The Day of the Triffids
Written by Ryan Stevenson on 18 August 2020
The Triffids started as a group called Dalsy in 1976 before becoming Blök Musik and then for just one day Logic before settling on The Triffids in May 1978.
The name Triffids came from the post-apocalyptic book ‘The Day of The Triffids’ which was published in 1951 by John Wyndham, the book later became a movie, a couple of Radio series and two TV series so the band made a good choice of name.
The band released six cassette tapes between 1978 and 1981 and from the sixth tape (Triffids Sixth) came their debut single ‘Stand Up’.
The lineup had settled by 1983 with David McComb, Robert McComb, Jill Birt, Martyn Casey and Allan MacDonald being in the band with Graham ‘Evil’ Lee joining in 1985.
Their first album was Treeless Plain in November 1983, they had also released an EP that year as well as another cassette tape called Dungeon Tape.
The band released two EP’s in 1984 with the June 1984 release of ‘Raining Pleasure’ reaching No. 95 on the charts to be their first charting success.
Their second album ‘Born Sandy Devotional’ was released in March 1986 and it reached No. 37 on the Australian charts but it had also reached No. 18 in Sweden and No.39 in Belgium.
One month earlier was the release of the single ‘Wide Open Road’ and it reached No. 64 in Australia but it had reached No. 26 in the UK.
‘Wide Open Road’ has become a classic with the song being on compilations like Australia’s Ultimate Songs which is amazing considering it only reached No. 64 during its chart run.
In the Pines was released in November 1986 and gave the band a No. 69 spot on the Australian chart and No. 78 in Belgium.
‘In the Pines’ is also notable for the band saying the $340 cost of alcohol was the biggest expense out of alcohol, petrol, food and recording equipment hire, the total album cost was $1190.
‘Calenture’ was the next album released in 1987 and it charted in Australia (No. 32), New Zealand (No. 25), Sweden (No. 24) and Belgium (No. 58)
‘Bury Me Deep in Love’ was the first single released from the album and it reached a band high in Australia of No. 48 with a peak of No. 34 in New Zealand.
‘Trick of the Light’ and ‘Holy Water’ were released as singles in 1988 with the former charting at No. 77 in Australia and No. 73 in the UK.
The Black Swan was released in 1989 and spawned two singles with ‘Goodbye Little Boy’ being the final charting single with a peak position of No. 89.
The album reached No. 59 in Australia, No. 44 in New Zealand, No. 63 in the UK and No. 71 in Belgium making Belgium a successful market with four charting albums.
After two shows in New York in 1989, the Triffids went on a break and stayed on it as solo efforts and personal lives kept the band from getting back together.
The live album Stockholm was released in 1990 to complete their record contract and the compilation album ‘Australian Melodrama’ was released in 1994.
David McComb died in 1999 and in 2001 ‘Wide Open Road’ was announced as one of the thirty greatest Australian songs of all time by APRA and in 2008 the band was inducted the band into the ARIA Hall of Fame.
2008 was also the year the compilation album ‘Beautiful Waste and Other Songs (Mini-Masterpieces 1983–1985)’ was released with songs never released on CD making the cut.
January 2018 saw Triple M have it’s Ozzest 100 and at No. 64 was ‘Wide Open Road’ and ironically ‘Wide Open Road’ had peaked at No. 64 on the charts back in 1986.
The Triffid’s career had seen them release 5 Studio Albums, 1 Live album, 4 Compilation albums, 1 Video album, 6 EPs, 10 Singles and 9 Cassettes, not bad for a band whose impact on Australian music was bigger after they finished than when they were active.