Triffids House Sparks Aussie Dust-up

 

114-year old home
where David McComb once lived and practiced with the band to be demolished –
unless a certain Midnight Oil vocalist steps in.

 

 

By Fred Mills

 

Fans of Australia’s
Triffids – whose latest reissues were reviewed by BLURT here – will recognize
the name David McComb. The late vocalist is suddenly in the news again in the wake
of his former house in Western
Australia being slated for demolition.

 

Known as “The Cliffe,” the 114-year old  McComb home, located on Devil’s Elbow
overlooking Freshwater
Bay, apparently holds
significant historical and archival importance well beyond the Triffids
connection, and supporters trying to block the demolition have organized a
petition and letter writing campaign to halt its imminent destruction and,
ultimately, to have the aging structure restored. Many of those signing it, of
course, are Triffids fans, but the effort has significant support among the
non-musical community as well.

 

A local councilor, John Downson, was quoted in Australian
papers as saying, “The
valuations for the property have come down, making the place more affordable to
prospective buyers and restoration more feasible. New reports on the condition
of the property have contradicted those that the government relied on when
making its decision to scrap its heritage listing and given the place a very
high tick of approval as a heritage gem. But we understand that everything
hinges on the goodwill of Mr Creasy.”

 

The “Mr. Creasy”
mentioned refers to mining entrepreneur Mark Creasy, the current owner of the
house; he has apparently agreed to “wait for a list of alternatives” to
demolition.

 

The Australian
government is taking an interest in the matter, and the government minister in
charge of making the final decision is none other than Environment Minister
Peter Garrett – that’s right, the frontman for Midnight Oil who turned
politician.

 

For more details
on the story, go to the Save The Cliffe site.

 

Pictured above is the house; below, early
photo of the Triffids rehearsing in the coach house.

 

 

***

 

In other Triffids news, band watchers have known for some
time now that a book about McCombs and the band was in the works, and now word
arrives that Penguin Australia will be publishing it in August via the
Fremantle Press imprint. In the publisher’s advance blurb for Vagabond Hole we are advised
thusly:

 

It is over thirty years since David
McComb’s haunting music and lyrics inspired a generation. Now, thanks to sold
out tribute concerts Australia-wide and the remastering of the complete
Triffids oeuvre, a new generation is discovering his life’s work. Editors Niall
Lucy and Chris Coughran bring together friends, family and fans in this book of
stories, poems and artworks about the Triffids.

 

Contributors will include Nick Cave and a host of musicians and journalists,
including BLURT’s own Wilson Neate, plus Jonathan Alley, Jill Birt, Martyn
Casey, David Cavanagh, Nick Cave, Claire Colebrook, Chris Laurie Duggan, John
Dyer, Robert Forster, Judith Lucy, Niall Lucy, Alsy MacDonald, Andrew McGowan,
Robert McComb, Gavin Martin, Steve Miller, Denise Nestor, David Nichols, Rob
Snarski, Jon Stratton and others.

 

No word yet on whether the book will be made available in America.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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