Tim Freedman, while no stranger to solo gigs, is relatively new to the cabaret genre. Last night at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, The Whitlams’ frontman seemed easily at home. Marketed as “an evening of grand pianos, sweet melodies and a few pointed opinions”, audiences at the Dunstan Playhouse received this, and much more.
The show was simple. A nine-foot Steinway & Sons concert grand, a keyboard, a set list and a bottle of wine – all Freedman needs to deliver a spellbinding and intimate performance.
Performing a happy mix of old and new numbers, Freedman navigated with ease through two decades of Whitlams music. The cabaret banter tied together classic Whitlams hits (there would have been trouble if ‘Blow Up The Pokies’ wasn’t played) with obscure B-sides (I’d never heard ‘The Witness Protection Scheme’). And the story about fortuitously encountering the bands namesake while schmoozing with record labels and JJJ execs was outstanding.
Given the choice between a Steinway and an electric piano, Tim should choose one or the other – not both (and it should be a no brainer, go with the Steinway!). The keyboard settings were foreign and the lighting design seemed to capitulate whenever Freedman headed towards the keyboard.
Tim Freedman is an honest performer and, even though there was no fireplace, Tim Freedman’s Fireside Chat was a warming performance that left nothing to be desired.