the band ambled on and played a short set with only a few lights for atmos. It was a quiet crowd. Sitting in an old cinema was not normal for a gig. Jerky, fractured little songs and they had a lady bass-player. A lady anything was still a rarity.. always felt with the Go Betweens that I should like them but they were a little bit undanceable and slow and “arty”. The gig was enjoyable though.
Years later I went to a filming of a TV show called “Songwriter’s Circle” at the Subterania in Ladbrook Grove. That night they had Chrissie Hynde, Nick Cave AND John Cale all playing their back catalogue, solo and acoustic. Amazing stuff. I’d clocked Robert Forster earlier on the Portobello road, thinking, “I know him”. Later at the bar I got chatting to him and his mate who turned out to be Grant McClellan, also of the Go Betweens. They remembered the Everyman gig well and said the film hadn’t been there first choice but they were just thrilled to be playing in London, having only settled here from New Zealand the year before.
Not long after Grant dropped down dead at a BBQ back home in NZ. Not my fault, I swear…