Icons re­turn from three-year break

Pilbara News - - Lifestyle - Gareth McKnight

■ It has been 23 years since the Waifs formed as a three-piece, with the world-renowned group set to head­line the Red Earth Arts Fes­ti­val as part of a highly an­tic­i­pated WA tour.

It has been a whirl­wind jour­ney for the trio, who have re­leased their sev­enth al­bum Beau­ti­ful You, and will wow a Kar­ratha au­di­ence with a mix of new ma­te­rial and all the old favourites.

Sis­ters Donna Simp­son and Vicki Thorn first trav­elled from Albany to Broome as 20 and 16-year-olds back in 1992, where they met gui­tarist Josh Cun­ning­ham and im­me­di­ately hit it off.

The trio, one of Aus­tralia’s most recog­nis­able bands, have had world­wide suc­cess since.

Over the years the band’s style and sound has evolved, with ap­pre­ci­a­tion and an ar­dent fol­low­ing all over the globe.

The Waifs have won four Aus­tralian Record­ing In­dus­try Awards and have played along­side some of the most pres­ti­gious artists of the mod­ern day.

The band fin­ished their Temp­ta­tion Tour at the Man­grove Re­sort Ho­tel in Broome back in 2011 — which proved to be their last show for three years.

Waifs songstress Vicki Thorn told The Pil­bara News the gig in 2011 had the po­ten­tial to be their last.

“We did that show in Broome four years ago as the last gig of our tour — some­thing about that gig felt like we might have come full cir­cle, ” she said. “Af­ter that Broome gig we didn’t play for three years and we didn’t re­ally know whether we would play again, but we fi­nally de­cided to get back to­gether and start to tour.

“We found there was a re­newed love and pas­sion for it and we wanted to keep go­ing.”

Beau­ti­ful You has won ac­claim from crit­ics al­ready, with Thorn re­veal­ing a dif­fer­ent method to writ­ing the al­bum this time round.

“We tried to write this al­bum to­gether, we set aside some time and rented a house on the south coast, ” she said.

“The band has never writ­ten a song to­gether, we al­ways write in­de­pen­dently so I had the idea of writ­ing a whole al­bum to­gether — but we got there and we couldn’t do it and couldn’t find our mojo to­gether — it was re­ally strange and funny.

“We ended up writ­ing a heap of songs there but it would be one of us go­ing off to the bed­room, writ­ing a song and com­ing back to the kitchen ta­ble and play­ing it.

“That’s how the al­bum came about — it wasn’t the col­lab­o­ra­tive process we were look­ing for but it hap­pened any­way.” The first sin­gle, 6000 Miles, has Thorn con­tem­plat­ing the dis­tance be­tween her old home in Albany and her new one in the US State of Utah.

Thorn said the new al­bum had fit­ted into the band’s back cat­a­logue per­fectly and the new ma­te­rial had been a hit in re­cent shows.

“It is fairly com­mon in the Waifs’ songs but this theme of be­ing away from home, trav­el­ling, long­ing — that’s what we do, that seems to be what we write about,” she said.

“Lyri­cally and emo­tion­ally the songs haven’t taken a big change, but it’s an up­beat al­bum. The first few songs are fairly nos­tal­gic and melan­cholic but from there it gets pretty up­beat.”

Thorn said that she hoped WA au­di­ences would re­late to the new ma­te­rial, but that an eclec­tic mix of the band’s ma­te­rial would be on of­fer.

“The new stuff is rockin’— it will be a fun show, ” she said.

“This is our sev­enth al­bum so we’ve got a lot of ma­te­rial to choose from to keep it up­beat.

“It is fun to put to­gether these out­door shows and put to­gether a re­ally rockin’ set.”

The Waifs will play along­side The Rubens, Katy Steele from Lit­tle Birdie, Mel­bourne soul out­fit Saskwatch, Win­ter­bourne, and Thom Lion and the Tamers on Septem­ber 19 at Windy Ridge Oval for the REAF open­ing week­end.

Tick­ets and in­for­ma­tion are avail­able at www.the­waifs.com.

Pic­ture: The Waifs

The Waifs will play on Septem­ber 19 at Windy Ridge Oval for the REAF open­ing week­end.

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