I could write a 10 thousand word essay about this song, but I’m a lazy tard. It incorporates Dylan’s Love Minus Zero in the concert version below and I find it captivating. I have written before and I’ll say it again, if you want to hear what Australian culture is like in sound, then just put on the Go-Betweens. They remain one of the most influential bands in Australia despite their mediocre attention in the mainstream. They are a cruelly overlooked band.
The clouds are here
They aren’t up in the sky.
I cupped them with my hands
And reached up high.
I said to these clouds,
“No more am I blind.
I have to see straight
And that will make me unkind”.
In a 1988 NME interview, McLennan said: “I maintain that the Go-Betweens write about love better than anybody else in the world.” The Go-Betweens became something accessible, yet still out of reach. They were praised by the critics, but fans seemed sceptical and the breakthrough didn’t happen.
Clouds showcased that juxtaposition: its uplifting tone is undercut by a deep sadness. Like many Go-betweens songs, it feels like a subtle loss of innocence, being both angry and wise, living under cloudy skies. A love lost, yet so close by.
The version below of Clouds is from one of my favourite concerts: The Go-Betweens Live at the Live at the Tivoli 8/6/05.