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The Triffids

Australian folk-pop band the Triffids was formed in Perth in 1980 by singer/songwriter David McComb, his guitarist/violinist brother Robert, and drummer Alsy MacDonald. Although chiefly influenced by the Velvet Underground, McComb's songs also drew heavily on the stark desolation of his rural upbringing, incorporating elements of country and blues to paint haunting portraits of isolation and longing.

Various members passed through the lineup during the Triffids' early years, although the core trio remained intact throughout. Shortly after the additions of Martyn Casey and keyboardist Jill Birt, the band recorded their 1983 debut, Treeless Plain, for the Hot label, followed a year later by the EP Raining Pleasure. Heralding the arrival of steel guitarist Evil Graham Lee, 1986's Born Sandy Devotional was the Triffids' creative breakthrough, and after recording the low-budget follow-up, In the Pines, in a wool-shearing shed in the Australian outback, the group signed to major label Island to issue their 1987 masterpiece Calenture, their first recording with guitarist Adam Peters.

Unfortunately, commercial expectations for 1989's Stephen Street-produced The Black Swan weren't met, and the Triffids disbanded soon after, with the live Stockholm appearing posthumously the following year. David McComb went on to work with the Blackeyed Susans before mounting a solo career with 1994's Love of Will. Three days after a car accident, McComb died of unknown causes on February 2, 1999. ~ Jason Ankeny
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Live to Air On 3PBS

1. Calhoun Surf (Live to Air on 3PBS)

2. This Boy (Live to Air on 3PBS)

3. Everybody Has to Eat (Live to Air on 3PBS)

4. Embedded (Live to Air on 3PBS)

5. Personal Things (Live to Air on 3PBS)

6. Mercy (Live to Air on 3PBS)

7. Pleasure Slide (Live to Air on 3PBS)

8. Monkey on My Back (Live to Air on 3PBS)

9. Field of Glass (Live to Air on 3PBS)

10. Native Bride (Live to Air on 3PBS)

11. Dear Miss Lonelyhearts (Live to Air on 3PBS)

12. Jesus Calling (Live to Air on 3PBS)

13. Satisfied Mind (Live to Air on 3PBS)

14. Jack Frost (Live to Air on 3PBS)

15. Ain't No Sunshine (Live to Air on 3PBS)

16. Property Is Condemned (Live to Air on 3PBS)

x

Track List: Live At Melbourne University

1. Wide Open Road (Live At Melbourne University)

2. Lonely Stretch (Live At Melbourne University)

3. Property Is Condemned (Live At Melbourne University)

4. Jerdacuttup Man (Live At Melbourne University)

5. A Trick Of The Light (Live At Melbourne University)

6. Holy Water (Live At Melbourne University)

7. Kelly's Blues (Live At Melbourne University)

8. Better Off This Way (Live At Melbourne University)

9. Bury Me Deep In Love (Live At Melbourne University)

10. Raining Pleasure (Live At Melbourne University)

11. Red Pony (Live At Melbourne University)

12. Place In The Sun (Live At Melbourne University)

13. Field Of Glass / Lonesome Hobo (Live At Melbourne University)

14. What Goes On (Live At Melbourne University)

15. How Could I Help But Love You (Live At Melbourne University)

16. Hell Of A Summer (Live At Melbourne University)

17. I Can't Help Falling In Love With You (Live At Melbourne University)

x

Track List: The Early Cassettes

1. Mark

2. Martyrs

3. No

4. Take Me To Your Leader

5. Philosophical Stroll

6. What's The Difference

7. Butterfly

8. New Vision

9. The Diplomatic Corps

10. Out Of Time

11. I Was A Teenage Teenager

12. Sixteen Again (Short Version)

13. Jeremy Joy

14. Cyclone

15. Artist

16. Human Interest

17. Careless City

18. Blox

19. Fly To The Moon

20. Little Voices

21. Actress

22. Adaptable

23. Aim For My Heart

24. Glamour Boy

x

Track List: Jack Brabham 2010: Vol. 1

1. Indiscreet Music (From Dalsy/Indiscreet Music Cassette '77)

2. Radioactivity (From Dalsy/Indiscreet Music Cassette '77)

3. Family Name (Live At Shaftesbury Hotel In Perth '82)

4. Spanish Blue (Live At Sydney Cove Tavern '83)

5. Crucifixion Speech (From Lawson Square Ghetto Blaster Sessions '84)

7. Happy Boy (Live At The Club In Melbourne '86)

8. Mother Silhouette (Live At The Club In Melbourne '86)

9. Crucifixion Speech (Live At The Club In Melbourne '86)

10. Once A Day (Live At The Club In Melbourne '86)

11. Femme Fatale (Live At The Club In Melbourne '86)

12. You're No Good (Live At The Club In Melbourne '86)

13. The Dave And Ritchie Show Radio ID

14. Good Morning Good Morning

15. Into The Groove

17. Rent

18. Kelly's Blues (In The Pines Out-Take)

19. Blinder By The Hour (In The Pines Out-Take)

20. Just Might Fade Away (In The Pines Out-Take)

21. Spinning Top Song (Live At RMIT Storey Hall '89)

22. A Trick Of The Light (Live On Adelaide Radio '88)

23. Too Hot To Move, Too Hot To Think (Live On Adelaide Radio '88)

24. Fairytale Love (Live At RMIT Storey Hall '89)

x

Track List: Jack Brabham 2010: Vol. 2

1. Comment

2. Punk Rock (By Pale Horse)

3. Comment

4. Mark (By Dalsy)

5. Slow Decay

6. When She's Going Down (Solo Demo)

7. Embedded (Solo Demo)

8. Deadwind (Demo)

9. Raining Pleasure (Jill And Dave '83)

10. Story Of Joseph (Solo Demo)

11. Lonely Stretch ('84 Demo)

12. Lonely Stretch ('85 Rehearsal)

13. Love And Affection (Fragment)

14. Stolen Property (Rehearsal)

15. The Seabirds (Rehearsal)

16. Tarrilup Bridge (Solo)

17. Wide Open Road (Rehearsal)

18. Personal Things (With Piano)

20. A Trick Of The Light (Demo)

21. Comment

22. Shell Of The Man

23. Save What You Can (Rehearsal)

24. New Year's Greetings (Demo With Phil Kakulas)

25. New Year's Greetings (Instrumental)

x

Track List: Grandson Of Dungeon Tape

1. Too Hot To Move

2. MGM

3. Man Who Can

4. Nothing Good Is Going To Come Of This

5. (Secret Message)

6. Family Name

7. Madeline

8. Twisted Brain

9. Chew It Up

10. Work For Nothing

11. Happy Boy

12. (Instructions)

13. Dead Wind

14. Cat On A Hot Tin Roof

15. I'll Have It

16. Spanish Blue

17. You Can Keep It

18. Bad Timing

19. I Can't Wait To See Your Gun

20. Hours At A Time

21. Son Of Reverie

22. Son Of Stand Up

23. Red Pony

24. Plaything

25. Nothing Can Take Your Place

26. (Interview)

x

Track List: Wide Open Road: The Best Of The Triffids

1. Wide Open Road

2. Red Pony

3. Reverie

4. Beautiful Waste

5. Hell Of A Summer

6. Property Is Condemned

7. Raining Pleasure

8. The Seabirds

9. Lonely Stretch

10. Stolen Property

11. Kathy Knows

12. Bury Me Deep In Love

13. A Trick Of The Light

14. Jerdacuttup Man

15. Too Hot To Move

16. Goodbye Little Boy

17. New Years Greetings

18. Save What You Can

x

Track List: Beautiful Waste And Other Songs

1. Jesus Calling

2. Embedded

3. St James Infirmary

4. Everybody Has To Eat

5. Ballad Of Jack Frost

6. Property Is Condemned

7. Raining Pleasure

8. Figurine

9. When My Heart Breaks

10. Mother Silhouette

11. Mercy

12. Crucifixion Speech

13. Not The Marrying Kind

14. Bright Lights Big City

15. Monkey On My Back

16. Field Of Glass

17. Native Bride

18. Dear Miss Lonely Hearts

19. Beautiful Waste

x

Track List: The Black Swan

1. Too Hot To Move, Too Hot To Think

3. Falling Over You

4. Goodbye Little Boy

5. Bottle Of Love

6. The Spinning Top Song

7. Butterflies Into Worms

8. The Clown Prince

9. Good Fortune Rose

10. New Year's Greetings

11. One Mechanic Town

12. Blackeyed Susan

13. Fairytale Love

x

Track List: Calenture

1. Bury Me Deep In Love

3. A Trick Of The Light

4. Hometown Farewell Kiss

5. Unmade Love

6. Open For You

7. Holy Water

8. Blinder By The Hour

9. Vagabond Holes

10. Jerdacuttup Man

11. Calenture

12. Save What You Can

x

Track List: In The Pines

1. Suntrapper

2. In The Pines

3. Kathy Knows

4. 25 To 5

5. Only One Life

6. Do You Want Me Near You?

7. Trick Of The Light

8. One A Day

9. She's Sure The Girl I Love

10. Jerdacuttup Man

11. Just Might Fade Away

12. Better Off This Way

13. Keep Your Eyes On The Hole

14. Blinder By The Hour

15. Wish To See No More

16. One Soul Less On Your Fiery List

17. Born Sandy Devotional

18. Love And Affection

x

Track List: Born Sandy Devotional

1. The Seabirds

2. Estuary Bed

3. Chicken Killer

4. Tarrilup Bridge

5. Lonely Stretch

6. Wide Open Road

7. Life Of Crime

8. Personal Things

9. Stolen Property

10. Tender Is The Night (The Long Fidelity)

11. The 107

12. When A Man Turns Bad

13. Of The Plaza

14. White Shawl

15. Convent Walls

16. Time Of Weakness

17. Born Sandy Devotional

18. Wish To See No More

x

Track List: Treeless Plain

1. Red Pony

2. Branded

3. My Baby Thinks She's A Train

4. Rosevel

5. I Am A Lonesome Hobo

6. A Place In The Sun

7. Plaything

8. Old Ghost Rider

9. Hanging Shed

10. Hell Of A Summer

11. Madeline

12. Nothing Can Take Your Place

13. Interview

14. Old Ghostrider (Live)

15. Plaything (Live)

16. My Baby Thinks She's A Train (Live)

17. Rosevel (Live)

18. Hell Of A Summer (Live)

19. On The Street Where You Live

Comments

Report as inappropriate
Love all their stuff dearly! Early stuff is amazing, but the later albums have an unusual sound that provides many many treasures. Born sandy devotional and calenture are my favorites... . t h e y changed my life!!!
Report as inappropriate
Love the Triffids!! Early, less produced work the best. Pandora, why no Moodists to go with my Triffids fix??
Report as inappropriate
steve20828
I love the Triffids, but the gross overproducti o n of Calenture renders it largely unlistenable , compared Born Sandy Devotional and (especially) In The Pines.

In The Pines is one of the most gorgeous-sou n d i n g records of the 80's because of (not despite!) the simple and basic recording techniques and the minimal-to-n o n e x i s t e n t production. The combination of the acoustics of the wool-shearin g shed, McComb's songs and the Triffids performance was about as perfect a combination as one could ask for

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