It was a full house at the Street Theatre last Saturday night, as people crammed into the classy alternative venue to experience the songs and stories of Tim Freedman, former front man of the iconic Australian band; The Whitlams.
The Street Theatre, located on the edge of the ANU campus seemed a perfect venue for Tim Freedman’s intimate show. It’s décor reminiscent of theatres of yester-year; even the bathrooms were decked out with chandeliers and murals (the ladies room was anyway!).
Patrons happily sipped on wine or cups of coffee as they waited for support act Bernie Hayes to take the stage. Bernie soon appeared with a guitar, glass of wine and a bottle of beer, setting the mood as casual and conversational. Bernie Hayes’ moody country rock and humorous anecdotes in between songs was charming and revealing, as he sung songs of his own heartbreaks, un-requited loves and his special secret getaway at Camel Rock.
As his wine glass emptied and his set drew to a close the theatre had grown warm and receptive. During Intermission, audience members had just enough time to refill their empty glasses before shuffling back in (with some assistance of the Street Theatre’s lovely volunteer ushers) and eagerly waited for Tim Freedman to take the stage.
There was a round of applause and quite a bit of cheering from the audience as Tim Freedman took his seat at the piano, opening his show with a song from his new album, Australian Idle. Once the song ended, he began to tell his story. In between the tracks that shaped Tim’s career he offered the audience a fascinating insight into his own heartbreaks, strained relationship with Triple J and of course, his unique friendship with Gough Whitlam and his late wife, Margaret.
The evening passed quickly, and after his closing number, the Canberra audience was treated to an encore in which Tim sung the much anticipated and well delivered; ‘Blow Up The Pokies’. He also sung an emotional cover of the Rolfe Harris classic ‘Two Little Boys’, ending the show as intimately as it began.
The night air was coldly confronting when I left the Street Theatre’s premises, but as I walked to my car I had The Whitlam’s classic ‘Blow Up The Pokies’ playing in my mind, to happily distract me from the winter chill.