We all know Fremantle is a special place. It has a distinct vibe, a thriving culture. The ‘Freo Doctor’ blows in from the coast and carries the salty fresh air through the rest of the city, cooling us down after another busy 9 to 5 and reminding us of where we’d rather be. If you ask most people to put their finger on what exactly makes Fremantle such a special place however, they would be hard pressed to put their feelings into words. We know one thing, however. Freo is a place that keeps drawing us back.
Freo Groove has been lovingly pieced together by two passionate Fremantle locals; ABC journalist and music enthusiast Claire Moodie and Bill Lawrie, harp/frontman of long serving purveyors of the blues Tin Dog. The pair decided to assemble Freo Groove two and a half years ago. Together, Claire and Bill set out to capture the aura of this unique coastal suburb by asking the people who know and love it best. The musicians. All past or present residents, they’ve sought out a diverse range of artists to tell their side of the story and help to pinpoint that special feeling that Fremantle exudes. Through first hand recollections of Fremantle in all of its incarnations from the 1940’s right through to the present day, ‘Freo Groove’ helps us understand how important the once sleepy coastal town has evolved, and in turn helped its artists evolve along with it. Highlights include stories from Stella Donnelly, Kevin Parker, John Butler, Abbe May, and Kav Temperley as well as a myriad of other accomplished local musicians and all feature wonderful photography from Jeff Atkinson and Matt Clifton.
Freo Groove has achieved exactly what it set out to do, and is a must have for anyone looking to catch an insight into how Fremantle has burrowed its way into the hearts of so many, musos and punters alike…
Written by Liam Lynch
Freo Groove is now available at both Rhubarb Records East Vic Park and Rhubarb Records Vinyl Cafe Leederville. Big thanks to Claire Moody, Bill Lawrie and UWA Publishing
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