The Triffids - Born Sandy Devotional
There's been a lot of talk of tears of late in outsideleft, I've noted. Lake in Liverpool - at Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard's Silent Sound... Tears; Andy Allison just thinking about Nick Lachey's tears, damn near brought him to tears. And now this, a reissue from the Triffids, the only band I ever saw that moved me to tears when I saw them play live. Towards the end of a long and emotional set and in the midst of whatever was going on with me, the Triffids slipped into their version, that version, of the Velvets 'Pale Blue Eyes' at the Kentish Town, Town & Country Club in London back in the days where even Wayback machine can't get to.
I've often wondered about that night. I am voluble, social, garrulous and gregarious and didn't really get to many shows alone back then. Too many friends. But that night, peddling a soon to be ex-lovers' ticket in the dark of the street, the snatched conversation now dimly vivid as it was dimly lit. Maybe as recently as yesterday I was pondering how hapless I can be at being alone and my thoughts drifted back. Wait!... Next up I'll be recalling my great unfinished novel and we'll never get out of here and I hate nostalgia anyway.
Domino's decision to remaster and reissue The Triffids Born Sandy Devotional, to be followed throughout 2007 by the entire Triffids back catalog is utterly inspired. The series of releases will culminate with a Best/Rarities release next year. It really is raining pleasure.
Despite quite huge critical acclaim, for their chancier, unpredictable rhythms, their eclectic instrumentation and that soaring voice of David McComb, so rare, commercial success broadly eluded the Triffids I guess. They broke up in 1989 and never made it back. I do think there was some resistance in England to McComb's emotional depth and integrity... There are a lot of words that burrow deeply, his ability to take pop's language and do more with it than the next man, can be too enervating for some.
McComb actually underwent heart transplant surgery, that's mind boggling alone. A man who could make the most intensely personal, personally epic in song, going through something like that. Enduring something so profound. Once David McComb said, "I never want to feel anything less than totally." I wish more people knew or wanted to know what he was talking about. And tried it.
I have borrowed another David McComb's line, "There's an aphorism for every occasion," from 'Stolen Property' so often, it's almost utterly assimilated now.
Look, I've always loathed reissues. Generally has there ever been a point to it? Introduce a new generation to a tired old band. Why bother? Let them have their own. Or let them get down to the thrift store.
Born Sandy Devotional though...Well that is the exception that proves the rule.