The Whitlams, Bob Evans, Ella Hooper @ The Gov, Adelaide 7/6/2019

There’s very few bands that when you think of the home of live music in Adelaide, The Gov you couldn’t imagine them playing anywhere else. That can be said for The Whitlams who seem to have such an affinity with The Gov and Adelaide. The full house sign was up and with a line up that also included Bob Evans and Ella Hooper it is hardly a surprise that it wouldn’t be.

The supports equally could be playing their own shows but wow what a bonus to have on tour. Ella Hooper got the night started, fresh off Killing Heidi’s tour with The Baby Animals. Ella looked fabulous, sounded great looking comfortable doing her thing. Highlights for me include The Red Shoes and Monkey Mind.

Bob Evans was in form despite him saying how much harmonica solos remind him of how unfit he is and suggesting that Suburban Songbook was his commercial peak. Set staples include the likes of Nowhere Without You, Don’t Want To Grow Up Anymore and Don’t You Know It’s Time. Fans should note that he’ll be back for one more show before he goes off for a while.

Tonight was about celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the multi-platinum album Love This City which continued the upward trajectory of the much loved Whitlams, The. The Whitlams always sound great, look great and give their fans a great night out. Opening with Gough it was right about now when Tim Freedman quipped “the next one’s about when Rupert Murdoch started installing PM’s” then went on to play Charlie No. 3. Fall For You was fantastic and it was interesting that Freedman made the comment that Love This City was a bit ponderous. Is that a reference to the song Chunky Chunk Air Guitar which was left out? Nevertheless, there’s some great songs on this album and to hear them live was a nice bonus.

It wasn’t a strictly start to end album type of show but still great fun. Make The World Safe, Thank You (For Loving Me At My Worst) went down well and Pretty As You , the scorching critique of the #MeToo movement was twenty years ahead of its time according to Freedman. There was a tongue in cheek jibe to the hoity toity types at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival inspiring You Gotta Love This City. Royal In The Afternoon and Year The Rat (which aren’t on the album were next) with Freedman having a crack at the lock out laws in Sydney inferring you can’t have a drink or a laugh anywhere.

The album focus continued on with God Drinks At The Sando and the Triple air played career extending Blow Up The Pokies. 400 Miles From Darwin was great and the last of the well known singles from the album Made Me Hard was tops. Popular tunes No Aphrodisiac and Buy Now Pay Later (Charlie No. 2) with Freedman going solo backed by an awesome sing-a-long by the crowd.

The back story behind 12 Hours got a chuckle or two written about the worst night ever waking up with the wrong woman and realising John Howard was re-elected. Freedman went solo on this one as well with the band joining him again on Keep The Light On. The time literally whizzed by with the ever so popular You Sound Like Louis Burdett getting the crowd dancing. The Bob Dylan cover Tangled Up In Blue was a welcomed surprise.

The Whitlams returned for an encore featuring Laugh In Their Faces followed by I Will Not Go Quietly (Duffy’s Song) giving this sold out crowd a solid fill of entertainment. In the words of Tim Freedman “We hope to see you next year”.

Live Review By Rob Lyon

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