Friday, March 15, 2019


Uncertain whether I would be lion enough to manage this, given I have spent the last five days driving from my home, in the middle of England, to Sweden, via (a ferry to) Holland, Germany and Denmark. And now, a return journey. No, not escaping the shitstorm of Brexit, even if I'd like to, delivering instead my son to his girlfriend, and a new life, in Malmo. But, no lamb me, here I sit, in the cold, literally, light of early morning, tapping away, making me feel, in the middle of Westphalia, quite the adventurer. Which is a clunky way of introducing this tune and the band that play it, Australia's the Waifs, australians seeming always the most inveterate of travellers. (As they display with this early number.)

This song is from their sixth album, 'Temptation', in 2011, by which time they had moved from becoming world famous in their homeland to slightly known elsewhere. A support slot with Bob Dylan clearly did no harm, transporting them from his 2003 tour of Oz to the north american continuation thereof. I had come across them from appearances on the UK festival circuit around that time, liking the rootsy sounds, amalgamating bits of folk with blues and country. Consisting of two sisters, growing up with their dad's record collection, and a busker they met, asking him to join their band within hours, or so the story goes, a name was steadily built.

What's it about? I guess it sounds a standard gospel/blues standard; indeed, I thought it was. Actually it was penned by Josh Cunningham, the aforesaid busker, and stems from his becoming a born-again christian. Round about the same time, one of the sisters, Donna Simpson, got sober, with some of the other songs recounting that journey. I have no record of what the other sister/other member Vicki Thorn was going through at the time, but it is a fine, if sometimes galling, record.

Two records have followed, in 2014 and 2017 respectively. The title track of the latter, 'Ironbank', effectively offers an explanation of how and why they still exist. I'm glad they do.

Moses & the Lamb, here

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