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Peter Freebairn - Australian singer, somgwriter, guitarist and recording artist.

Australian singer, songwriter and guitarist Peter Freebairn grew up in the Northern suburbs of Melbourne in the mid 70s. At the age of 11, he became fascinated with the guitar – “I loved the look, sound and smell of the instrument” – Peter explains.


He scraped and saved, and with a little help from his parents, became the proud owner of his first acoustic guitar. Drawn to the sounds of The Beatles and Neil Young, Freebairn had mastered enough chords to play along to his favourite songs.


The following year he took possession of his first electric guitar and began jamming with other music-crazed kids in his neighbourhood; mostly blasting out 12 bar blues and Status Quo boogie.


By the time he had turned 14, Freebairn formed his first band which he named RAGE. The band comprised of himself on guitar, a second guitarist, bassist, drummer and his older brother Ross on vocals. RAGE was a classic garage band that mostly performed at parties, lunchtime school gigs and local halls.


Around this time Peter found his second passion in life which was surfing. He and his drummer friend Paul Boyle would often perform impromptu gigs in the sand dunes on the beaches on the West Coast of Victoria with an audience of up to 30 young enthusiasts. 


At age 17, Freebairn formed an acoustic duo playing covers around the Melbourne pubs. He soon grew tired of playing other people’s songs and moved to Sydney to form rock band NEO CLASSIQUE. For the next 12 months, the band played the cities Northern Beach pub circuit. In 1990, Peter moved back to Melbourne to play solo acoustic shows around the local clubs and pubs.


Freebairn’s first big break came in the early 2000s with his band THE WISH. After recording demos of several new self-penned songs, he pitched them to music publishers across the country, and soon landed a lucrative publishing agreement with BMG. These demos also caught the ear of former Savage Garden co-founder and guitarist Daniel Jones who promptly agreed to record and produce the material at his Queensland based home studio. These recording sessions were engineered by former Southern Sons guitarist, Peter ‘Reggie’ Bowman who also contributed bass to the recordings. Powderfinger guitarist Darren Middelton also contributed a guitar solo on one of the tracks.


The partnership with Jones resulted in the national radio hits, ‘Love Is Alive’, ‘Gotta Let You Know’ and ‘Don’t Change’. Following the 9/11 attack on American soil in September 2001, Freebairn was moved to write the heartfelt song, ‘Faith Alive’. The songs’ lyrical theme encouraged people to be strong during times of grief, loss and tragedy. In 2006 the song was submitted to a Music Supervisor at NBC TV Network in Los Angeles.


‘Faith Alive’ was subsequently selected by the producers of a new US television comedy drama series, Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip which co-starred Matthew Perry (Perry is best known for his role as Chandler Bing in the mega hit popular long-running television comedy series, Friends).


“Faith Alive” understandably had a huge impact on US viewers when a promotional clip of the episode the song was featured in was aired during the Golden Globe Awards in 2006. The song can be heard here


After The Wish disbanded in 2006, Freebairn formed a new rock band called RADIO VERTIGO. The band played the Melbourne pub circuit and released two critically acclaimed EPs; ‘Town Of Deceivers’ and ‘Evolution’. The former included the track ‘Free’ which received national radio airplay including Triple M Melbourne.

Radio Vertigo in 2011. L to R: Ryan Adamson (bass), Peter Freebairn (guitar / lead vocals), Jo George (keys / backing vocals), Paul Boyle (drums).

In 2019, he released his first solo recording, a 6-track self-titled EP. This work proved to be extremely popular across the vast community radio network with many of the tracks receiving generous airtime.


In 2021-2022, Freebairn was a crowd pleaser opening for Melbourne band Jacobs Run’s residency at the now defunct popular Richmond venue Jimmy Hornet.


Early 2023, Freebairn had a spurt of creativity which resulted in the recording of his first solo full-length body of work which he titled ‘Silhouettes and Cigarettes’. Freebairn arranged, produced, recorded and played all instruments on the album except for the drums. He recruited former Radio Vertigo band mates Paul Boyle to play drums and Jo George who contributed harmony vocals and keys on the track ‘I Got Lucky (I Got You)’ which was the first single lifted from the album in February 2024. ‘Silhouettes and Cigarettes’ was released by the Pop Preservation Society label on 17th May, 2024. 


Peter Freebairn is an extremely gifted singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. His beautifully constructed melodic songs often reflect his life experiences and his love for his family. He’s also a down-to-earth Aussie bloke who has a keen sense of humour. While conducting a recent radio interview, he was asked “Does anyone else in your family share your musical talent?” to which Peter responded - “My mother once had a sewing machine that was a singer.”


Peter’s many musical influences include; The Beatles, Neil Young, Tom Waits, The Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones, Peter Gabriel, Curtis Mayfield, Robin Trower (Procol Harum), XTC, Jellyfish and Matthew Sweet. Peter is still a keen surfer. He lives with his wife and two daughters in the leafy Northern suburbs of Melbourne.

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