Friday, September 12, 2008

The Whitlams

Last night Crash and I managed to go to a concert together, which is a relatively rare phenomenon. He's a big Whitlams fan, and I like a fair bit of their music quite a lot. Then again, I find some of it rather dull, and Tim Freedman is possibly the most irritating person in Australian music.

Last night they played with Symphonie des Femme, who as far as I can tell are stringsource with a sexier name for Tim Freedman's benefit. OK, I have no evidence that it is for Tim Freedman's benefit, other than his bizarre treatment of them last night.

The music was great, Whitlams music lends itself very well to orchestral arrangements, and I loved it. Tim Freedman is pretty funny and I generally enjoyed the show. A couple of bizarre moments stood out. Apart from several references to the clothing of the musicians, when they left the stage for the part of the show without them, Tim whinged about being able to hear all the girls chattering, and compared it to recess or "little lunch" at primary school. Nice.

The other bizarre moment was them playing "The Curse Stops Here". They played it second last, in the encore. I hadn't heard it before, and missed the news of Andy's death. Andy being one of the three founding members of the Whitlams, along with Tim and Stevie. Stevie committed suicide in 1996. Andy committed suicide in 2000. Perhaps I am jaded, but I didn't find The Curse Stops Here heartrending, I found it self indulgent and a little dismissive of those who died. I understand anger towards suicide, I just thought the Charlie trilogy did it better, this one feels like it's all about Tim. Then again, perhaps that isn't so surprising.

Still, a fun show. You'd never hate a Whitlams concert.

Next up more Aussie music, Faker next week.


  1. I really admire you for how much live music you continue to get out and see. It used to be a favourite thing for my partner and I but that has really died in the arse since becoming parents. How do you keep doing it? Do you find it expensive or have you decided it is a necessity? Also, I usually have quite similar taste to you in music and when I saw The Whitlams title I thought, hmm not so much, but then turns out you're not a big fan either.

    Anyway I find your reviews lovely, a bit of vicarious living for me.

  2. I maintained my dedication to the Big Day Out, going every year since my eldest was born, except this year because I traded it in for a week in the Hunter Valley. My other half is wonderful in that regard, he doesn't like crowds, so he stays at home with the kids, including when Ben was 6 weeks old. Not all men will stay at home with their first born for 12 hours at 6 weeks... :)

    Other than that, I have barely seen any bands since arriving at motherhood until this year. I chanced into a few gigs, and decided it was time to get back into it. I have been a bit stunned at some of the costs - then again The Herd were $22! After I get over the drought, I might start getting a bit pickier about what I spend the money on.

    I love music, and it had disappeared a bit from my life. I am busy getting it back in - going to gigs, getting music for in the car, indoctrinating my children in their musical heritage. My kids will not grow up not knowing what Khe Sanh is. :)

    Thanks for the compliment, I'm a but surprised anyone reads the reviews. :)