The Waifs tour hits Tamworth with new album, Ironbark, and celebrates 25th anniversary

BUSH BASH: The Waifs are coming back to Tamworth on the back of their latest and best album, according to Vikki Thorn, pictured second from left. Photo: Supplied
BUSH BASH: The Waifs are coming back to Tamworth on the back of their latest and best album, according to Vikki Thorn, pictured second from left. Photo: Supplied

COOKED up their guitarist’s unfinished kitchen, The Waifs are going bush with their latest album while giving a wink and a smile to their silver anniversary.

The Waifs have been a staple in the diet of Australian folk aficionados for 25 years and when it came time to dish up a new album, there was no looking past Joshua Cunningham’s, work-in-progress, kitchen.

A very conducive environment for creation, says founding member Vikki Thorn.

The band’s eight album is a “very true Waifs record”, Thorn says, recorded live with the three piece bringing tunes to the table potluck-style.

The end-result was a 25-song feast of a double album titled Ironbark, released in their 25th year.

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Thorn says its the band’s best work with songwriting, playing and singing becoming more and more polished over the last quarter century.

The Waifs’ tour kicks-off on the south coast on November 19, winding around Australia avoiding most capital cities and stopping in a number of regional centres, including Tamworth.

The cities weren’t ignored, they were ticked off on an earlier tour, but the shows are markedly different.

The singer-songwriter says the theatre venues in regional towns give the band a “good chance to tell a lot of stories”, which isn’t as available in the crowded pub venues elsewhere.

It’s a conflicted tour in its way, promoting a new album while also looking back over 25 years.

It’s not a sign of winding things up, it’s more a like a batsman raising the bat for a toiled-50 and like Josh’s kitchen, there’s still work to be done.

“I doubt we’ll stop touring,” Thorn said.

“The doors are still open and Australian audiences are very supportive.”

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Tamworth’s concert calendar is crammed with Australian music stalwarts, with Paul Kelly playing TRECC two week before The Waifs tread the boards at the Town Hall.

Now based in Utah, Thorn recently saw Paul Kelly play in Salt Lake City; his songs and sound a moving experience for an Aussie abroad.

The Waifs - Black Dirt Track
  • The Waifs play Tamworth Town Hall on Thursday, November 23.