Waifs A Brief History of…

The release of a live album is long overdue for this band who make their living one night at a time in bars and concert halls around the world. To lay out the Waifs’ history in song is a chance to not only hear the development of three consistently powerful songwriters, but to trace the themes and ideas that have formed the basis for a wealth of their lyrical content. These by and large take the form of road gospels: epistles on the loneliness of a tour bus, disappointment that home hasn‘t stayed the same when you return and the need of salvation for the lost and wayfaring traveller. Far from being a worn out motif, the Waifs are continually able to spin new wool into old yarns and reveal sides of travel songs not seen before. Near breakthrough hit "London Still” might draw you into the collection with its airy nostalgia for the consistency of home but the Simpson sisters will continue to entrance you with their rustic voices and earthy harmonies on bluegrass tinged "When I Die,” the provocative "Haircut,” and the mastery of new single "Bridal Train.” Really the only weak point of the album is the faux hip-folk experiment "Billy Jones,” which, despite the fact one fan screams fervently for it, isn’t a rousing endorsement of Australian folk-rap. (Compass)