When Tim Freedman and a few friends started performing acoustic gigs at a pub along King Street, Newtown, they set out to be intentionally anti-establishment.
The music scene establishment in Sydney was guitars and drums and rock and pop.
At the top was the Hoodoo Gurus, which share the stage with Freedman’s band The Whitlams at A Day On The Green at All Saints Estates, Wahgunyah, on Saturday.
“When the Gurus were starting off loud guitars ruled in Sydney and I used to go out and see all those bands, The Scientists and the Hoodoo Gurus and The Celibate Rifles, all those sort of acts,” Freedman says.
“We actually were a bit of a reaction against that … The Gurus were very ’80s while were almost ’70s with a bit of Indie Rock thrown in.
“We were a Sydney sound as well but 10 years later. Whereas Dave (Faulkner, Gurus lead singer) writes great pop songs ... we certainly came from a singer-songwriter vein rather than rock band.
“We’re representative of different decades in Sydney.”
The Whitlams released six studio albums between 1993 and 2006, including 1998’s Eternal Nightcap, which won an ARIA award for best independent release, best song (No Aphrodisiac) and saw The Whitlams named band of the year, with the award presented by former prime minister Gough Whitlam.
Following A Day On The Green, The Whitlams will launch a national 25th anniversary tour, backed by a full orchestra.
While working with an orchestra is “an exciting part of our career” Freeman is looking forward to the relaxed vineyard festival – which opens with ARIA hall of famers Models – as a performer as well as a music fan.
“I’ve never seen the Models, I used to have their records when I was at high school,” Freeman says, “so I’m going to try to get there early.
“It’s always interesting when you’re asked to join those bills because you get to meet and see bands that you don’t normally play with.
“I also like the fact they’re real events, like the old fashioned fair day, or the circus comes to town.
“It’s probably one of the most interesting bills we’ve played on really.
“I’m a real fan of all the other acts (Models, Tim Rogers, Violent Femmes, Hoodoo Gurus), I’m looking forward to making a day of it.
“It’s a great bill. There’s just going to be so many hits during the afternoon.
“I think it’s a wonderful line-up they’ve put together this time.”