I saw Aussie folk trio The Waifs live a couple of years ago and was incredibly disappointed. Not because they were bad, because they certainly weren’t, but because I don’t think their song choices were particularly appropriate. Though it was at a festival and their time on stage was limited, they only played a couple of older songs and the rest were new and mostly unfamiliar tunes and as a result it was quite hard to get excited by their set. I think that perhaps I wasn’t the only person thinking this way, because they are currently touring here in Australia and they’ve encouraged people to request their favourite songs by email, making sure that each show contains all those old favourites. I think this is a sensational idea and would definitely make for a top gig.

In addition to being on tour, they’re also releasing their new album on February 7th. As of today, it can be preordered from their website for $25 – that’s $25 AUSTRALIAN which may appeal to those of you from the north! It’s a live album and I’m really looking forward to this one as their previous live release A Brief History is wonderful.

To give you an idea of what these guys are all about, here’s two of my favourite tracks from that album (the fact that both of them are about trains is a coincidence – this is not an album about public transport). ‘Crazy Train’ is a ripsnorter of a track that starts slow but definitely doesn’t finish that way – just listen to that harmonica. ‘Bridal Train’ is an absolutely gorgeous song about Australian war brides taking the train from Perth to Sydney before leaving to join their sailor husbands in America.

A telegram arrived today,
Well its time to catch the Monterey
‘Cause the man I wed, he waits for me
And a daughter that he’s yet to see

US Navy beamed its message,
Will deliver brides on a one way passage
It made big news across the nation
The bridal train leaves from Perth station

All the girls around Australia
Married to a Yankee sailor
The fare is paid across the sea
To the home of the brave and the land of the free

Bridal Train – The Waifs

Crazy Train – The Waifs

Image from The Waifs’ website.