REVIEW: Waifs reunion in Albany a sound journey

Headshot of Kellie Balaam
Kellie BalaamAlbany Advertiser
The Waifs perform at the AEC.
Camera IconThe Waifs perform at the AEC. Credit: Kellie Balaam/Kellie Balaam

Albany’s much-loved musical trio The Waifs rocked out to hundreds of fans last week at the first gig on their WA tour.

Excited to be back in their home town, The Waifs reunited on stage at Albany Entertainment Centre last Wednesday for the first time in 12 months.

The outbreak of COVID-19 brought the live music industry to a halt worldwide, splitting band members and forcing the cancellation of shows.

Attracting fans young and old from across the region, there was a buzz of anticipation in the air before the hometown stars took to the stage.

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The Waifs began the show with their 2015 song February, an upbeat track setting the mood for the evening with Vikki Thorn belting out the lyrics.

Vikki Thorn.
Camera IconVikki Thorn. Credit: Kellie Balaam

Thorn’s older sister Donna Simpson told the crowd it was a special gig for her as it was the first time her partner had seen The Waifs live.

She laughed as she found some songs hard to sing because they were about ex-partners.

The singer and guitarist had the crowd laughing when she “had to Google the lyrics” to a song the trio had not played in about 20 years.

Thorn shone throughout the night, her harmonica sending out waves of sound that washed over the audience.

A slow, swaying song called The Coast was about rumours of the Albany coastline, she told the crowd.

“It was about the coastline being haunted, and people feeling presences out there,” she said.

Donna Simpson rocks out on her guitar.
Camera IconDonna Simpson rocks out on her guitar. Credit: Kellie Balaam

Josh Cunningham showed his vocal talent with Since I’ve Been Around — a melancholy, gentle track about his home town in NSW which he tailored to Albany for the night after spending time here in his younger years playing with the sisters.

A fan favourite, 2002 hit London Still, had some of the crowd singing along and others out of their seats dancing.

A more recent hit, Black Dirt Track, sounded amazing live, with a double bass providing a deep resonance.

Following an encore, Thorn said it would not be a Waifs gig without the band playing Bridal Train, which proved the perfect way to end the night.

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