Live Review: The Whitlams, Ben Wright Smith

13 September 2016 | 5:05 pm | Olivia Dunjey

"Sadly one night is not enough to cover the band's anthology of hits."

More The Whitlams More The Whitlams

As folks made their way into the main room, Ben Wright Smith, accompanied by the lovely Francesca Gonzales, warmed up the crowd. The two delivered tracks including Born YawningNo One and Sand Grabber, the atmosphere softened with their cruisy and upbeat style. Most pleasantly, we were treated to Sinners In Bloom. Gonzales humbly sang out verses that sounded as sweet as the meaning the words carried. It was hard to say whether Smith really was fronting the duo when Gonzales had the crowd teary-eyed and falling for her like hopeless romantics. 

After that The Whitlams, led by Tim Freedman, finally made their way onto the stage, eagerly opening with Blow Up The Pokies. All were instantly invigorated by the familiarity of this hit song, yet there were mixed feelings as to whether it would have been better had it been saved for last. No, the way the crowd tuned in and sang along loudly and cheerfully showed that there could be no better time. 

The energy the band generated did not lose momentum as they dove into other favourites Charlie No 1 and You Gotta Love This City, all members - Jak Housden, Warwick Hornby and Terepai Richmond - grooving along with their fans. Freedman couldn't hold in his thoughts at the time: "I was hoping it would be hotter in here, turn the aircon off, pass around some chilli chips... and let's pour jugs of beer over ourselves!" 

Freedman joked with the crowd further (asking whether having sex in Ubers is a thing). before delving into that boppy and romantic gem of a song Thank You (For Loving Me At My Worst). The crowd's response was disappointing; a few shy giggles and laughs gave Freedman an opportune moment to compare his audience to that of a church group - totally uncorrupted. 

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

Handing the mic over to Housden for a cover of David Bowie's Oh! You Pretty Things brought with it a whole lot of entertainment. Richmond and Hornby were grinning ecstatically as Housden trotted around owning the whole place; he loved the attention. The crowd continued to sing along reverently to treasures No Aphrodisiac, Buy Now, Pay Later (Charlie No. 2), I Make Hamburgers and I Will Not Go Quietly (Duffy's Song)

The night flew by. Sadly one night is not enough to cover this band's anthology of hits. If given the chance, catch these charming lads the next time around because they're sure to deliver on every occasion.