The Unusual Commoners to play 19+ show Sept. 26
Last time, they had their audience cheering and singing along with their near-perfect rendition of "Squid Jiggin' Ground." This time, they claim to have learned the tongue-twisting, speed-increasing, even-the-best-local-band-sometimes-messes-it-up tune, "The Rattlin' Bog."
We'll see how well members of The Wiggles do when they bring their adult-only side band, The Unusual Commoners, back to the Rock House on George Street in St. John's Sept. 26.
They're no stranger to hamming it up for the younger crowd, whether it's during their 200 or so live shows a year around the world, on their hit TV show, or on one of their many CDs and DVDs (of which they've sold more than 30 million).
Over the past year, starting with their debut gig in St. John's last fall, members of the Australian kids musical super-group have expanded their repertoire to get grown-up audiences folk-rocking.
The Unusual Commoners' debut last year had originally been scheduled for The Ship, but was moved to the Rock House due to demand. In front of an enthusiastic crowd of about 300, blue Wiggle Anthony Field, purple Wiggle Lachy Gillespie and two of The Wiggles band members — Oliver Brian and David O'Reilly — performed a set of traditional Celtic tunes and Australian folk songs, throwing in some "Whiskey in the Jar," "Dirty Old Town" and others, with Field breaking out the bagpipes.
By request, they had members of the crowd singing along as they added a little "Hot Potato," just for fun.
The other Wiggles members, including yellow Wiggle Emma Watkins, red Wiggle Simon Pryce, "Captain Feathersword" Paul Paddick and dancer Caterina Mete made appearances here and there, providing harmonies and backup dancing. The Telegram's Tara Bradbury hosted the event.
"It was so special for us Aussies," Field told The Telegram of that show. "The audience sang, danced, laughed and made us feel so welcome, I hope it feels the same this time, too."
It was special for the Rock House, too.
"When I was watching The Wiggles with my young son years ago, I never thought in a million years I'd see them in a bar on George Street singing Irish drinking songs," said manager Tony Murray (who also manages The Ship). "It's great to have the Unusual Commoners back at the Rock House again this year. Last time was a blast."
The Wiggles will be in town for three family-friendly shows at Mile One Centre as part of their "Party Time!" tour, leaving the last one and heading straight to George Street, where they hope to recreate last year's magic.
The Unusual Commoners refuse to take any pay for the show. Instead, they will donate the proceeds, as they did last year, to the Janeway children's hospital.
"We hope we'll get a big crowd and make some money for a great cause ... as well as make some more beautiful memories together," Field said.
Tickets for the Unusual Commoners show are $15 at the door only (no advance tickets). Doors open at 9 p.m., with the show starting at 10 p.m.