Crowd favourites The Whitlams were back in force at The Gov last Friday and Saturday night. Since they first formed in 1992 in Sydney, this outfit has been consistently producing and playing great songs, which defy categorization and so get lumped into the taxonomist’s too-hard-basket of “indie pop”.
The boys opened their set with the seminal Blow Up the Pokies, which immediately displayed the tightness that we could expect for the whole night. Moving through numbers such as Love This City and Been Away Too Long, front-man Tim Freedman then introduced a trilogy of “rip-snorting break-up songs”, culminating in one of their biggest hits, No Aphrodisiac. The mood was then lifted with a rousing rendition of Thank You For Loving Me
Although the appreciative Gov audience sang along to most songs, nowhere was this more piquant than during Buy Now, Pay Later. The crowd singing was so strong that at one stage Freedman dropped his voice, allowed them to take over, and sang harmony over the top. It was a beautiful moment, and indicative of his strength and intelligence as a front-man.
Mainly known for playing their own songs, when they do a cover, they do it sublimely. And thus it was with their masterful rendition of Bowie’s Pretty Things, which was a perfect choice for them, being a keyboard-driven number.
Final song for the night was the punchy I Will Not Go Quietly.
Suitably presented with faultless sound and decorative, but unobtrusive lighting, this was another master-class in band gigs.
I have no doubt that the boys will be back in another twelve months for more sell-out gigs. If you’ve never seen them live, make sure you nab a ticket next time.
By Tracey Korsten