Cheeky crime caper kicks off return of The Whitlams
ANYONE who has followed The Whitlams through their almost 30-year existence would reflect fondly on that string of hits Tim Freedman and his band pumped out from the mid-90s and into the early 2000s.
When it came to that classic Aussie tongue-in-cheek humour, Freedman's lyrics had it in spades with old favourites like I Make Hamburgers and You Sound Like Louis Burdett.
Even bigger commercial hits were to come, and The Whitlams built up a loyal following in those years that has maintained the love, despite Freedman and the band's decision to keep touring to an annual six-week venture for the past few years.
But things are changing.
In the midst of a national solo tour, Freedman says he is experiencing some "late career ambition".
The Whitlams have a new song on the radio, The Ballad of Bertie Kidd, and a new album is being recorded.
Those loyal long-term fans have something new to look forward to in 2021.
"We worked extremely hard from about 1993 to 2008, and then I realised that rock and roll will kill you, and I took my foot off the pedal," Freedman told the Queensland Times this week.
"I learned to enjoy the quiet life, which is actually a very important skill."
Much has changed in the music industry, but Freedman says he has found life a lot easier in the digital world, with direct access to fans that was not possible during the band's earlier life.
A planned string of Whitlams' gigs this year was largely sold out before having to be postponed due to COVID-19, but only a very small percentage of fans actually asked for a refund on the tickets.
It is now likely that those loyal fans will get to see the show they paid for next year.
For the time being, Freedman has just played 26 gigs and in the past three weeks, and is currently in Launceston, where he will perform later this week before working his way back up the east coast and eventually to Ipswich on Sunday, December 13.
Despite a long career in the business, it will be Freedman's first visit to the city, and he says he is looking forward to it, especially using the Ipswich Civic Centre's in-house piano.
"I have been told it is a really nice theatre (at the Ipswich Civic Centre)," he said.
"If I'm playing a pub gig I'll use a digital piano but nothing beats the real thing."
Ipswich fans are in for a cabaret style show in which Freedman links his songs thematically and enjoys a bit of a chat with the audience.
As well as launching The Ballad of Bertie Kidd - which tells the story of one of Australia's most notorious criminals - he will play The Whitlams' classics, along with a few covers.
"Playing in Canberra last week, and yeah it is always I Make Hamburgers that they want to hear at the end if I haven't played it already that night," he said.
Tim Freedman will perform at the Ipswich Civic Centre from 5pm on Sunday, December 13.
For further details, visit the Civic Centre's event listing for the show.