Former Triffids singer dies after car accident in Melbourne...

DAVID McCOMB, former singer and songwriter with Australian band The Triffids died on February 2 after complications following a car accident.

The Triffids were one of the most influential and important bands to come from Australia. Formed in Perth in 1980 around a nucleus of McComb on vocals, Alsy MacDonald on drums, Jill Birt on keyboard and vocals and ‘Evil’ Graham Lee on slide guitar.

Heavily influenced by The Velvet Underground – particularly by the eponymous third album – and the darker side of country and folk music.

The band left their native Perth and found some success in Europe – John Peel was a major champion of the group – but they were confined to the alternative margins, never quite achieving the mainstream success of Australian contemporaries INXS or Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds.

The final Triffids‘ studio album ‘The Black Swan’ found McComb trying to move his haunted and expansive songwriting into a more mainstream and commercial context and shake off the ‘critics’ band’ tag. It was a great album, but not, however, a chart success and the band fell apart, leaving only one last live album – ‘Stockholm’ – as their epitaph.

After working with another Australian band The Black Eyed Susans on their first two albums ‘Welcome Stranger’ and ‘All Souls Alive’, McComb made his excellent solo album ‘Love Of Will’ that made a full blown foray into country rock and reconciled his dark, almost Leonard Cohen-like songwriting with the Velvets-like garage psychedelia.

McComb returned to live in Melbourne, Australia and gave up a full time music career, although recently had begun work with a new band. He had been ill for some time before his accident. DAVID McCOMB, singer and songwriter with Australian band The Triffids died on February 2 after complications following a car accident.

The Triffids were one of the most influential and important bands to come from Australia. Formed in Perth in 1980 around a nucleus of McComb on vocals, Alsy MacDonald on drums, Jill Birt on keyboard and vocals and “Evil” Graham Lee on slide guitar.

Heavily influenced by The Velvet Underground – particularly by the eponymous third album – with copious inputs of dark folk and country. The band recorded seven studio albums (including the mini-album ‘Raining Pleasure Hot’) and one posthumously released live album – ‘Stockholm’ – but their expansive, plaintive sound with McComb‘s voice to the fore was captured to best effect on their early work, particularly ‘Treeless Plain’ and the superb ‘Born Sandy Devotional’.

The band left their native Perth and found some success in Europe – John Peel was a major champion of the group – but they were confined to the alternative margins, never quite achieving the mainstream success of Australian contemporaries INXS or Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds.

The band were featured on the cover of NME twice and were revered by a hard core of fans, writers and DJs.

The final Triffids‘ studio album ‘The Black Swan’ found McComb trying to move his haunted and expansive songwriting into a more mainstream and commercial context and shake off the ‘critics’ band’ tag. It was not, however, the commercial success that they wanted and the band fell apart.

After co-founding and working with another Australian band The Black Eyed Susans on their first two albums ‘Welcome Stranger’ and ‘All Souls Alive’, McComb made his excellent solo album ‘Love Of Will’ that made a full blown foray into country rock and reconciled his dark, almost Leonard Cohen-like songwriting with the Velvets-like psychedelia. He toured with a band called the Red Ponies and like his contemporary Dave Graney, crossed over into straight ahead country blues territory.

McComb fell ill in New York in 1994 and was diagnosed as having a heart condition that required a transplant. He underwent an operation in 1995. His health did not permit him to carry on with a full time career in music, though before his death he had been working on new songs with a band called costar – named after one of his dogs – as well as studying at Melbourne University.

He was buried on Saturday (February 6) morning. All of the remaining Triffids were present as well as many friends, contemporaries and admirers from the Australian music scene.

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