Robert Forster: The Candle and the Flame – An inspirational blend of literary folk pop

The former Go-Between is on fine form with eighth solo album

Album artwork for Robert Forster - The Candle and the Flame
The Candle and the Flame
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Artist: Robert Forster
Genre: Alternative
Label: Tapete Records

There’s a wonderful moment in a riveting radio documentary by Ken Sweeney (no relation) entitled The Go-Betweens and the Irish Writers, where Robert Forster hilariously says: “I have heard that story that the people who listened to the Velvet Underground formed bands, and people who listened to The Go-Betweens became music journalists. If that is the case, I apologise to the world.”

The enduring influence of The Go-Betweens is gloriously apparent in the music of one of the best guitar bands of recent years, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, from Melbourne.

Robert Forster anchored the original Brisbane guitar pop pioneers with the late Grant McLennan from 1977 until McLennan’s death in 2006, apart from a hiatus in the 1990s when they both pursued solo careers.

The Candle and the Flame is his eighth studio album, a highly prolific output for a musician who also successfully moonlights as a journalist and writer, authoring two books, The Ten Rules of Rock’n’Roll and the memoir Grant & I.


It is preceded by the release of lead single Tender Years, a splendid introduction to Forster’s blend of literary folk pop inspired by studying Joyce in Queensland University, which touchingly celebrates his wife of more than 30 years, Karin Bäumler.

Forster will bring this album and hefty back catalogue to the Button Factory in March. Expect a few music journalists to be in attendance.