Thursday, January 10, 2008

Triffids - Raining Pleasure

thanks to bottlelow

The Triffids began in Perth, Western Australia in the late 1970s, partly in response to the punk rock movement. In 1976, David McComb and Allan 'Alsy' MacDonald wrote and performed songs with Phil Kakulas (currently in Blackeyed Susans), Andrew McGowan, Julian Douglas-Smith, and later Byron Sinclair, Will Akers and Margaret Gillard. Originally called Dalsy, they soon became known as Blök Music, Logic (for a day) and then The Triffids, (taking their name from the post-apocalyptic novel The Day of the Triffids). Writing in his diary as a teenager, David McComb traced the band's emergence in Perth:

"On the night of November 27, 1976, a tape was made by Alsy MacDonald, playing a single toy drum, and Dave McComb playing acoustic guitar. The multimedia group 'Dalsy' had come into being. Dalsy went on to make several remarkable tapes (mainly of original material): The Loft Tapes, Rock 'n' Roll Accountancy, Live at Ding Dongs, Bored Kids, Domestic Cosmos, People Are Strange Dalsy Are Stranger, Steve's and the seminal punk work, Pale Horse Have a Fit.… Dalsy did paintings, sculptures and poetry, and wrote a book named "Lunch". They were tinny and quirky, obsessive and manic, versatile and productive. They were also immensely unpopular.... The members of Dalsy grew to hate their audience. They still do, and this hate is an integral part of their music. Dalsy split up towards the end of 1977…. They launched into 1978 as Blok Musik, with their famous Blok Musik tape.… In April they played at the Leederville Town Hall Punk Fest, alongside Perth's punk rock contingent but, as usual, no one danced. After that they went home and metamorphosised into Logic. Within a day they changed their minds, and metamorphosised into the Triffids."

Their debut album Treeless Plain was released in November, 1983, an album completely out of tune with everything else going on in the Australian alternative music scene at the time. All of the songs for Treeless Plain were recorded over twelve midnight-to-dawn sessions at Emerald City Studios, Sydney in August and September 1983.

Their line-up stabilised to David McComb (vocals, guitar), his brother Robert McComb (guitar,violin), Jill Birt (keyboards), Alsy MacDonald (drums), Martyn P. Casey (bass) and 'Evil' Graham Lee (pedal steel, guitar).

Their next single, "Beautiful Waste" / "Property is Condemned" and the Raining Pleasure 12” EP were released in 1984. By this time the Triffids had spent so much time traveling the 3000 miles between the west and east coasts of Australia (David McComb estimated that they made this trip between 12 and 16 times) that they decided to travel that little bit further and headed to Europe.

In late August, 1984 the band flew to London with a small amount of savings and five return plane tickets scheduled to expire by Christmas. They gave themselves three months to make inroads in the UK. Appearing as a support act at their London debut at the LSE, they blew headliners The Monochrome Set off the stage. They succeeded to the point where they graced the first cover of 1985 of the influential UK magazine NME, which it predicted would be 'The Year Of the Triffids'.

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