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The Waifs + Mama Kin - Enmore Theatre (28.02.11)

I walked into the bustling hive that was the Enmore Theatre on an extra special Saturday night.

The Waifs are back in town.

It's definitely been a while since they were here. Two years in fact, since they've played a show in Sydney. It was clear from the anticipation in the air that they'd been sorely missed.

The crowd was an interesting assortment of people. People from all walks of life, young, old and obviously fans who had been around since the Waifs started doing shows around town. It resulted in a warm, cheerful ambience and a delight to be amongst real fans of an amazing Aussie band.

Mama Kin was opening for the Waifs. I walked in about halfway through her set, to a voice husky, sultry and with a hell of a lot of soul. Interacting with the crowd was her speciality. Cracking jokes, wandering off on different tangents, and then bursting into song and you're sitting there thinking damn, this girl can sing.

Some of the songs sounded dull, but she always kept us entertained, mixing it up enough to even bring a friend on-stage to beatbox to one of her tracks, a big surprise which got the audience readily on their feet.

After a break, The Waifs came on stage.

They possess this unequivocally comfortable presence, breaking the ice easily, sharing tidbits about how it felt to be back performing in Australia. When Donna said "I missed Australia so, so much", you knew she was genuine.

The moment Chris began to play the opening riff to "Lighthouse Man", the crowd were completely on-board, drunken revellers were having a blast, but it didn't distract from their performance in the slightest. They were responding positively to the sheer joy amongst some of the audience, and they reflected that energy back into the crowd.

They also played a few tracks from the new album "Temptation" including the title track which garnered a good reaction from the crowd. This new album is their sixth studio album, and judging from the response it seems it will be warmly welcomed by Australian fans.

"SunDirtWater" was a special moment, utilising the cool thumping sounds of the double bass and Vicki's hot and heavy vocals, it showed the versatility of the band to step away from their predominantly country and blues influenced sound to something akin to smooth jazz/lounge. Besides, how often do you get to see a double bass in action?

Of course they couldn't leave without playing two of their more popular tunes, "Bridal Train" and "London Still". During the latter, they were clearly quite emotional, reminiscing about their lives in Sydney before they hit it big and moved over to the States. The crowd was listening intently, allowing them the chance to reminisce as well.

But the audience wanted more, even after their first encore so they came out a second time. They came to a close performing "Gillian", with the crowd swaying in unison.

It was a beautiful performance from an Aussie band that hadn't been home in a long time. The adoration from a packed out Enmore showed that the love from their fans hadn't wavered one bit.