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Does it feel like an album from a different time now?

The album was about how much friends mean to each other. I still write about that, but when you’re in your twenties it has so much more drama than later in life. It all seemed so damn irrevocable.

What has been the strangest gig you have ever done?

Gough’s 85th birthday party, though that was strange in a good way. I got a loan from [Australian politician] Graham Richardson, a threat from [former Prime Minister] Paul Keating and a kiss from [Leader of the House] Anthony Albanese.

There was the 1972 cabinet, youth, truth, beauty, red hair, no hair, awkwardness and impunity all in one room [he paraphrases his hit No Aphrodisiac]. Unfortunately [former Deputy PM] Dr Jim Cairns had already left the building.

What has been your weirdest on-stage moment?

Half the stage collapsed once. Stevie [Plunder, original Whitlam who died in 1996] emerged from the ruins and said: “It’s just a bad stage I’m going through.” We had to give him that one.

What’s the most common misconception about life as a musician?

They ask: ‘What do you do all day?’ They seem to think it’s the only trade in which you don’t need to do research and development. Also, they think we get laid a bit. It’s actually all the time.

Which new artist has most impressed you recently?

Alpine, a new Melbourne band, and Kimbra’s solo stuff away from the big Gotye song, too. [Folk and blues singer-songwriter] Emma Russack is extremely impressive – she’s assured and silky. Very silky.

Tim Freedman: The Union Chapel. Oct 5. 7pm
Compton Avenue, N1 2XD
Tube | Highbury & Islington

Photos: Stephen Baccon


Interview: The Whitlams' frontman Tim Freedman on his UK solo tour and new album, Australian Idle
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