The Whitlams Black Stump Band share new version of ‘Blow Up The Pokies’, announce upcoming tour with new band line-up

The song originally appeared on The Whitlams' 1999 album ‘Love This City’

Tim Freedman of The Whitlams has shared a new version of 1999 Whitlams classic ‘Blow Up The Pokies’, released with the band’s new alt-country spin-off project, The Whitlams Black Stump Band.

The new version of the song, which first featured on The Whitlams’ fourth studio album ‘Love This City’, sees Freedman speed up the tempo of the original with the addition of banjo strings and a pedal steel guitar.

It’s the third song to be released as part of The Whitlams Black Stump Band, which Freedman formed with former Whitlams drummer Terepai Richmond and others in 2021. Listen to the new version of ‘Blow Up The Pokies’ below.


In addition to Freedman and Richmond, the Whitlams Black Stump Band also includes Rod McCormack on the banjo, bassist Matt Fell and guitarist Ollie Thorpe. The band made their live debut at this year’s Tamworth Country Music Festival, and released their single ‘The Day John Sattler Broke His Jaw’ earlier this year.

‘Blow Up The Pokies’ coincides with the band’s announcement of an Australian tour throughout the end of the year and into 2023. The Whitlams Black Stump Band’s 2022 tour dates kick off Ballarat in mid-November, before taking to venues in Geelong, Sydney, Central Coast and Hobart towards the end of the year. Remaining tickets to those shows are available here.

The five-piece will then reconvene for next year’s ‘Big City Debut Tour’, which begins at Tamworth Country Music Festival in January ahead of its 7-date run across the country in March 2023. Tickets for ‘Big City Debut Tour’ will be available on November 9. See the full list of dates for The Whitlams Black Stump Band’s upcoming tour below.

Outside of the country music supergroup, The Whitlams shared their most recent album ‘Sancho’ in January of this year. The band’s first album since 2006’s ‘Little Cloud’ was previewed by the single ‘Ballad of Bertie Kidd’, and was described in NME’s four-star review as “a wistful, endearing collection of songs from a seemingly-evergreen band.”

The Whitlams Black Stump Band’s 2022 tour dates are:

Tuesday 15 – Piano Bar, Ballarat
Wednesday 16 – Piano Bar, Bendigo – SOLD OUT
Thursday 17 – Piano Bar, Geelong
Friday 18 – Arts Centre, Warburton
Saturday 19 – The Memo, Healesville
Friday 25 – Avalon Beach RSL, Sydney
Saturday 26 – Avoca Beach Theatre, Central Coast


Thursday 1 – Royal Oak Hotel, Launceston
Friday 2 – LongHouse, Hobart

The Whitlams Black Stump Band’s 2023 ‘Big City Debut Tour’ dates are:

Friday 17 – Lizotte’s, Newcastle – NSW
Saturday 18 – Adelaide Fringe, Spiegeltent – SA
Friday 24 – Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne – VIC
Saturday 25 – Memo Music Hall, Melbourne – VIC
Sunday 26 – Archies Creek Hotel, Victoria – VIC
Friday 31 – Factory Theatre, Sydney – NSW

Saturday 1 – The Princess Theatre, Brisbane – QLD