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Recollections from the shows. Part One

Recollections from The Shows Part 1 - Jan 16 2008

Today I walked into the Metro Theatre in George St Sydney, and there playing onstage, were The Triffids. Or more accurately, the remaining Triffids, but it was a moment; of course intellectually I had known — and been very excited — by the prospect of hearing those mighty songs in their natural, fully heated and explosive life. Equally I had known that David had died in 1999. But knowing something in your mind is nothing to feeling something intangible and unexpected. Walking in , hearing the bassline for Hell of a Summer, lyrics in the care of Australia’s finest vocalist Rob Snarski (if you think I’m exaggerating, listen to a Blackeyed Susans album, then tell me your argument) , caught me at an unguarded moment. I’ve been listening to Dave sing in my head for two years every day as I ran over his life and this film in my mind ;and I felt his absence very keenly. Not as his fellow musicians would have done, of course; but I had just had to sit for a minute and take it in, and to be quite honest it more difficult than I expected. Oh well poor me; ha — I’m just the guy trying to make the film , Dave wasn’t in MY band for over a decade, it’s these fellas (of both genders) who’ll really be feeling it. If things were different he’d still have stone classic songs falling out of his head and writing his superbly entertaining tour diaries, keeping his bandmates up at night watching late night movies on their hotel rooms’ ‘brocked up colour viewers’ . and all manner of other things. But I feel we must tread carefully.

Two things occur to me at odd moments. 1) Dave might have enjoyed blogging; he was nut for lists, diaries, and screeds of correspondence. 2) He would have loved the tv show Black Books.

5pm
Soundcheck continues. They’re all rolling out of the speakers. Red Pony, Save What You Can, Bury Me Deep in Love … it’s all moderately surreal. Rob McComb — Dave’s brother and the Triffids’ guitarist — has begun to express a cautious interest. After politely and gently drilling me on why I was interested and who Danielle and I have spoken to, he’s being very supportive, introducing us to people to whom he thinks we should speak. G Lee is as enigmatic as ever, directing operations behind his pedal steel , he’s solely focused on the show, as you’d expect. I think if you look up the word ‘inscrutable’ in the dictionary you see a picture of Graham. David used to call him Ted, as in Teddy Bear. His other more widely known nickname is ‘evil’, because he’s not. Evil Teddy Bear. I feel a DVD extra coming on already.

My old radio friends The Blackeyed Susans arrive. Not we’ve ever done radio shows together, more that I’ve had them on to talk about their records and shows more than any other band over 14 years with Triple R (Melbourne’s independent broadcaster - http://www.rrr.org.au) ; Phil Kakulas and Rob Snarski formed the BES with Dave as a kind of holiday band in the late ’80s and despite Dave leaving in 1994 , the band have powered on with a series of acclaimed records. One of my fave Australian acts of all time (s!)

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