30/11/2022

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The Whitlams

4 min read
The Whitlams

While tonight is ostensibly about celebrating a person distinct album’s milestone anniversary, that won’t imply we are not able to throw in a different for very good evaluate. 

Veteran Sydney singer-songwriter Perry Keyes put out his 2nd (and best) studio album The Very last Ghost Coach Household 15 years back this yr, and tonight he and his band are participating in each song from it. Keyes has normally been a songwriter’s songwriter, with his tracks protected by the likes of Missy Higgins and even tonight’s headliner. Keyes himself, however, has regrettably under no circumstances gotten the same degree of recognition. As these types of, it truly is wonderful to see him get his roses in front of a reverent, respectful audience that thoroughly appreciates equally the minutiae of his suburban storytelling and the rustic alt-place he soundtracks it with. In-concerning these diamonds in the rough, Keyes tells tale of undertaking songwriter nights at the Sandringham Lodge in the early 90s with a dishevelled twentysomething named Tim Freedman. Wonder what became of him?

If we have realized something about the very last 30-in addition decades of Custard, it really is this: They have certainly no tickets on themselves. They’re a single of Australian music’s most beautifully imperfect models – rambunctious, irreverent and unabashedly unconventional. Just about every tour they’ve finished of late feels like a victory lap, and frontman Dave McCormack is revelling in staying in entrance of an audience that is familiar with him as him and not… effectively, y’know, Bandit. With no new album in tow – not to point out practically nothing to establish – it is mostly an all-smiles biggest-hits affair that immediately flies by. Even in the face of some tech challenges that kill off the keyboards for a handful of music, the band soldier on in their possess endearing and unpretentious way. In addition to, when you’ve got bought songs like Apartment and Girls Like That in the back pocket – elder millennial and gen-X firestarters if there ever have been – you can cope with a snafu or two.

In 1997, on the brink of collapse, The Whitlams took one particular last shot at the large time with an erratic, temper-swinging album ruminating on grief, enjoy, friendship and the interior west. In the wake of unspeakable private tragedy in the band, Everlasting Nightcap became The Whitlams’ ticket to immortality. Inside of a calendar year they’d topped the album charts, been introduced with an ARIA by their ministerial namesake and received the Hottest 100. Now, some 25 years on, frontman Tim Freedman is back in the internal-west celebrating his most important album’s silver jubilee.

None of the individuals he designed the album with are on stage with him – in reality, this tour marks the initially-at any time for newcomer bassist/keyboardist Ian Peres. Mainstay members Jak Housden on guitar and Terepai Richmond on drums, however, have spent significantly of the past two decades actively playing lots of of these tracks every and every single evening. With this mixture, then, you are introduced with a energetic and inspired run-by of the complete album. Not only do you have Freedman enjoying numerous deep cuts not played dwell either in decades or at all, you have Peres injecting new daily life into established staples like ‘Melbourne’ (his multi-tasking on the chorus, actively playing keys with 1 hand and bass with the other, is absolutely influenced) and each Housden and Richmond incorporating their have seasoned aptitude to tracks that, despite not creating, have extended due to the fact develop into aspect of their personal musical DNA.

Slight modifications are afoot – the beloved Charlie trilogy is performed in numerical get, for just one, instead than its first placement on the album. Somewhere else, Housden usually takes guide on Where’s the Enemy? and Freedman tackles the Dylan include Tangled Up in Blue, which had been both of those sung on the album by previous guitarist Tim Corridor. In the situation of the former, it is really totally compelling to see it participate in out as initially envisioned for the latter, it truly is a intelligent re-routing of tracks that may well if not be discarded. A great balance is struck across the enjoy-via – each and every track remains as emotive and important as the to start with time you read it, but the tweaks and twists along the way allow for for the album as a complete to be appreciated in a new gentle. 

Once the Irish-pub sway of Band On Just about every Corner waltzes out of perspective, it is really on to a quick historical past of the band with a track or two picked from all of their studio albums to date. Most are place-on selections – you can not go past Gough from their debut, or Thank You from Like This Town – but if there’s any insignificant gripe to be built, it is with the picks from January’s Sancho. The reduced-important Man About a Dog and the wry In the Previous Life are both of those not with no their charm, but tracks like Ballad of Bertie Kidd, No one Appreciates I Enjoy You and Cambridge 3 would provide as far better showcases to individuals in the viewers that may not have even been aware the band put out a new album this yr.

Nevertheless, by the time Royal In The Afternoon rolls about, such trivial tremendous-supporter annoyances have perfectly and really flown out the window. At the end of the day, we are all below to rejoice a person of the good survival stories in Australian music record. Lengthy may perhaps The Whitlams reign.

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