Waifs stray back to home State

Jackson Lavell-LeeAugusta Margaret River Times
The Waifs return to their spiritual home, Margaret River, to play at Heart next month.
Camera IconThe Waifs return to their spiritual home, Margaret River, to play at Heart next month. Credit: Busselton-Dunsborough Times

WA music legends The Waifs will return to their old stomping ground, Margaret River, during a homecoming WA regional tour.

The three-piece ensemble, originally from Albany, have just returned from a sold-out 25-day regional tour of Victoria travelling to new frontiers for the band, like their muse, folk legend Bob Dylan.

Their version of the never-ending tour has also included a memorable stretch where they passed through eight States in the US in only 14 hours to celebrate their 2017 ARIA chart topping album — Ironbark.

The Waifs singer Donna Simpson said the band was returning to visit friends at their “historic home ground” with memories of “camping by the river after shows and running away from the ranger in the morning.”

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“There is nothing better than packing a car full of people and heading down south in the WA summer to see all the beaches and play some tunes — we need our down south fix,” she said.

“It’s something iconic to do — hit the road and catch up with old mates.”

She said her first live show experience was as a naive teen from Albany at Settlers Tavern.

The three “middle-class, guitar-playing children of fisherman” celebrated 25 years of touring with cathartic album Ironbark.

“We camped out in Josh’s half-built house in coastal NSW, set up microphones in the kitchen, and recorded live. If you listen really close you can hear the crickets and the frogs,” Simpson said.

The singer songwriter lost her best friend earlier this year and said writing was her way to process her grief.

“Music lifted me up and helped us cope with the toughest tragedies. That’s why I do it — it can be hard to find the inspiration but sometimes you’re hit with something emotional and I deal with it through song,” she said.

“Songwriting is like fishing — you have to sit and wait, in a therapeutic way, and sometimes it just happens quickly from beginning to end.”

Regarding the bands friendship with Bob Dylan, Simpson said the Pulitzer Prize winner was “just a really nice bloke.”

“There is so much mystery to Bob,” she said.

“His personality is absolutely brilliant and he liked our passion and where we were from.”

The Waifs will perform at HEART on January 29. Tickets are available from Oztix.

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