Great Australians in London : Courtney Barnett, 26th November 2015, The Forum – Robert Forster, 7th December 2015, Bush Hall

Not a lot in common between these two artists apart from their nationality and the fact their music is really fresh and exciting.

  • Courtney Barnett, The Forum, 26th November 2015

Courtney Barnett - Choose love T-shirt

This gig was my first one after the Paris events and I thought that was no better coincidence than to watch on stage a super talented young woman very much in line with what the new generation of youngsters should be. She arrived on the music scene a couple of years ago with straight-to-your-face rock’n’roll with a strong touch of Velvet Underground influence for her music. Her words though are very much representative of the “now”, with a mix of criticism, despair and energy to still keep on living, despite all the bullshit that is surrounding us. Her first tracks have been compiled last year through the “The Double EP : a Sea of Split Peas” record and I must stay I had not listened to something so exciting and full of energy for a long time.

She had been touring in 2015 to play extracts from her new proper debut LP “Sometimes I sit and think and sometimes I just sit”, which is one of the best records of the year. On top of being such a great record title, Courtney brought us the same formula as her first singles but on a more dynamic way. Many great tunes on this record too with in particular “Pedestrian at best“, a track you will find in all 2015 best of magazine compilations.

Courtney Barnett - with band and birds

Tonight, she was on top form with a bunch of excellent musicians with whom she had been touring most of the year. Although I found no real concern or stress in the audience after what happened in Paris (probably for the better), I am pretty sure Courtney had something to express by wearing her nice “Choose Love” white tee-shirt. Great gig and one of the best new artists to follow in the next years.

  • Robert Forster, Bush Hall, 7th December 2015

Robert Forster

Attending this gig was like seeing an old friend about whom one would not have had any news for many years : changed for sure, more white hair…but still overall the same. Robert Forster was the main driving force behind the seminal Australian band The Go-Betweens with his compadre Grant McLennan. After six fantastic records in the 80’s, the band even regrouped again in the late 90’s / early 00’s for three more records which were as good as their first period. Sad news is that Grant died from a heart failure in 2006, leaving Robert away from his musical soul mate and back to a solo career.

Robert Forster - with tree

Robert Forster on his own has never been the most prolific artist ever but each record he did as always a source of pleasure, either to be found in the simplicity and beauty of the songs or in the greatness of the words. I personally thought he had stopped doing music as there had been no such news in the last years but 2015 saw the release of this new LP “Songs to Play” which is among its best records.

Tonight, in the great atmosphere of the super small Bush Hall theater and surrounded by natives from surfing regions (Australia or Pays Basque), Robert Forster was solo and acoustic. This allowed him to present and sing his songs to the bone and on a very clear mode when one could appreciate every rhyme or subtle chord change. The man was as expected full of humility but also chatting to the audience between all songs, sometimes seriously but more often making everyone laugh. The set list was excellent, mixing songs from his solo career from all records plus a few gems from the Go-Betweens era. I was lucky enough to have a few words with him at the end of the show and have my “Liberty Belle and the Black Diamond Express” 1986 LP signed by the great man. And thanks again for the photographer!

Robert Forster - chat after concert

3 thoughts on “Great Australians in London : Courtney Barnett, 26th November 2015, The Forum – Robert Forster, 7th December 2015, Bush Hall

  1. […] Courtney Barnett “Sometimes I sit and think and sometimes I just sit” I have been told that one could feel that this record is made by someone special by looking at its cover and title and I must say this is really true. This young woman from Australia has justified this year all hopes put in her first past recordings with her proper debut album. Simple and punchy songs with a soft Velvet Underground influence for the music and simple and direct words from the “now” generation. Once you got this LP, I can tell you will have to listen to it regularly so good it is. Click here for live review. […]

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