The Wombats… A Riesling to be cheerful

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The Wombats… A Riesling to be cheerful

Sometimes we all need a Riesling to be cheerful – and if news of our favourite furry friends The Wombats returning down under this November isn’t reason enough, I’m not quite sure what is.
Still reveling in the afterglow of their sold out Australian tour some months ago, as well as a pivotal performance at Byron Bay’s Splendour in The Grass, The Wombats are bringing the love back once again.
With a string of headline shows lined up for Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane, the forthcoming tour will also see the English rockers play slots at both Canberra’s Spilt Milk festival and Victoria’s Grapevine Gathering.
“It’s going to be our first time playing a winery, which we’re very excited about,” exclaims Dan Haggis, drummer of the band. “We’re all big fans of wine and we’ve actually been to a couple of wineries in Australia just to do some tastings and what not,” continues Dan. “So when the tour came in that was the first thing that we heard and we were like, ‘let’s do it.’
“I mean, it’d be a shame not to… especially with all that wine on offer,” he laughs. “Plus, a few of the places on this tour are places we hadn’t managed to play last time, so it’s a great opportunity to make the rounds.”
Playing to what was a brimming Amphitheatre on the final night of this year’s Splendour in The Grass festival, the prolific three-piece confirmed the long-held notion that The Wombats are one of Australia’s most beloved touring acts.
“Splendour is always absolutely unbelievable and such a party,” expresses Dan. “It’s just so nice to see that many people having such a great time collectively.
“It’s infectious – it really rubs off on you,” he continues. “And that Aussie tour was just mind-blowing as a whole.”
It’s no question that our favourite marsupials enjoy a cheeky visit to our sunburnt country, especially given how often they frequent the place – but what is it exactly that keeps them coming back for more?
“It’s a number of things really, but I mean, obviously the fact that since we first came over you guys have just seemed to embrace us,” explains Dan. “It was one of the first countries that really ‘got’ the band, you know, and I think that initial connection has given us a really strong bond with the country. Also just the language, the culture and the sense of humour – there are lots of things that are similar to home,” he smiles before continuing, “even though it’s a f#ck of a long way to travel.”
With an extensive catalogue of rocket tracks including the likes of ‘Let’s Dance to Joy Division’, ‘Jump Into The Fog’ and ‘Lemon To a Knife Fight’, The Wombats return to our land with a fresh offering. Released during late August – only months after recent album ‘Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life’ – ‘Bee-Sting’ makes for yet another belter of a track.
“We’ve had loads of good feedback,” says Dan. “Even though we haven’t played it at a show yet, thanks to social media we can see that people are really loving it.
“And because we tour a lot, it’s always nice for us when we get to put out new music.
“Bee-Sting is almost an add on to ‘Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life,” he says of the new track. “I feel as though it’s in that same world for us and off the same palate.”
While the boys will be enjoying a vino or two pre-performance during their next visit to Australia, you’ll usually catch them practicing yoga, or having a sing-along before taking to the stage.
“About an hour before each show it’s kind of cut off time,” tells Dan. “Whatever we’ve been doing through the day, we try and put that aside and be at the actual place we’re going to play so we can start soaking up some of the vibe.
“For me personally, I typically like to listen to music, do a little bit of yoga and then just start warming up and singing along to some songs – really just getting your brain into music mode,” he says.
Grab your partner in wine and join the party when The Wombats return to Australia this Spring.
When & Where: Palais Theatre, Melbourne – Monday 19 November & Grapevine Gathering, Rochford Wines, Yarra Valley – Saturday 24 November (SOLD OUT)
Written by Helena Metzke