Imagine what it takes to wake up every day and know you have to perform for hundreds of excited, squealing children – and entertain them. Well, according to Lachlan Gillespie, better known as Lachy the Wiggle, it involves “lots and lots of coffee” and touring with your own espresso machine.
The Brisbane-born triple threat grew up watching the original Wiggles but he never once envisioned becoming one.
“One of the first things that came to mind was that I never imagined the original guys finishing up. It was such a shock [to be offered the role], but such an amazing surprise,” Gillespie said.
“I think it’s so wonderful now looking back over the past six years we’ve been doing the show that we’re a new generation of Wiggles. The children who watch it now don’t know of Jeff, Murray or Greg.
We are their Wiggles and it’s so lovely that the music can continue. You know, ‘Rock-a-bye Your Bear’ is still the most popular song and it has been for the past 26 years.”
Donning the purple skivvy that was famously worn by Jeff Fatt, Gillespie admits he was nervous of living in his shadow. However, Anthony Field who has famously worn the blue skivvy since the formation of the band encouraged him to be himself.
“Right from the start Anthony was trying to bring out our natural personalities; when you do that all the pressure comes off,” he said.
I originally thought that I’d somehow have to be ‘Jeff’ in the purple shirt, and of course that’s not going to work because he was so wonderfully untrained. He never trained as the actor you saw on stage.
“I realised hang on, I don’t have to be Jeff the Wiggle, I’ve just got to be Lachy.”
Embracing their individual personalities has led to the success of the ‘new generation’ Wiggles despite claims “The Wiggles Are Dead”, by Forbes Magazine in 2012 when original members Greg Page, Jeff Fatt and Murray Cook retired. While they may not have fans chasing the tour bus like they did in the original days, Gillespie says their biggest problem is not being able to perform everywhere.
“Our biggest struggle at the moment is getting around to everybody, which is a wonderful problem to have but we can’t be all over Australia all at once,” he said.
Recently announcing an up and coming American tour, it’s apparent that “Cold Spaghetti” and “Big Red Car” will be a part of children’s musical repertoire worldwide for years to come.
For those lucky Mums and Dads who secured tickets to The Wiggles concert this month at the Ipswich Civic Centre, you can expect a “really changed up show” that incorporates a slightly more calm and laid back feel with nursery rhymes. For the full sixty minutes, the Wiggles will be entirely live and playing some new songs as well as the classics your children know and love.
For more about entertainment shows coming to Ipswich, visit www.ipswichciviccentre.com.au.