Warm welcome for The Waifs

By Anthony Probert | posted on December 16, 2017

THE Waifs were welcomed back to the place where it all started with open arms last weekend, wrapping up their 25th anniversary tour with two near sell-out shows in Albany.

Rusted-on Waifs fans would concede there were no big surprises in their solid two hour set that was equal parts banter and music, apart, maybe, from the cover of House of the Rising Sun.

But the realisation that it was an international act on the Albany Entertainment Centre stage, and not just some home-grown talent done good, was too hard to ignore.

In an interview with The Weekender prior to The Waifs’ two-night stand at AEC, guitarist Josh Cunningham was on the money when it came to the choice of venue.

The band seemed to relish the controlled environment of the indoor sit-down venue, rather than the usual open-air let-your-hair-down affair.

After the harmonies from ‘the Simpson sisters’ were hung out and dried, you could have heard a pin drop as the final chords hung in the air on any number of Waifs favourites, except for the noisy chatter from the latecomers somewhere near row C – we’ll cutthem some slack, heaven forbid they were probably just trying to have a good time together.

Self-confessed “set-list Nazi”, Vikki, got it spot-on too, delivering what the audience wanted and when they wanted it.

The band announced themselves all present and correct with opener Lighthouse and interspersed crowd favourites among a few select covers and the endearing pre-song banter throughout the set.

The chatter in row C obviously turned to tears as Waif Donna revealed she hadn’t really been in London all that long when she wrote London Still – but the singalong was great.

When The Waifs walked off stage the first time, the audience might have suspected an encore was coming because the band hadn’t played Take It In.

They made us wait, but the final three songs were worth it.

The duet with Cunningham and Waif Vikki was a lesson in restraint – Cunningham is one of the best in the business.

Finally, with the whole band on stage, including the unsung backline of Ben Franz and Dave MacDonald, Take It In…and we did.