Review : The Whitlams @ The Metro, Sydney
Tim Freedman and company are back on the road in Australia to begin the final fling. But is this really the end for The Whitlams?
Photo by Jess Arnold
10 September 2010
THE Whitlams are back on the road, embarking on an Australian tour to apparently mark the sentimental beginning of the end.
Normality has never been The Whitlams’ style. Nor has mortality, though.
After many line-up changes due to factors stretching from suicide, drug and gambling addictions, and an inability to deal with frontman Tim Freedmans’ intense personality; the current Whitlams line-up has oddly stuck together for nearly a decade now.
Perhaps such regularity lead the band to an uninspiring comfort zone, resulting in their ‘extended break’?
What may then be one last binge on The Whitlams’ ironic, social commentary, was sadly a somewhat robotic, coming-of-age return to their favourite place to play up, The Metro. It was immediately a crowd divider.
After a run through of classics: ‘No Aphrodisiac’, ‘Thank You’, ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’, ‘Leave The Light On’, ‘I Make Hamburgers’ and – of course – ‘Gough’; patrons were split into those who came for the classics and were delighted, and those who came seeking inspiration and left disappointed.
Classics simplicity is hardly the practice of a band with a death-defying legacy. If you want to watch The Whitlams on repeat, get the DVD.
Faced with such banality, fans should hope Freedman’s solo work is the art he focuses on – he’s to tour the UK soon after recording his solo album.
The Whitlams is a hardy beast though. It will be intriguing to see if Freedman can ever move on and alone rediscover his inspired song-writing, and completely resist being trapped in cosy, ‘John Farnham-esque’, crowd pleasing mediocrity, as he was tonight.