Watch TISM perform for the first time in 18 years at secret Melbourne show

It went down just a day shy of 18 years since TISM’s last headlining performance

TISM have officially returned to the public stage, performing for the first time in nearly two decades at a secret show in Melbourne.

The gig went down last Saturday night (November 12) at the 900-capacity Croxton Bandroom, where it was billed to the public as ‘Open Mic Tryouts’ until just hours before TISM took to the stage. The band first teased their involvement on Instagram, with a post from the venue shared by new guitarist Vladimir Lenin-McCartney.

The semi-anonymous rockers performed a total of 19 songs. It opened with an improvised riff on the Herb Alpert track ‘Spanish Flea’, which was sung by co-frontman Humphrey B. Flaubert before the full seven-piece band came out. The setlist featured songs from of TISM’s six albums, with a majority being pulled from their 1988 debut, ‘Great Truckin’ Songs Of The Renaissance’.

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Have a look at some crowd-shot footage of the gig below, then see the full setlist (via setlist.fm):

TISM played:

1. ‘Spanish Flea’ (Herb Alpert “cover”)
2. ‘The Art/Income Dialectic’
3. ‘I Drive A Truck’
4. ‘Whatareya?’
5. ‘I’ll ‘Ave Ya’
6. ‘Thunderbirds Are Coming Out’
7. ‘Lillee Caught Dilley Bowled Milli Vanilli’
8. ‘What Nationality Is Les Murray?’
9. ‘I’m Interested In Apathy’
10. ‘Yet Another Hinch Diatribe’
11. ‘Everyone Else Has Had More Sex Than Me’
12. ‘The History Of Western Civilisation’
13. ‘Greg! The Stop Sign!!’
14. ‘Saturday Night Palsy’
15. ‘Martin Scorsese Is Really Quite A Jovial Fellow’
16. ‘Death, Death, Death, Amway, Amway, Amway’
17. ‘The Mystery Of The Artist Explained’
18. ‘(He’ll Never Be An) Ol’ Man River’
19. ‘Defecate On My Face’

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Notably, Saturday’s show went down just a day shy of 18 years since TISM’s last headlining performance, which took place on November 13, 2004 at The HiFi (now known as Max Watt’s) in Melbourne. That was their second-to-last show before breaking up at the end of 2004, with their final set being hosted at that year’s Earthcore Festival some two weeks later.

TISM announced their reunion back in June, when it was revealed that they’d perform “exclusively” at this year’s Good Things festival. That’ll go ahead at the start of December, with dates in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane; there, TISM will be joined by acts like Bring Me The Horizon, Deftones, NOFX and Regurgitator

They promptly started “beef” with the lattermost band – who also rose to fame in the early 1990s – but in an interview with NME, vocalist Ron Hitler-Barassi asserted that “Regurgitator are some of our favorite people” because “the very act of regurgitation is a deeply respectable art form”.

Prior to announcing their comeback, TISM had been staunchly against the prospect, despite reissuing their entire back catalogue in 2020, as well as a newly unearthed AC/DC cover and a 100-minute vinyl album of silence. A month after reuniting, they released a compilation album titled ‘Collected Versus’, anthologising all but two of their A-side releases.

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