on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2022 10 Dez

Robert and Karin (1)

von: Manafonistas Filed under: Blog | TB | 11 Comments

From Robert Forster, 16th October 2022


Greetings from Brisbane


Dear friends, pull up chairs, this is a difficult and lengthy post. It is tough news that I wish to share with you and not for you to pick up second hand on the internet over the next months.

In early July last year, Karin Bäumler, my wife and musical companion for thirty-two years, was diagnosed with a confronting case of ovarian cancer. It was a time of shock and grief, and that same month, she embarked on a regime of chemotherapy treatment.

Ever since we met, Karin and I have sung and played music together in our home, and in these dark days we turned to music once again. I had a batch of new songs I’d written over the last years, and we started playing them together. Our son Louis often dropped in for a meal and a chat and soon he began joining us on guitar. One night, when sitting cross-legged on the couch, after we had played a song, Karin looked up from her xylophone and said, ‘When we play music, is the only time I forget I have cancer.’ That was a big moment.

In the meantime some of our very kind Brisbane friends had formed a cooking roster, leaving meals at our front door to support us through this time. One of them was Adele Pickvance, former Go-Betweens and Warm Nights bass player. On one of her meal delivery trips, I asked her to bring her bass and an amp along. She pulled up a chair in our lounge room and fell right in on the new songs.

In October, Karin was scheduled for surgery. We booked a studio, and on September 27th, the four of us sitting in a circle, recorded 10 songs live in 7 hours. Whatever would happen in the future, we would always have the tape.

Over the next months, when Karin was strong enough and Covid numbers were low, we booked odd days in the studio. Sometimes our daughter, Loretta, would come along and join us and we brought in friends to help us, too. Karin was driving the album and listening to what we’d done on each session, gave us weeks of enjoyment and a place we could retreat to, away from hospital visits and scans and blood tests. In early March, with her chemotherapy course just finished, we did our last day in the studio.

The songs we recorded formed an album that will come out early next year, and this Wednesday, the 19th, we will release a single. But we wanted you to know the story of the creation of the record first. Why it exists. Why these musicians are playing on it. Why there isn’t layers of production, instead a live, catch a moment feel to the sound. Two of the songs on the album are from that September 27 recording. We didn’t know we’d started an album but we had, in the shadow of Karin’s hospital visits.

With a challenging year behind her, Karin is feeling strong and positive now and she can’t wait for our music to go out of our house and into the world. It may seem strange making an album in these circumstances and looking back, we really don’t know how we did it, but we do know that it helped us just so much as a family. It was done in drops and gave us this other reality we could live in. Something that music is great in giving.

In the slow process of the album’s recording, we didn’t inform a wide range of family and friends of what we were doing, and we ask for their understanding in the delivery of this news.

The album is called “The Candle And The Flame”. We hope you will enjoy it!

Fondest Regards from Karin and myself,



This entry was posted on Samstag, 10. Dezember 2022 and is filed under "Blog". You can follow any responses to this entry with RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


  1. Michael Engelbrecht:

    Robert Forster plays live shows in the UK, Ireland, Germany and Austria in March 2023, and in Australia in May 2023:

    11th March 2023: STRATHAVEN, Strathaven Hotel tickets
    12th March 2023: EDINBURGH, Mash House tickets
    14th March 2023: YORK, Crescent tickets
    15th March 2023: HEBDEN BRIDGE, Trades Club tickets
    16th March 2023: WOLVERHAMPTON, Newhampton Arts Centre
    17th March 2023: OXFORD, Bullingdon tickets
    20th March 2023: LONDON, Lafayette tickets
    21st March 2023: BRIGHTON, Komedia tickets
    23rd March 2023: BELFAST, Empire tickets
    24th March 2023: DUBLIN, Button Factory tickets

    27th March 2023: HAMBURG, Nachtasyl tickets
    28th March 2023: BERLIN, Festsaal Kreuzberg tickets
    30th March 2023: KOLN, Stadtgarten tickets
    31st March 2023: LANDSBERG, Stadttheater tickets
    1st April 2023: WIEN, Akzent Theater tickets

    12th May 2023: ADELAIDE, Trinity Sessions tickets
    13th May 2023: FREMANTLE, Freo Social tickets
    18th May 2023: CASTLEMAINE, Theatre Royal tickets
    19th May 2023: BRUNSWICK, Brunswick Ballroom tickets
    20th May 2023: ST KILDA, Memo Music Hall tickets
    21st May 2023: ARCHIES CREEK, Archies Creek Hotel tickets
    26th May 2023: BRISBANE, Princess Theatre tickets
    27th May 2023: SYDNEY, Factory Theatre tickets
    28th May 2023: NEWCASTLE, Lizottes tickets

  2. Norbert Ennen:

    Hab schon ein Ticket.

  3. Michael Engelbrecht:

    Dann trift man dich also im Nachtasyl an:)

    Robert ist ja bei einem Hamburger Label, ich hoffe, ich bekomme das Teil vor Weihnachten. Fast hätte ich Karin und Robert vor Jahren mal zu einem Abendessen getroffen. Meine Hörgeschichte und die Geschichte der Go Betweens iat seit 1981 eng verbandelt.

    Roberts Buch war klasse, der Dokumentarfilm über die Band auch sehr beeindruckend. Kennst du die beiden Sachen, bei Interesse schicke ich gerne mal die Dvd zu dir.

  4. Norbert Ennen:

    Buch gelesen. DVD gesehen. Fan der ersten Stunde.

  5. Anonymous:

    So sehr Fan, dass ich einen Kaffee in Grant’s absoluten Lieblingshotel in Regensburg eingenommen habe. Leider noch nie dort einen der legendären Gigs
    Roberts in einem Buchladen gesehen.

  6. Michael Engelbrecht:

    Wunderbar: klar, dass sich unsere Wege mal kreuzen mussten!

    In Regensburg verbrachte ich nur eine Nacht in meinem Leben, mit Hanne anno 1982 in einer WG, nach einem Auftritt der Fehlfarben, und daheim in Bergeinöden lief immer wieder mal der ungeschliffen-rohe Garagenrock des ersten Albums der Go-Betweens. Selbst bei diesem nicht so dollen Album ahnte ich, dass die Verbindung lange währen würde. Eight pictures….

  7. Olaf Westfeld:

    In Regensburg bin ich genau heute in zwei Wochen…
    Den Buchladen kenne ich, wunderschön, leider habe ich da noch kein Konzert von Robert gehört. Ich kenne auch sehr wenig von den Go-Betweens, allerdings habe ich die letzten beiden Alben und das erste Solo-Album sehr viel gehört, verbinde auch viele Erinnerungen mit denen. Leider finde ich nur noch Demon Days, die anderen beiden sind verschwunden.

  8. Norbert Ennen:

    Du meinst sicher „The Evangelist“, Olaf. „Demon Days“ ist ein Song davon.

  9. Olaf Westfeld:

    Ja, genau… hatte nicht ins Regal geschaut. Tolles Album, großartiger Song.

  10. Michael Engelbrecht:

    Dann, Olaf Nord, führt irgendwann kein Weg vorbei an

    THe Go Betweens: LIBERTY BELLE AND THE BLACK DIAMOND EXPRESS und SPRING HILL FAIR, für mich ihre besten Alben.

  11. Norbert Ennen:

    Very true.

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