Monday, October 3, 2016

The Whitlams

The Whitlams are something of an Australian institution. Formed in the early 90s and continuing (following a few changed line-ups) through to the current day. Lead vocalist and keyboard player Tim Freedman is the ever present member and during the life of the band a couple of band members have died (either via suicide or drunken misadventure).

They play an interesting, rock-come-folky-pop kind of thing - often tinged with political or social commentary, their music isn't immediately accessible but after a couple of plays it's really easy to come to like their style. They sing about everything from hamburgers to social isolation. The band themselves are named after eternally popular Prime Minister Gough Whitlam (a Labor PM sacked by the Queen in 1975 - who remains the only Australian Prime Minister to have his ministry terminated in that manner).

I caught up with them playing Canberra's excellent Street Theatre. They played three sell out nights there and after the show went on to share some drinks with them at Molly's Speakeasy (an interesting bar buried beneath Canberra's streets). It was nice to have a rare night out and enjoyed the chance to rub shoulders with the band.

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