Tim Freedman – Piano, lead vocals
Jak Housden – Guitar, backing vocals
Warwick Hornby – Bass, backing vocals
Terepai Richmond – Drums, backing vocals
1993: Introducing the Whitlams
1995: Undeniably the Whitlams
1997: Eternal Nightcap
1999: Love This City
2002: Torch The Moon
2004: DVD release – The Whitlams’ Years 1992-2004
2006: Little Cloud
2008: Truth, Beauty & A Picture of You – Best of the Whitlams
Ahead of the release of their first new music in 14 years, The Whitlams have announced the ‘Gaffage and Clink 2020’ National Tour which will see the much loved band visit all capital cities and several regional centres during August and September.
“Gaffage and Clink” is backstage lingo referenced in a new yet-to-be released song that celebrates the relationship between the band and their long-time tour manager Greg Weaver, who passed away suddenly last year.
The Whitlams formed in late 1992 in Newtown, Australia. As a three piece with no drummer, Tim Freedman, Stevie Plunder and Andy Lewis developed their songs acoustically on Saturday afternoons at the Sandringham Hotel in King Street. So followed the usual formative months of beer, bonding and dodgey shows. In early 1993 they discovered that with their gear, they could all fit into a Kingswood station wagon.
Taking turns lying on the piano in the back, they headed off every six weeks to Byron Bay and Brisbane and Melbourne and became a band to be reckoned with.
The original line up of Tim Freedman on piano, Stevie Plunder on guitar and Andy Lewis on double bass played mainly around Sydney’s inner west, a jaunty acoustic act in the midst of the grunge movement.
The band’s name was chosen out of admiration for former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam and his wife Margaret.
Over the following two years, The Whitlams performed over 300 shows across Australia and released a mini-album “Introducing The Whitlams” (1993) and their first full-length album “Undeniably The Whitlams” (1995).
Both Plunder and Freedman shared the songwriting and singing on these albums with Lewis contributing heavily to the scrappy, melodic aesthetic.
Stevie Plunder died the following year, but Freedman decided to keep the band going with a revolving group of respected musicians, and after a four-month break started work on the band’s biggest album “Eternal Nightcap”.
In 1998, the album went double platinum and The Whitlams won ARIA’s for Group of the Year, Best Independent Release (“Eternal Nightcap”) and Song of the Year (“No Aphrodisiac”).
In 1999 The Whitlams signed a three album deal with Warner Music, and the follow-up album “Love This City” was released with “Blow Up The Pokies”, and “Thank You (For Loving Me At My Worst)” charting well in the ARIA singles chart, and the album going double platinum. Freedman recruited noted Sydney musicians Terepai Richmond (D.I.G.), Jak Housden (The Badloves) and Warwick Hornby (The Lab) to join him in the band, and the line-up remains unchanged to this day.
In 2002 The Whitlams fifth album, “Torch The Moon” debuted at number one on the ARIA charts. With no hit single it nevertheless became their third platinum album in a row.
The Whitlams intersected with the classical music world when composer Peter Sculthorpe sneaked Freedman into an Australian Chamber Orchestra end-of-tour party in 2002. The next year Freedman, with Richmond on drums, toured with the ACO playing a programme of Whitlams tunes and Arvo Pärt. The West Australian Symphony Orchestra was next on the phone and The Whitlams became Australia’s first symphonic indie act with two concerts at Kings Park, Perth in 2004.
Since then they have played with all the state symphony orchestras, including 12 sold out shows over the years at the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall. The track ‘Keep the Light On’ from their “Best Of” compilation is a live take from the Sydney Symphony Orchestra concert in 2007. Their collaborators have included some of the best composers and arrangers in Australia including the late Peter Sculthorpe, Brett Dean, Sean O’Boyle, and Jamie Messenger.
In 2006 they released their sixth album “Little Cloud” which documented Freedman’s time in New York and his return to Sydney. Produced by indie maestro J. Walker, it was their most critically acclaimed album and achieved Gold status soon after release.
They completed their stint with Warners in 2008 with a “Best of” compilation “Truth, Beauty, and a Picture of You”.
In 2014 Freedman wrote and performed a one-man show in theatres around the country based on the life and work of Harry Nilsson titled “Everybody’s Talkin’ ‘bout Me”.
Since then they have completed laps of Australia annually, playing their favourite pubs and theatres. In August 2020 they will embark once again on a nation-wide tour, this time with some new songs and a fresh spring in their step.