Listen to this track by Brisbanite post-punk jangle-poppers The Go-Betweens. It’s “The Streets Of Your Town”, a single as taken from their much-lauded 1988 album 16 Lovers Lane, their sixth album, and their most high-profile and commercially successful, too.
By the time they’d recorded this song, they had made the move back to Australia from London where they had been based for many years, having followed contemporaries The Birthday Party to seek their fortunes in the UK. Ironically, it was their return to their homeland that yielded their best results of the decade, with this song making modest waves on the British charts as well as on the Australian ones, even if those results were respectable rather than the breakthrough success they hoped for.
Despite the lack of commercial traction, the return to Australia had an effect on how the writing came out. From the grey melancholy of London and into the 10-minutes-from-the-beach lifestyle presented by relocating to Sydney, the atmosphere of the album took on a decidedly summery feel. As such, songwriters Grant McLennan and Robert Forster experienced a burst of energy, which can certainly be felt in this song and is the core reason why this album would make such a long-lasting impact. Yet some of the dark clouds that had been so pervasive in London had followed them, mingling with the Australian sunshine, reminding them that time had moved on and perhaps so had they. Read more