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From Kylie Minogue and The Kid LAROI to Steve Carell and Tame Impala, everyone wants a piece of The Wiggles in 2022.

If every decade has a trend, the Twenties have been hit with an injection of Nostalgia. Everything old is new again. Nostalgia has kept many of us sane for more than two years as we did our utmost to dodge an invisible mutating virus that moved through thin air. Thank fuck for nostalgia. It’s why — at least in part — The Wiggles have punctured pop culture.

The Wiggles are the soundtrack to some of our earliest, fondest memories — our first concert, our first film, our first album, our first toy, and our first dance. Much of the western world’s youth were raised on a diet of The Wiggles. And as the past and present collide, an outbreak of nostalgia has birthed a new generation of skivvy worshipers — with a contemporary twist.

Lil Nas X wants to collaborate with them, Hollywood A-lister Steve Carell wants to join them, and The Kid LAROI surprised fans in June with a “Toot, Toot, Chugga Chugga” rendezvous (“This next guest is the fucking Wiggles!”) during his sold-out set at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne. Thirty-one years after making their debut, history is repeating itself: Welcome to The Wiggles’ wonderful renaissance.

The Wiggles back stage with The Kid LAROI in Melbourne.

“Blue Minion, move to your left. Dorothy, a little to the right, please. Wags, take one step forward for me. Okay, hold those positions.” 

The Wiggles’ director Aaron Hill has, on this fresh autumn day in May, been tasked with shooting a frivolous viral video starring Steve Carell and The Wiggles to promote Minions: The Rise Of Gru. “Ready, set, action,” he yells to the four familiar characters in front of us. They’re dancing in a single row, as best they can, despite the fact that they can’t see their noses from within the black-as-night darkness of their elaborate and heavy costumes.

The brisk chill felt outside The Wiggles’ Hot Potato Studios — roughly forty kilometres inland from the CBD, in suburban Sydney — evidently hasn’t made its way inside. There is an obvious sweaty sheen spanning the faces of everyone in the studio. Three publicists, a director, producer, cameraman, audio technician, dancers, and the crew that will tomorrow strip The Wiggles of their skivvies to photograph them for the cover of Rolling Stone, are scattered across the room, seated on uncomfortable aluminium deck chairs. Despite the discomfort, it feels good to step back into the wacky world of The Wiggles. It’s a utopian place like no other. I first met The Wiggles four weeks earlier in Brisbane, when I was thrust into their orbit and inducted with open arms. “Nothing is off-limits,” I’m told. “Expect the unexpected.”

The Wiggles

The Wiggles, photographed on May 27, 2022, at Hot Potato Studios by Giulia Giannini McGauran. Creative: Katie Taylor. Stylist: Jana Bartolo. Hair and Makeup: Lei Tai. Production: Long Story Short. Photography assistant: Izaac Margin. Styling assistant: Kirsten Humphreys.

We’re on the ground floor of Hot Potato Studios. Long and windy corridors are lined with memorabilia. Plaques, awards, photos, posters, and advertisements litter the beige walls. It feels more like a museum, harbouring over thirty years of memories. There are old sets (including the original, but worse for wear, Big Red Car), and shelves piled with awards (more than twenty of them), all reminding visitors that they are in the presence of entertainment royalty. 

Although plenty have tried, no other children’s group in the world has managed to come close to The Wiggles’ legendary status.

Between the walls sits a large television studio where The Wiggles make their programs, a recording studio where they make their albums, a hair and makeup department, a wardrobe department, and a props room packed floor to ceiling. There’s a section dedicated to oversized fruits and vegetables like coconuts and pumpkins. An old wooden puppet of OG Purple Wiggle Jeff Fatt sits on a dusty old road case; it looks ready for a cameo in a Child’s Play prequel alongside Chucky. A large stuffed horse is draped over a vintage Wiggles-branded jukebox. There’s an almost unlimited number of artificial roses bunched into milk crates — which I suspect are for Dorothy, whose diet consists solely of red petals.

An old wooden puppet of OG Purple Wiggle Jeff Fatt sits on a dusty old road case inside Hot Potato Studios in Sydney. Photo by Jake Challenor.

It’s the kind of place you want to bring your friends to spend the night playing dress-up, an acid trip without the comedown. The possibilities are literally endless. There’s Kylie Minogue’s butchered pink skivvy (I’m told she “cut the neck” to make it “more flattering” on her), or one of Captain Feathersword’s many pirate hat and eye patch combos. The place is as magical as it is mystical, triggering childhood memories as we pass through each room. Back in the studio, there’s a flurry of activity as an unreleased Tame Impala track booms out of a Sony mega box.

“Shall we hit play on this song?” Hill asks Minions publicist, Lori Killesteyn, who today is moonlighting as a producer. “We might not be using this song,” she confesses to the four actors in oversized costumes, all patiently standing under the warmth of studio lights, well past breaking a sweat. “Don’t worry too much about staying in time,” Killesteyn says. “It’s just to get the vibe going.” The song is Tame Impala and Diana Ross’ funky collab, “Turn Up The Sunshine”. Unlike the cast of characters in front of us, the track is unfamiliar to everyone in the room. Its commercial release won’t come for another week, which is when the world will also learn that it appears on the soundtrack for the latest iteration in the popular Despicable Me franchise. 

Blue Minion, as the director is referring to him, looks stoned. Did he have a big session the night prior, I wonder? Topless, his large oval eyelids are halfway south. He’s wearing pants at least, a patchwork of Seventies-inspired denims with a bandana around his canary yellow domed noggin. The second Minion, who the director has chosen not to name for ease, appears more child-friendly than her drowsy offsider. I make a quick note to ask where a Minions stylist might shop, but forget to bring it up. This Minion is modelling a psychedelic pink top with yellow, black and white Seventies swirls stretching across the fabric, which barely makes it around her girthy barrel frame. On the bottom half, it’s crisp white bell bottoms that fall just short of her ankles, held up by a white belt with a centred dandelion yellow button.

In pursuit of the perfect take, the tiresome process of filming a soon-to-be viral video repeats itself over and over again. It’s trial and error, but, eventually, the director gets a take he seems happy with. “Good job,” Hill announces to the room, looking relieved. All four begin to unmask, taking in large gasps of warm studio air like its fresh oxygen. The fantasy begins to fade as one of the three publicists chimes in, possibly to kill the clapping which erupted, “Everyone together for a photo, please.” The four actors reinstate their masks, and like magic, The Wiggles appear. 

There’s Blue Wiggle Anthony Field, Red Wiggle Simon Pryce, Purple Wiggle Lachlan Gillespie, and the group’s newest member, Yellow Wiggle Tsehay Hawkins. They bounce onto the set, surrounded by Dorothy, Wags, and the two Minions. “Right, you are all going to do the John Travolta pose,” says another Wiggles publicist, Michael Hickson, who takes control, ensuring plenty of behind-the-scenes snaps are gathered and stored on some secret hard drive until the movie is announced, and this clip makes its internet debut. The Wiggles’ longtime publicist and protector, Bec Brown, leans in and whispers, “You know you can’t use any of this until it’s released, right?” She simultaneously hands me a tepid cup of coffee with three inches of foam. She’s got me good, the pro knows caffeine is every journo’s heroin.

Talking to everyone in and around The Wiggles’ very large camp, nobody can quite put their finger on the secret sauce that has made the group — formed in 1991 by Field and ex-members Murray Cook, Jeff Fatt, and Greg Page (plus Phillip Wilcher, who split after album one) — one of Australia’s biggest music exports. The friendly foursome met while studying early childhood learning together at Macquarie University in Sydney. It’s this education that is deeply woven into the DNA of The Wiggles and has remained part of the fabric that underpins everything they do. That, and family values. Just about everyone in The Wiggles’ wacky world is related by blood, marriage or some other means. The producers of Who Do You Think You Are? would have a field day, I think to myself.

“Anthony will eventually be the old guy with a cane in the theatre saying, ‘Okay, one more time’.” — Paul Field

At the end of 2012, Cook, Fatt and Page retired. They were replaced with Gillespie, Pryce and Emma Watkins, who became the band’s first female member. Many feared it would be the end, that the magic couldn’t be reconstructed. But Field, feeling like The Wiggles were only just getting started, refused to buckle. He wasn’t going anywhere. Field’s brother, Paul, who managed the multi-million-dollar Wiggles Inc. empire for more than two decades, remembers that period — and his younger brother’s defiance — vividly.

“There was someone working with us who said, ‘Oh, it might be easier if you do go’,” recalls Paul, who rings me from the car as he jets across the Sydney Harbour Bridge en route to a meeting about his new kids project, Peachy Keen. Field stood his ground: “But I want to keep going!” And, of course, he did. “Even though the lineup evolves and changes, Anthony will eventually be the old guy with a cane in the theatre saying, ‘Okay, one more time’,” says Paul, who reveals that Play School once turned Field away after an audition. He is also able to answer my burning question, declaring Field the secret sauce to The Wiggles’ success. It was the humble Blue Wiggle who held the vision, and had the passion, to modernise the band and bring together a melting pot of talent to push The Wiggles into uncharted territory, for new audiences. But no family is perfect.

The Wiggles, Sydney Show

The Wiggles’ OG Sydney Show in April 2022. Photo by Bec Brown.

It wasn’t long before Watkins and Gillespie began dating and wedding bells beckoned. The pair announced their engagement in 2015 and tied the knot in 2016, but the pressure of living and working together had proven too much; by 2018 they separated. In October last year, fan favourite Watkins stunned the Blue Wiggle as she shared her intent to quit the lineup after almost a decade on the road (“I didn’t see it coming,” he confesses). Her shock departure, however, made way for The Wiggles’ to shimmy and shake into the twenty-first century. The arrival of Tsehay Hawkins was celebrated by fans and media. Her representation for young people of colour will be felt for decades. The only negative reaction came from an outspoken conservative Nationals senator who told a Murdoch paper that the new line-up would destroy the group. “It was nice while it lasted. But you go woke, you go broke,” the senator said. Jokes on him. Words can hurt, but thankfully the opinions of old, white and irrelevant politicians are mere clickbait in 2022. The Wiggles are bigger and more relevant today than they have ever been.

Tsehay was born for this role, and we also wanted to reflect the diversity of Australia.” – Anthony Field

Sixteen-year-old Hawkins is a trailblazer. Born in Ethiopia, she was adopted by her Australian parents — mother Robyn, and father Reg — at five months old. The talented dancer and actor, who attended the famous Brent Street performing arts academy in Sydney, is now home-schooled. Hawkins first appeared with The Wiggles a year earlier, in a viral ‘Renegade’ dance challenge with Watkins on TikTok. She remained part of the ever-growing cast of performers that the group regularly enlists for live performances, music videos and television shows.

“Tsehay initially came in as a dancer, a Red Wiggle,” Anto, as he’s known to friends, tells me as we walk around the studio where the group makes all its content for broadcast and online channels. “That TikTok video with Emma has four or five million views,” he adds. “We actually asked her to join us the day after Emma resigned. She was born for this role, and we also wanted to reflect the diversity of Australia.” The offer was made over Zoom, and within days Hawkins was standing in front of cameras as the new Yellow Wiggle.


We out here 🚗 #thewiggles #fyp #renegade #renegadechallenge

♬ Lottery – K CAMP

Now a year into the gig, Hawkins recounts the days after that fateful virtual meeting that would upend life as she knew it. “OMG, yes!” is how she responded to the invitation from Field, and his nephew Luke, general manager of Wiggles Inc. “Mum was next to me, crying. Dad was in the background trying to keep Kendly, my little brother, quiet. It was the first day out of lockdown, so we drove straight to the studio and shot photos and started promo that day.” The next day Hawkins was on Channel Seven’s breakfast TV show Sunrise, followed by fifteen more interviews.

Her smile is infectious. Talking to Hawkins, you get the sense of a wise head on young shoulders. She is confident, intelligent and grateful to be waking up at sparrow-fart to meet the demands that the yellow skivvy commands. She’s also very self-aware. The gravity of her appointment to the world’s biggest kids band is not the least bit lost on the teenager.

“I was so nervous the day that The Wiggles announced I was replacing Emma. But I got an overwhelming outburst of support straight away. I was actually really surprised at how positive the feedback was, and how open to change the fans were, they just want to see singing and dancing. It’s so beautiful seeing kids at the shows with sunflowers in their hair,” says Hawkins, referring to her first contribution to the yellow skivvy’s legacy.

“I’ve seen little girls now wanting to wear their natural hair. A lot of kids straighten it to look like TV stars.” — Tsehay Hawkins.

Within days of becoming a full-time Wiggle, Hawkins was on the receiving end of an endless stream of love and support. Much of this came from a cheering chorus of minority groups celebrating for the generations that will grow up seeing someone who looks like them on the world stage. “A lot of the adoption community made contact,” she recalls, “and people from the African community. My little brother is Columbian, and I do salsa dancing, so even the Latino, and Afro-Latino communities all reached out and said ‘We are proud to have you representing us up on TV’.” 

Hawkins’ anointment has also inspired a reclamation among young people of colour. “I’ve seen little girls now wanting to wear their natural hair. A lot of kids straighten it to look like TV stars,” she explains. “It’s really beautiful to see that they are embracing what they look like and that it’s okay to be different. I didn’t have that representation growing up. It’s amazing that kids of colour are looking up to me,” she says, fighting tired eyes from the 4:00 a.m. alarm.

“I’ve started getting used to all the craziness here, it’s never a routine. Amazing things seem to pop up every second,” she admits, referencing the present day in which she just shot a viral video with Oscar-nominated Carell and Minions, and is now sitting down with Rolling Stone for this interview. Tomorrow she heads into rehearsals for The Wiggles’ brand new, as yet unannounced, TV show. “You never know what’s going to happen each day,” she says. “I’m loving it, every second of it. Being on the road, touring, is my favourite.”

We’re sitting in the Hot Potato Studios canteen, up on level one, which feels more like a large family kitchen. People stream in and out. Everyone stops for a chat while they make a cuppa, not realising that an interview is taking place. Hawkins, Gillespie and Pryce are all seated opposite me at one of the five or so dining tables in the room. Like big brothers protecting their younger sister, the Purple and Red Wiggles sit on either side of Hawkins, like bodyguards. As we slowly sip another tepid, frothy coffee, she recalls her earliest recollections of The Wiggles.

“Songs like ‘Dorothy (Would You Like to Dance?)’ and ‘Can You (Point Your Fingers and Do The Twist?)’ are embedded in my brain,” Hawkins says, with a genuine ear-to-ear grin. “I’ve got videos of me dancing around the house to those songs. We only had the CD singles at home and we’d put them on repeat, it probably drove my Dad mad.”

Listeners of radio station triple j have gone gaga for The Wiggles, and the feeling is mutual. It was an unsuspecting cover of Tame Impala’s “Elephant”, a psychedelic indie-rock anthem fit for stoners, that last year parachuted The Wiggles onto the playlists of Australia’s youth, hard-to-reach tastemakers and inner city hipsters. The same hipsters, mind you, that regurgitated their deconstructed avocado on rye when ten months later the cover stampeded to the top of the Hottest 100. The cover song, recorded at the station’s Sydney studios in late February as part of its breakfast show’s weekly ‘Like A Version’ segment, surprised many — including Field.

“Someone explained that you do a cover version of something,” he tells me from the level one boardroom at Hot Potato Studios. “Old school me suggested AC/DC, Jimmy Barnes, Sky Hooks, Ross Willson, Mental As Anything, basically some older Australian group that I love. But triple j gave us a list of more contemporary artists,” Field admits, who struggles to recall the ten or so other artists that could have, possibly, maybe, been solely responsible for aiding and abetting what would inevitably become the most significant viral moment of the current decade for The Wiggles. I make a mental note to track down this list.

After cruising around the wiggly headquarters for two days, you get to know people. I’m introduced to Nick Webb, who has the fancy and important title of special projects manager. I’ve no idea what that means. I’m not even convinced he knows. But the hack in me realises that this man holds many secrets, plus he just looks cool. Webb joined Wiggles Inc. this year from the band’s longtime record label, ABC Music, where he worked for more than seven years. ABC Music is the same label that took a gamble on The Wiggles’ very first album, back when the market for locally produced children’s music was non-existent. The independent label is also operated by triple j’s parent, the government-funded ABC. Surely my new mate Webb can locate the original list of bangers that were pitched to The Wiggles? 

As hoped, we’ve struck gold, folks. Webb’s got the list tucked away in a draw. He dusts it off for me. Turns out The Wiggles had choices, fifteen of them to be exact. On the ‘could have been’ list were The Weekend’s “Blinding Lights”, PNAU’s “Chameleon”, Rihanna,’s “Umbrella”, Sofi Tukker’s “Purple Hat”, Chemical Brothers’ “The Salmon Dance”, Amy Shark’s “I Said Hi”, Broods’ “Peach”, Glass Animals’ “Heat Waves”, Rex Orange County’s “Loving Is Easy”, Flume and Vera Blue’s “Rushing Back”, and, wait for it, “Old Town Road” by Wiggles fanboy, Lil Nas X. The Grammy winning artist recently tweeted his aspirations to collaborate with The Wiggles, a very real prospect. Both Nas and the OG Wiggles are booked to play Falls Festival this December.

“I went home to my daughter Lucia,” says Field, and showed her the list.” And Lucia said, ‘Tame Impala’. The Wiggles got to work, spending full days in the studio rehearsing the track, with Field later having another of his genius strokes by song-sexing “Fruit Salad” and “Elephant” into a bangers-and-mashup-masterpiece. “When I first listened to the song, I thought it sounded easy, but when you play it, it’s mad counts,” he says, referring to the time taken up by each beat. “We practised every day, from ten in the morning until four in the afternoon. And when I played it for Lucia she loved it, I was so relieved.

“Emma is not a drummer, but she is a dancer and was able to pick it up. She did amazing. Lachy’s voice was from heaven. Al (Alex Killer), our sound guy, taught me to play the bass for it. Jeff and Murray only learnt their parts the day before. There were a number of restrictions in the triple j studios, because of COVID. We couldn’t get Greg in.”

Lucia has good ears, as they say in the music business. She’s also a talented singer and dancer (she attended The Australian Ballet School in Melbourne, has appeared in more than thirty Wiggles DVDs or TV shows), and regularly appears on stage with The Wiggles. And, by the time you are reading this, will have joined the lineup as a second Blue Wiggle, and an understudy for Field, who was diagnosed in 2018 with the very rare Lyme disease. At times the nerve pain was so intense that the only relief came from stretching his vocal cords with screams of sheer agony. It led to bouts of severe depression, all of which he believes came from his time serving in the army, where he also learnt to play the bagpipes.

“Being asked to do ‘Like A Version’ was kind of weird for people at first, and maybe even us too.” — Simon Pryce

Fast forward ten months, and The Wiggles’ novelty take on a new-age bop struck a chord with Australia, catapulting them to top of the pops on the triple j Hottest 100 Countdown. “You could never plan it, not in a million years,” says Red Wiggle Simon Pryce, who was on holiday in Shellharbour with his wife Lauren, son Asher and his sister, when the day-long event kicked off on January 22 this year. With no expectation of making the coveted listener-voted list, he stopped listening after The Terrys’ “Our Paradise” came in at number seventy-six on the countdown, but later, feeling hopeful, they turned triple j back on. Moments after the station pressed play on “Elephant”, Pryce celebrated in humble Wiggles fashion by walking a bag of rubbish to the bin and agreeing to do the dishes. “Being asked to do ‘Like A Version’ was kind of weird for people at first, and maybe even us too. Which is probably the beauty of it,” he says.

Gillespie was driving from Brisbane to Sydney, and listened to the entire countdown from start to finish. He partly credits the success of “Elephant” to the fact that it included original members, Fatt and Cook. While Gillespie and Pryce were familiar with the countdown, Hawkins was not. “I didn’t realise how big it was,” she says. “All my friends were having a beach party. I was back at home, listening. When it got to number two — The Kid LAROI’s “Stay” with Justin Bieber — the penny dropped: “Maybe we won!” 

The Wiggles, a humble bunch, took it in their stride. The shitstorm of music snobbery in some circles didn’t bother them — they knew it would offend. “It’s voted by the public, it is what it is,” Pryce says. “But I get that some people would be upset about it. I think my favourite story from all the controversy was from someone who got pulled over by police after the countdown for drink-driving, and blamed the fact that The Wiggles had won. That was his excuse, he was so angry.” Pryce, along with Hawkins and Gillespie, roar with laughter at the notion that they, of all people, could be responsible for causing an alcohol-fuelled incident on a public holiday.

It’s the last day of April and an impressive twenty-seven degrees outside. Weaving and winding down Bicentennial Road towards the Brisbane Entertainment Centre, a strange sensation rushes through me without any warning at all. I’m about to be reunited with live music after more than two years of buffering livestreams, and more false starts than I care to number. Live music is back! Tonight Field, Fatt, Cook and Page will perform their sixth show as part of the ‘OG Wiggles Reunion Tour’ in front of more than seven thousand adulting fans, all bent on reclaiming their most innocent years.

Backstage with publicist Bec Brown — who has flown in from Sydney to conduct a who’s who in the Wiggles zoo, and to manage the steady flow of crew that drift in and out over the course of the afternoon — I’m gradually introduced to everyone as we make our way from one green room to another before we eventually settle in the dining room. It’s busy, not just because of the sizeable cast and crew, but because a Wiggles show is a family affair. Brothers, aunties, friends, cousins, partners, neighbours, kids and long-lost relatives enjoy the free catering and a fridge stacked with just about every drink you can think of — except alcohol, causing many who approach it to walk away disappointed (hours later, the Blue Wiggle led me to a chilly bin stacked with beer and wine). But despite the growing number of denizens, the atmosphere is oddly calm and relaxed. ‘Not very rock and roll at all,’ I scribble in a notebook.

Field walks into the room, barefooted. He responds to my question about putting the band back together and taking it around the country. He’s recalling the first show on the seven-date arena run, in Darwin. It’s a stop infamous among musos for wild tour shenanigans where anything can, and probably will, happen. He tells me that along with one punter’s plea for the Blue Wiggle to skull a gin and tonic from a boot — “It was so out of control” — another adoring and delightful fan hurled her underwear on stage at Captain Feathersword before demanding that he return the garment to her. Field is not one to sit still for too long. He is in his natural habitat as he steps on stage to begin rehearsals. I watch in awe of the musicality in front of me. The Wiggles have chops.

Field’s nephew, Luke, is also in his element as he shuffles his way around the empty arena to make sure The Wiggles sound flawless from every corner of the expansive room. “One of the misconceptions is that The Wiggles can’t sing or play instruments, like The Monkees,” he tells me, referring to the common rap that the “I’m a Believer” hitmakers were TV fakes. “Anthony can literally play any instrument you put in front of him — violin, bagpipes, bass guitar. Lachy, who has a beautiful voice, can play anything on keys after hearing it only once. They are all incredible musicians.” 

Luke reminds me that this tour was one heart attack away from not happening at all.

Back in the green room, Field is emotional when asked what he recalls about that “absolutely horrible” Friday night in January, 2020. “Greg died in front of me,” he says, recalling the evening that Yellow Wiggle Greg Page had a heart attack at the tail end of a bushfire benefit concert. It was the first attempt at putting the band back together. “It was traumatic and horrible for all of us, especially Greg. There was a fireman there, Jack Baldwin. No one ever mentioned him. He got up, held Greg’s head, and took charge. Then a nurse came and helped. But it was all Jack,” he explains, “it was his last night of firefighting after more than forty years. He actually introduced the show. After we walked off stage, we never saw [Baldwin] again.”

Field tells me of a pact made with Page while he was recovering in hospital. “When we get the doctor’s all-clear, for a last hoorah, we’ll go around to every major city.” And that’s exactly what they did.

The Wiggles

Side of stage at The Wiggles’ OG Brisbane Show in April 2022. Photo by Jake Challenor.

The Brisbane Entertainment Centre begins to fill up quickly as doors open. The energy is palpable. Unlike the earlier kids show, cups of cordial are replaced with cans of Canadian Club. A mosh pit hosts hipsters with dinosaur tails. Middle-aged women dance in their yellow tutus. Fathers with pirate patches dad-dance, awkwardly. And grandmas thrust signs — ‘I Love You, Greg!’ — into the air, just as they would have done at a Beatles concert seven decades earlier. The Wiggles have arrived. 

Less than a minute into their set a superfan, bandaged in a fluffy pink onesie, scoots past security and joins everyone on stage. The room erupts with cheers, unphased by the intruder who knows every move. After “Fruit Salad”, “Money Dance” and “Point Your Fingers” she is lured to safety by Henry the Octopus. Humongous inflatable replicas of Field, Fatt, Cook and Page are slowly ballooned to attention as they move through their set with remarkable stamina. Out of nowhere, Robert Irwin appears on stage to sing “The Crocodile Hunter,” in a tribute to his Wildlife Warrior father. Now another giant inflatable, this time it’s Dorothy the Dinosaur, makes its way through the crowd, igniting a fever dream among the two-pints-past tipsy crowd. The original Big Red Car, made of plywood, makes a comeback for “Toot Toot, Chugga Chugga, Big Red Car”.

A full band stands behind the OG’s. It’s sounding more like a Cat Empire gig as The Wiggles jam classics from their first chart-topping album, ReWiggled. Reworks of contemporary classics like Rhianna’s “Umbrella” and The Chats’ “Pub Feed” sit next to collaborations with Polish Club (“Apples & Bananas”), Stella Donnelly (“Ba Ba Da Bicycle Ride”) and DZ Deathrays (“Hot Potato”). ReWiggled is utterly preposterous and perfect in equal measure. But then again, so is the suggestion of four men in their fifties and sixties rocking out to songs about dinosaurs, big red cars and “yummy” fruit salad to a room packed with people of legal drinking age. But herein lies the wondrous magic of The Wiggles’ wacky world, where the only limitation is your own imagination.

This article features in the September 2022 issue of Rolling Stone AU/NZ. If you’re eager to get your hands on it, then now is the time to sign up for a subscription.

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