RVG’s Love Letter To The Go-Betweens
Melbourne musician Romy Vager considers herself a Go-Betweens tragic – but it wasn’t an instant love. The singer/guitarist from the jagged rock band RVG was first exposed to the iconic Brisbane outfit by an ex-partner when they were “obviously breaking up”.
“They just have that ability to sneak up on you and get inside you,” she says.
Formed by Robert Forster and Grant McLennan in the late-1970s, the band have become hugely influential on a new generation of literate Australia bands including Twerps, Dick Diver, Rolling Blackouts C.F and The Creases. And it’s not hard for Romy to see why.
“They’re just really good,” she says. “They cover a lot bases and they make quite simple music which is quite approachable to all kinds of people.”
Here are her favourite eight songs.
Spirit of a Vampyre
There’s a couple of mystical undertones to this, It’s a bit sexy too. I think if Aleister Crowley wrote pop songs he’d write something like this.
Just A King In Mirrors
Before Hollywood, 1983
A beautiful sounding song, but the lyrics are a pretty brutal character assassination. I love it.
Dive For Your Memory
16 Lovers Lane, 1988
You know that feeling when you break up with somebody and it’s still so new and raw that you don’t want to remember the good things yet? That’s what I feel when I hear this song.
Liberty Belle and the Black Diamond Express, 1986
So moving. It sounds like Grant is having a heated conversation with somebody’s answering machine.
Live At Vienna Burns, 1987
Before RVG started, I was listening to this live album non stop. I wanted to be in a band that sounded half as good live as they would have been.
Oceans Apart 2005
Every word is perfect in this. It’s a very difficult thing to do to write a song with lots of words and keep everyone’s attention.
One Thing Can Hold Us
Send Me A Lullaby, 1981
It doesn’t really sound like all the other songs of the first album. It’s a bit more fragile and not as angular.
Rock & Roll Friend
16 Lovers Lane, 1988
A song that Robert Forster wrote from his girlfriend’s perspective. I think it’s important to look at things from all angles when you write songs. People who can’t see outside themselves make the most boring music.