The Waifs IronbarkThe Waifs at Perth Concert Hall, Perth, Thursday March 2, 2017.

A fair few years have passed since West Aussie folk darlings The Waifs began their musical journey together, and what better venue to soak up the 25th anniversary celebratory vibes than the Southern Hemisphere’s most sonically succulent room – the Perth Concert Hall.

Armed with a guitar and an impressive vocal range, Lucy Peach warmed the ears of the early arrivers. Be So Good demonstrated her strong songwriting and the venue’s superb acoustics – this was a brief but enjoyable set from the local songstress, and a fine choice to kick the night off.

Cutting straight into Lighthouse and the familiar opening strums of London Still, The Waifs instantly had us swaying, with Fisherman’s Daughter and I Won’t Go Down following close behind. Sincerity oozed from each vocal, guitar lick and drum kick, with Joshua Cunningham’s cool axe chops a particular highlight – they’re a treat to witness live, with every slide and percussive tap adding dexterous depth.

The effervescent Ironbark (the titular track from the group’s new album) proves The Waifs’ songwriting light still shines bright all these years on, and after its performance, Donna, Vikki and Joshua moved to centre stage, where they sat and shared songs and stories from the last quarter century. Playful banter between tracks gave the stage/listener relationship a ‘friends around the campfire’ feel.

Vikki Thorn once described The Waifs as a band “you can bring your parents and your kids to hear,” and as the gorgeous Crazy Train concluded a memorable night, young and old alike left smiling, knowing they were included, with hearts full of love.

Ironbark is out now via Jarrah Records/MGM.

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