The Whitlams find the real infamous criminal Bertie Kidd in new music video

The infamous career criminal stars in the music video for 'Ballad of Bertie Kidd'

The Whitlams have tracked down the real Bertie Kidd, the infamous Australian career criminal that is the narrative star of their latest single ‘Ballad of Bertie Kidd’.

Kidd, now 87-years old, makes a brief cameo in the music video released today (November 26), directed by Johnny Barker. The clip opens with a shot of Kidd’s grizzled hands and trembling feet, before a haunting shot of his blank stare.

Kidd sat for Barker from his home in Launceston, Tasmania, this year. The clip then morphs into a mixture of documentary, and fiction; images of Kidd from throughout his life mix with Whitlams frontman Tim Freedman playing piano in his home in Sydney and archival footage relating to the anecdote in the lyrics.


Watch the video below:

The single was the first new music from The Whitlams in 14 years upon its release last month. The six-minute epic tells an anecdotal story about Kidd – one which Freedman winkingly claims even the career criminal’s biographer doesn’t know about.

‘Ballad of Bertie Kidd’ is told to Freedman in a pub, by a Rabbitohs rugby league fan who claims he was pulled into a robbery of Pro Hart, Norman Lindsay and Ken Done paintings in 1988 by Kidd. The heist goes wrong when the crew put on balaclavas too early, and they get caught.

The track is the first taste of a forthcoming new album from The Whitlams, due for release in mid-2021. It’s their first album since 2006’s double album ‘Little Cloud’.


The band’s planned 2020 national tour has been rescheduled to August and September 2021, which has given them time to record the album.