Thursday, August 4, 2011

A song a day: The Whitlams - Blow up the pokies

After a recent post about You Am I, it struck me just how parochially Australian a number of the bands I listen to are. Another of these bands is e Whitlams, a band named after the former Labor prime minister and sing songs about life in Sydney's inner west - primary Newtown, a place I lived for a number of years (fun fact: Whitlams mainman used to live on my street in Newtown). I never really had much time for this band until a friend of mine did the string arrangements for the album Love this city. I actually sat down and gave it a listen and found something relatable to my daily existence. Blow up the pokies struck me the most just because it spoke of the problems of Newtown at that time - the replacement of stages where bands could play with an epidemic of poker machines and the uncontrollable gambling addictions that arose out of that. Soon there was no where to see bands locally because the yuppie interlopers complained about the noise which had no doubt attracted them to live there in the first place and the poor looked poorer and poorer while the would of the place was gentrified out of existence. It was sad to witness and the first step was when the publicans realized that they'd make more money and have less hassle by having five pokie machines rather than live bands. Anyhow, I love the sentiment and sentimentality of this song and one day we will blow up the pokies.


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