Freo's View



One of Fremantle’s favourite musucians Lucky Oceans will be back with regular concerts at Kidogo Arthouse on Bathers Beach this summer. Lucky by the Ocean are sundowners on Wednesday nights.

Wednesday, November 20 @ 7:00PM        
Bill Rogers and Family Boots ‘n All – Soul, Blues and Gospel
Bill is joined by his daughters Anna and Billie for a rare, inspiring night of family soul, laughs and togetherness. With Dave Brewer on guitar and Lucky Oceans on pedal steel.

Wednesday, November 27 @ 7:00PM        
Dave Brewer and Lucky Oceans Quartet – Blues
When Dave and Lucky play together, they urge each other on to greater heights of passion and innovation. With Ric Eastman on drums and Karl Florisson on bass, this is the same band that sold out Kidogo and rocked the room last year, so be quick to reserve!
Wednesday, December 4 @ 7:00PM          
Sassafras Quartet with Lucky Oceans – Gypsy Jazz
Expanding out from their mastery of Gypsy Jazz, Sassafras adopt a unique approach to Western swing while applying their intricate arrangements to toe-tapping swing, breakneck gypsy jazz, wistful french ballads and re-worked jazz standards in a vibrant and engaging mix of acoustic music, all performed with the dazzling virtuosity and passion that is intrinsic to the Gypsy jazz tradition.

Wednesday 11 December @ 7:00pm
Dave Milroy and the Wilarra Band with Mr. Crowbones – Blues & Indigenous Songs

Award winning playwright and his band play his haunting, unique songs with Wayne Freer on double bass and tuba, Lucky Oceans on pedal steel guitar and Lauralee Faith on vocals. This was a sellout last time so be quick!

The bonus second set will feature a mysterious band, called ‘Mr. Crowbones’ who will play old blues with their old hands on their old instruments with stories to accompany the songs. Some of the stories will even be true! Last year, people were dancing on the tables!

Wednesday 18 December @ 7:00pm
Jams with Sam (And Adam and Lucky!)  – Swing

Everyone’s favourite Perth expat guitarist Sam LeMann returns home from Melbourne after his triumphant show at WA Guitar Festival to join up with Adam Gare and Lucky Oceans for something of a Nansing Quartet reunion. This sold out last year.

Friday 20 December @ 7pm
Hawaiian Sundowner Howie Morgan, Lucky Oceans & the Lemanns – Swing
Revisiting their sell-out show of last year, with Pacific sounds from Howie, Lucky, Sam and Lucy Lemann and Alistair Peel. Experience the beauty of island music without the schlock!
Wednesday 15 January @ 7pm
Jeff Lang and  Lucky Oceans – Roots, Folk, Blues 

Startlingly unique live performer and musical dynamo Jeff Lang teams up with Lucky Oceans to recreate their dynamic sellout show of 2018.


Roel Loopers




Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt responded to the criticism directed at him in the Fremantle Herald by Arthur’s Head artists and I believe it is fair to publish this more prominently than just a comment under yesterday’s article about it here on Freo’s View, so here is what Brad Pettitt had to say:

My blog post was intended to be a conversation starter so I’m pleased to see that it is starting a conversation on how Fremantle can best nurture its creative sector.

In relation to the article in the Herald, the Herald didn’t actually interview me for that story – they just quoted from my blog.

I thought it was very good that the Herald put this key issue out there more widely, but the words that the arts precinct at Arthur Head had ‘failed’ and the creative sector had ‘languished too long’ were the Herald’s words, not mine.

What I did say on my blog was that the Arthur Head Arts Precinct has never quite worked as a precinct, despite some individual high achievers.

However, I think the observation that the precinct as a whole hasn’t realised its full potential is fair.

The intent of my statement regarding the creative sector was to support and develop creative industries in Fremantle, not to criticise or denigrate the excellent work that has already been achieved.

I greatly value the contributions of those mentioned as part of the successful arts and cultural fabric of Fremantle, and have said to them that I would very much appreciate their involvement in future discussions about how we can nurture and grow Fremantle’s creative industries.

Best regards, Brad


Roel Loopers


Posted in art, bathers beach art precinct, city of fremantle, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on October 25, 2019


There is a bit of a backlash from Arthur’s Head artists against Mayor Brad Pettitt’s claim in the Fremantle Herald last week that the Bathers Beach Art Precinct concept had failed.

David Giles, Glen Cowans, Greg James, Jenny Dawkins and peter Zuvela all pointed out that they have been very successful up on the Roundhouse hill and at J Shed for many years and that it might just be time for Fremantle Council to acknowledge the success of these artists and support them better.

Roel Loopers



Two articles in the Fremantle Herald this weekend should be a little eye-opener for Fremantle Council, and hopefully they have learned some lessons.

The front page is all about the City wanting to support the creative sector more with their interim economic development action plan, while inside the paper former Councillor Tim Grey-Smith is rightly annoyed that City Ward candidates use the demise of his business for political election reasons.

The lesson is that the City of Fremantle should of course support the creative sector, but should be very aware not to support unsustainable small businesses, because the unrecoverable debts the City writes off regularly are of great concern to the ratepayers.

Kulcha, Fly by Night, art studios at Captain’s Lane, the Soup cafe, etc. all cost the City much-needed income, because lack of market research and too much naivety and dreams are not really helpful to make a good business case for new small businesses, and when they flounder the ratepayers pay for the failures.

City properties should create income for the community, and while subsidised leases might well be helpful for start-ups, these cases need to be carefully considered. How many of us can recall the City investing $ 20,000 as part of the One Planet policy to get a business starting to grow mushrooms from coffee waste? It was successful for just over a year and has now disappeared.

We have successful creative businesses such at Greg James, Jenny Dawson and Jina Lee at J Shed, and Kidogo Arthouse, and the Glen Cowans photo gallery at Captain’s Lane who pay full commercial rates, but their future is uncertain because Fremantle Council has failed to appreciate how important these art businesses are for Fremantle, so any new ideas need to first deal with giving these artists the certainty of tenure they deserve, before heading of yet again into dreamworld.

Roel Loopers




There are some effing morons in this world! Last night the lovely Bella sculpture by J Shed artist Greg James was stolen from its bench at Bathers Beach.

The bronze sculpture is one of the most photographed artworks in Fremantle and is worth well over $ 100,000. It probably weights 150kilo, so it would have taken a few people to lift it up on the back of a van.

If you read this post, crooks, let me tell you that people like you disgust me! Greg James puts a huge effort into his artwork. It takes time and dedication and it belongs at Bathers Beach, not in some fool’s backyard. Return it!

Roel Loopers





The report today in the property pages of the West Australian about the new Pickle District art development in the west end of the City of Vincent made me think-again-about how inadequate the City of Fremantle’s concept for the Bathers Beach Art Precinct has been.

While Vincent is encouraging the organic growth of art and culture in the historic warehouses and factories in the Newcastle, Loftus and Charles Street precinct, Fremantle has been disrespectful to the long-established artists at J Shed and have tried to move them on by permitting a tavern and live music venue on the A Class reserve at historic Arthur’s Head. That was only stopped by the WAPC.

The City of Vincent shows that one needs creativity and confidence in artists to just let things happen and grow, with small infrastructure support from the council.

Fremantle Council unfortunately often wants to micro manage development and that has shown to be counter productive at Arthur’s Head because Council lacks good ideas for the area and the unwillingness to invest there.

And while the dedicated artists just want to keep creating Freo City can’t even provide the No 1 studio at J Shed with power, so stone sculptor Jina Lee can’t use power tools and start working on new sculptures. I did not hear that from her by the way as she dedicates all her energy to her art.

It is time for the City to sit down with some really creative people in Fremantle and come up with a good concept for an arts precinct, and ideally that should include lovely Slip Street in Fremantle Port.

Roel Loopers



When the City of Fremantle many years ago evicted the long-term residents and Port Pilots at Captain’s Lane on Arthur’s Head to create the Bathers Beach Art Precinct I warned they would be creating a ghost town at night that would attracts vagrants, homeless people and anti social behaviour, and I was right.

Fremantle Council is now finally acknowledging that the BBAP does not work in its current conception, so one has to wonder what will be coming next.

The J Shed artists have been stressed for far too long about their future at Arthur’s Head, with having to fight the ridiculous decision by Fremantle Council  to lease the shed for a tavern and outdoor music venue to Sunset Events. That madness was only stopped by the WA Planning Commission after years of protests from residents .

Now the J Shed artists have not got their four-year leases renewed because Council is dreaming about an Aboriginal culture centre there, so what is the future for Greg James, Jenny Dawkins, Janet Nixon, Lesley Barrett, Jina Lee, Peter Zuvela and others?

Fremantle Council has been talking for years about activating Arthur’s Head and the West End of town, but have spent very little money on the area. The tavern nonsense would have given them sewerage and public toilets, paid for by others, and they have neglected one of our state’s and the city’s most significant historic precinct for yonkers.

The City should have built public toilets, a small cafe at J Shed, and extend the boardwalk from the Bathers Beach House to J Shed, but instead they have been living in LaLa land in the hope that commercial investment will do what the city does not want to finance.

Arthur’s Head is falling to bits with rock fall forcing the fencing off of large areas. It looks terrible!

For twenty years Fremantle Council has shown no interest whatsoever in the management and running of the Roundhouse. The oldest public building in Western Australia receives no annual funding from the city, it does not get financial and in kind support for marketing, or uniforms or anything, and it is a struggle for the volunteers to get the smallest repairs done.

The Roundhouse receives around 150.000 visitors a year so it is a significant tourist attraction, but the City says when the volunteers started they wanted to be autonomous, so what?! That does not mean Council should not show a very close interest in how it is working out and if the volunteers might just need a bit of help and TLC now and then. The mainly senior guides definitely deserve it, as they keep the old goal open seven days a week throughout the year. That’s a massive effort!

When the Crookes family, the Fremantle Society and the Port Pilots were still up on Arthur’s Head there was 24/7 activation. The kids brought friends home from Lance Holt school. They played on the grass, had lemonade stands to sell drinks to tourists, the Society held Bocce nights, heritage festival and Australia Day events, etc. And there was a lot of interaction from the verandas with passing visitors, but all that was not good enough for our elected members.

The place has now become an eyesore after many artists failed to succeed in the residential former pilots’ cottages, and even the Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre does not have a big impact there.

Fremantle Council wants more activation, but closes the Whalers Tunnel at 7pm, which is well before sun set in summer. It could have made the pilots’ cottages into B&B to guarantee activation of Captain’s and Mrs Trivett Lane, but instead they added them to the artist studios program of the Fremantle Arts Centre, which means that many don’t even have to, or are allowed to, open to the public.

Arthur’s Head is shambles, it brings shame on Fremantle, and it is a sign of very bad governance of the area. And of course the State Government conveniently states that the cliff was vested in the City of Fremantle so it is not their problem to stabilise the cliff face, do urgent repairs and beautifications, and show a serious interest in the historic Roundhouse. All that while Fremantle Prison and the Shipwrecks and Maritime museums are getting all the financial support they need from the state government.

It is not good enough Fremantle Council and Premier Mark McGowan!

Roel Loopers



July 13 Kidogo NAIDOC


Fremantle’s Kidogo Arthouse at Bathers Beach has artists from the Irrungadji community in residence this weekend, so go and say hello and check out their colourful story telling creations.

NAIDOC Week is an important time to connect-even more- with our indigenous people, so don’t forget to go and view the show and have a chat.

Roel Loopers




J Shed 1

E Shed in B Shed

C Shed in B Shed


The story of four old sheds in three photos. Late afternoon light created the J Shed art studios exterior, while the windows of the B Shed cafe offered great reflections of C Shed and the E Shed markets.

Yes indeed, This is Fremantle! 😎

Roel Loopers






I am delighted that the great SCULPTURE AT BATHERS exhibition will be back on next year with the organisers calling for entries.

The show at Fremantle’s Bathers Beach attracted thousands of people in the past and is a great showcase of Western Australian 3D art.

Roel Loopers

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