Week-End is an annual music festival, first held in the German city of Cologne in November 2011. The third edition of the festival, on 11-13 December 2013 attracted a great line-up including Young Marble Giants, The Fall, Grant Hart, and The Pastels.

Robert Forster also performed over that weekend, linking up with the composer and arranger Jherek Bischoff for a unique concert consisting of Go-Betweens songs as performed by a string quartet. Prior to the show, and after a great deal of rehearsing, a number of the songs were recorded in the studio, two of which were subsequently released in 2017 on a 7″ single by Slowboy Records, an independent label based in Dusseldorf.

The credits on the back of the single reveal that Jherek Bischoff, as well as arranging the songs in question, also played bass while a backing vocalist was added to the first of the tracks.

Robert Forster: Guitar, Vox
Jherek Bischoff: Bass, Percussion
Mike Donovan: Backing Vox
Lola Rubin: Violin
Kalliopi Mitropoulou: Violin
Elisa Becker-Voss: Viola
Ruben Palma: Cello

The track to which the backing vocal was added dates from the very early days of the band. Indeed it was just their second-ever single, released in 1979 in Australia on the Able Label and written solely by Robert Forster. The flip side of this delightful and unusual 45, was from much later on, taken from the album Bright Yellow Bright Orange, released on the Melbourne-based Trifekta Records in 2003.

I had no idea that the single was in existence until I saw it while doing some on-line browsing of a record store in Stockholm, Sweden (as you do!!!). It was quickly ordered and arrived safe and sound a few weeks ago, purchased without ever being heard in advance….and as I said, it proved to be quite delightful.

mp3: Robert Forster w/ Jherek Bischoff & String Quartet – People Say
mp3: Robert Forster w/ Jherek Bischoff & String Quartet – In Her Diary

This is exactly why music blogs remain essential in the spotify/streaming age.



  1. It’s only fitting that a post showcasing Grant McLennan should be followed by another highlighting Robert Forster. I’ve heard the Weekend #3 concert (and wish I’d been there) and it’s soul-stirring stuff. It’s wonderful to hear these studio recordings. What a find, JC!

  2. Saw Robert at the Union Chapel last year and he was in brilliant form. Venue helped. Grandiose and intimate at the same time, like his best songs.

  3. Fantastic stuff JC. Missed yesterday’s post – I’m not sure that there was anything I could’ve added anyway. And your comment about these sorts of finds demonstrating the need for blogs is spot on.

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