Those who are versed in Australian folk will surely know The Waifs, known throughout the world for having some of the most recognized pieces of the genre.
Active since 1992 and still on stage, the band is made up of sisters Donna Simpson (vocals and guitar) and Vikki Thorn (vocals, harmonica and guitar), who share the stage with Josh Cunningham, who leads the vocals and accompanies with his guitar.
Not only have they traveled the world with their music. But, in addition, they have had up to 3 of their singles in the Top 50 of Greatest Hits of Australian Folk at the same time, in 2011. Likewise, they had the honor of accompanying Bob Dylan in 2003 at the concert of Newport Folk Festival.
TOP 10 OF THE BEST SONGS OF THE WAIFS
Although they are not currently among the most famous in folk, those who follow the track of the band from the beginning will remember some of these great successes. The fast.fm website lists them by number of streams in the following order:
- London Still – Up All Night (2003).
- Lighthouse – Up All Night (2003).
- Sun Dirt Water – Sun Dirt Water (2007).
- Beautiful You – Beautiful You (2015).
- Ironbark – Ironbank (2017).
- Higher Ground – Ironbank (2017).
- Bridal Train (studio version) – A Brief History… (2004).
- Highway One – Up All Night (2003).
- Fisherman’s Daughter – Up All Night (2003).
- I Learn The Hard Way – Temptation (2011).
SUMMARY OF HIS MUSICAL CAREER
The band began its history in Albany, Australia. Donna and Vikki, who already knew the stages before, had a band called ‘Colors’. Under that name, they would do folk covers of songs by the Everly Brothers and Bob Dylan in local bars.
During a local tour they met Josh Cunningham, an 18-year-old Australian pianist who was playing in a band at the time. The immediate chemistry brought them together in a 10-minute blues session that turned into an entire career spanning more than 20 years xxx.
‘Colors’ was renamed ‘The Waifs‘, combining string instruments of various kinds (guitar, ukulele, mandolin and bass) with vocals and drums. They toured the entire country from 1992 to 1996, achieving unprecedented local fame.
In 1996 they decided to take the big step: they were ready to stop being the typical local band that plays in bars every night. They moved to Melbourne and produced their first single, released in May on Outside Music. At the end of the century, it was one of the most important independent labels on the market.
Throughout their career they have been awarded some of the most important awards in folk music in Australia, including the National Live Music Awards.
Although their last album came out in 2017, they still attract the attention of their loyal audience and new folk lovers.
And you, did you already know this sensational band?