A Secret in the Shape of a Song – A tribute to the music of David McComb – The Barbican, London 9th April 2010
Throughout the 1980s, probably the finest band to emerge from the Southern hemisphere were the Triffids from Perth, Australia. They released a string of fine albums and only found minor fame, before the disappointment over the relative failure of the band’s final studio album “The Black Swan” led to the band dissolving – prime mover, David McComb moved onto solo projects. In 1999 he was involved in a car accident from which he did not recover – his inability to recover at the age of 37, was in part put down to alcoholic and drug-related toxicity issues. The affection in which he was held did not diminish, however and the Triffids have gone on to achieve cult status amongst fans worldwide.
In 2006, the remaining members of the band were made a very lucrative offer to reform, which they did, in tribute to their former leader, at concerts in Belgium and Holland – this project was revived in Australia in 2008, with a range of guest vocalists reprising David McComb’s role. And so, the demand was such that the show was brought to Europe – this UK show was the first time that the band had played here for over 20 years.
Opening the show, Lightspeed Champion’s Dev Hynes sang a couple of McComb’s early officially unreleased demos. Guests in the rest of the show included the wonderful Blackeyed Susans – a group who started as a side-project with McComb and have continued for over 20 years with the gorgeous vocals of Rob Snarski – singer-songwriter Simon Breed gave an impassioned version of “Lonely Stretch” and Tindersticks’ Stuart A. Staples managed to forget the words to “Wide Open Road”! Other guests included ex-Bad Seed Mick Harvey, Brian Jonestown Massacre’s Ricky Maymi, Warren Ellis and others. The three hour show went all too quickly. We will probably never see their like again – the band have no plans to record or tour – but it was a fitting reminder of how good – no, great – they were.
Find more photos like this on Americana and roots music – No Depression
http://loveinbrightlandscapes.com/ – A planned film about David McComb’s life