Tim Freedman's pick of live music venues

Frontman of Aussie band The Whitlams shares his favourite places to play music around Australia

People at a concert with their arms raised
  • Tim Freedman
  • July 2015

The Whitlams are creatures of habit. When we find a room that works, we generally return to it again and again.

We would have played Melbourne’s The Corner Hotel opens in new window probably 30 times – something about that room makes rock'n’roll sound good. I first played there in 1987 in a Sunnyboys lineup. We’ve had a lot of good nights here as The Whitlams. 

In Adelaide we’ve found our favourite is The Governor Hindmarsh Hotel. We started playing there in about ’97. I loved it back then because it was one of the rooms in Australia where people could bring their kids – now they’re married and still coming along occasionally. It’s like playing in a fishbowl – you’ve got crowd 270 degrees around you, so everywhere you look you see the crowd, which is great for the energy on stage.

I'd like to give credit to the Sydney Opera House opens in new window – they’ve got their act together with their sound. Now you can play in the Concert Hall and be confident that the crowd can hear your words. I’ve done the Concert Hall probably 10 times, but the place I enjoy going to see bands is the Joan Sutherland Opera Theatre – it’s a classy listening experience. 

Newcastle has a wonderful room inland, about 5km in Jesmond, called Lizotte’s. It’s a wonderful old comedy theatre in two levels, with wonderful food. Because it’s two levels, you get so much energy as a performer – even when you look up you see expectant faces. The production is good and Newcastle is lucky to have it.

I love playing solo in Perth’s Ellington Jazz Club, just north of the city. Usually there’s great jazz or cabaret in the morning, and local musicians from WAAPA will get on stage at midnight and play ’til really late, so it’s a good hang. We often head to Ellington for a drink after our own shows.