Various – Rewiggled A Tribute To The Wiggles

Some people might find the idea of a Wiggles tribute album to be less hot potato and more half-baked. After all, who is it really for? Is it one for children to graduate to post-infancy? A gift for the indie kids wanting to recapture their youths; or for the long-suffering parents of Wiggles fans to get some sweet revenge? Given the mass appeal of the band, it seems that each of these options is plausible.

The skivvied ones turn 20 this year and are to be inducted into the ARIA Hall Of Fame. To celebrate, ABC Music have rallied 20 Australian artists to cover the group in various musical styles and genres from rockabilly to indie rock; pop to punk; and folk to swamp rock. Rewiggled clocks in at 50 minutes making it the perfect record for Generation Z and their short attention spans with the majority of the songs coming in at under two-and a-half minutes or thereabouts. Every artist makes the song there own and there’s no sign of a reverential homage here, just tongue-in-cheek celebrations and musicians – like their inspiration – not taking themselves too seriously.

The Living End kick things off with perhaps The Wiggles’ most famous tune, Hot Potato. It is full of screams, gusto and energy in spades, so really not all that far removed from the trio’s typical fanfare. Similarly, Frenzal Rhomb offer Captain’s Magic Buttons with a bratty version full of yelling and just sounding like a bunch of punk kids breaking away from the naughty corner.

In Wiggly Party Architecture In Helsinki prove they could throw in the indie pop musical towel to become children’s entertainers. With childish voices, they make this particular celebration as weird and wonderful as their very own material. In contrast, Adalita does a very adult (read: sultry and sassy) version of Get Ready To Wiggle with her trademark blend of rock chick chic.

In fact, a lot of the female artists transform the songs into more adult renditions, but mostly of the tender variety with Sarah Blasko’s I Love It When It Rains proving an excellent piano ballad with her sweet, Joni Mitchell-like vocals. Then there’s Clare Bowditch doing a fresh-from-the-sea whisper on Georgia’s Song and Angie Hart with a broody, Ladytron-like Our Boat Is Rocking On The Sea.

Murray Cook – the red Wiggle – said that he and the band are in awe of the artists that contributed to the set. The feeling is obviously mutual. While the collection can prove rather odd at times, it is certainly fun and diverse, with Cook noting that the artists almost “Make The Wiggles seem hip!” While this is debatable, they do prove that there is much more to entertaining kids – both regular and big ones – than mere child’s play…