The Goon Sax – In The Stone

28th April 2023 · 2020s, 2022, Music

The Goon Sax broke up in 2022 only six years after forming in their teens in Brisbane, leaving us with three albums and this gorgeous radio performance.

The death of Grant McClennan in 2006 robbed the music world of one of its great partnerships. For nearly 30 years, as The Go-Betweens, he and Robert Forster had made beautifully crafted literate records together for a discerning audience of adherents.

Since then Forster has soldiered on without his soul mate, diversifying into writing as well as music, and in recent years his excellent solo records have been joined on the shelves by those of his son Louis’s own band.

The Goon Sax, whose odd name was a mystery to me until my Aussie pal Suzie Stapleton explained that a “goon sack” is the Australian equivalent of one of those supermarket boxes of cheap wine, got together when Louis and his friend James Harrison were at school in 2015.

It’s clear to see and hear that they have carried the melodious torch of The Go-Betweens in their musical style, and that Louis shares the looks, guitar playing talent and vocal timbre of his dad – as well as his penchant for cross-dressing.

I first heard them when the teenage trio of Louis, James and drummer Riley Jones (who joined after one month of drum lessons) released their second single, the very charming Boyfriend, in which Louis fantasised about romantic bliss with the boy of his dreams.

Citing influences as diverse as Kylie Minogue and Syd Barrett (and you can’t get much more diverse than that), they made three delightful albums before, very disappointingly, breaking up in 2022.

Thankfully they found time to record this radio session, showcasing their skills at sharing vocals and instruments, in their hometown of Brisbane before they called it a day.