http://www.thetriffids.com        http://www.dominorecordco.com

On 5 April 2010 Domino are to release their eagerly awaited Best of The Triffids deluxe box set ‘Come Ride With Me ... Wide Open Road – The Best Of The Triffids’, which features approx 8 discs spanning the band’s career (full details to be revealed soon). That same day they also release an accompanying 18 track single disc compilation ‘Wide Open Road - The Best of The Triffids’, the tracklisting for which is below.

In addition, on Friday 9 April, the remaining members of The Triffids will gather together with a cast of characters, friends, guest musicians and vocalists at London’s Barbican for a special concert to showcase and celebrate the songwriting genius of their late leader David McComb, who died in 1999 (details of concert below). The band will also take the show to Hasselt, Belgium on April 16 and 17 at Kunstencentrum Belgie, and Athens, Greece on 23 April, when they appear at Gagarin 205.

These releases continue the Triffids reissue programme which Domino started in 2006 with the release of the band’s classic ‘Born Sandy Devotional’ album, and which has seen ‘Calenture’, ‘In The Pines’, ‘Black Swan’ and ‘Treeless Plain’ all remastered and released as deluxe CDs with additional music and sleeve notes. Along the way there have been singles, a limited edition 7” singles box set, an unreleased album ‘Beautiful Waste And Other Songs’; unexpected live shows in Belgium and Amsterdam, a performance with special guests and friends as part of 2008’s Sydney Festival in Australia and even the honouring of the band with a Blue Plaque in London!   The band were inducted into the Australian Hall Of Fame in 2008.

The track listing for the single CD ‘Wide Open Road - The Best of The Triffids’ is:

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
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

The deluxe box set can be ordered from:

whilst the standard CD edition can be ordered from:

The Triffids with special guest musicians, friends and vocalists LIVE in London:
Friday 9 April 2010
‘A Secret In The Shape of A Song’
Barbican Hall, London

On Friday 9 April 2010 the remaining members of The Triffids, Rob McComb, Alsy MacDonald, Martyn Casey, Jill Birt and Graham Lee will gather together with an array of special guests for a three hour performance: ‘A Secret In The Shape of A Song’.

Originally presented at The Sydney Festival in 2008, classics like ‘Wide Open Road’ and ‘Bury Me Deep In Love’ will be performed alongside B-sides, unreleased works and readings from David’s prose in a theatrical night of words and songs that will roll like perfect waves in a biographical celebration of David McComb’s work.


They remind me of that great line by Jack Kerouac in On The Road where he says "the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones that never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centrelight pop and everybody goes "Awww!"... With The Triffids, the middle of the arc, the blue centrelight pop, where everybody goes "Awww!" is the song "Wide Open Road", which is why it's right that it's the lead-off and title track of this collection...

But all around and before and after "Wide Open Road" were great moments of wildly varying colour and kind. Forming in Perth, Western Australia in the late 70s, around drummer Alsy McDonald and David McComb on guitars/vocals, the Triffids mutated through a number of different lineups as they released a handful of crude cassette 'albums', compiling more than 80 - 90 songs. Graduating to vinyl, their 7" singles were naive gems, tracks like "Reverie" and "Spanish Blue" full of pop smarts and sharp lyrics but with a clumsy, awkward charm. "Beautiful Waste" was their first great song.  By the time of their debut album Treeless Plain, they had settled on their lineup of David McComb (vocals/guitar), Alsy McDonald (drums, vocals), Jill Birt (keyboards, vocals), Robert McComb (guitars, violin, vocals), Martyn P Casey (bass) - 'Evil' Graham Lee (pedal and lap steel, guitars, vocals) was to complete the definitive version of the band shortly after Treeless Plain...

All across Treeless Plain, you can feel and smell the heat rising off the pavement of Perth and Sydney and the endless desert road connecting these two cities that The Triffids came to know so well. There's a nascent, but very real claustrophobia and humidity in tracks like "Hell Of A Summer," "Hanging Shed" and "Red Pony" counterpointed by Robert's beautiful violin and Jill's keys. If Treeless Plain had finally centred the band, they immediately jumped sideways for the brilliant jewel of a mini-album, Raining Pleasure and then the country 'side-project' Lawson Square Infirmary. It became typical of the band. They would put down firm, powerful roots on a full length album and then jump all over the shop in between. It was probably maddening for those trying to draw a career plan ("And then these bands wonder why they're not successful" you can hear a grizzled industry vet, whining"), but for us fans, the schizophrenia of the ramshackle In The Pines, the bludgeoning Field Of Glass EP made The Triffids all the more colourful, exciting and certainly unpredictable...

For me, the epicentre/the high point of their arc/their masterpiece is the album Born Sandy Devotional. Its epic "widescreenstudio ambition" was perfectly pitched. "The Seabirds," which opens the album, could well be McComb's best song. The subtle strings, the pedal steel, the masterful touch of Alsy's drums all brilliantly score a tragic, poetic lyric of broken heart/suicide. "Wide Open Road" stalks similar territory, the protagonist aches and despairs at a lover who has left him for another and McComb compares the emotional distance between the characters to the endless flatlands of his home state/country. Elsewhere, "Lonely Stretch" is a nightmare rollercoaster ride, like the best David Lynch film, all captured in five short minutes. "Stolen Property" touches on the very personal, suggesting self-doubt, McComb's own journey away from the expectations of him, all artfully cloaked it in a more oblique frame...

The great argument between Triffids nutters would be whether Born Sandy Devotional or Calenture was their great work. For me, Calenture occasionally over-reaches and has moments that verge on the bombastic, but it remains a great, powerful work, featuring the band's best pop song in "Trick Of The Light" (the worldwide hit that should have been) and the perfect album closer, "Save What You Can", a hymn to survival, a resigned, wistful glance in the rear-view mirror. When the band played its final show in 1989, a low-key bow in soulless Canberra, Australia I hope they finished with this...

Their final studio album was the ambitious, sprawling The Black Swan. Popular opinion on The Black Swan has McComb falling under the spell of rap and certainly there is a lean towards rhythm/dub feels on many tracks, but it is more the ambition and restlessness that had always defined them coming to bear. Perhaps they should have experimented with a few EPs between Calenture and The Black Swan as they had done previously, but again, as a fan, I love it for its tangents, its brave messiness...

The studio albums and the songs end up being the lasting document and the Triffids stand proud and tall on this measure. Their live shows are simply burnt in my memory, as visceral, brilliant, intelligent, haunting, pretty, dark, petulant, sloppy, irresistible...kind of like "fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centrelight pop and everybody goes 'Awww!'"