Live Review: The Triffids

16 February 2016 | 1:25 pm | Christopher H James

"The depths of The Triffids’ goldmine of material became inescapably."

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The Triffids aren’t around to provide showmanship, they’re not about political statements and they sure as Hell don’t play at being rock stars; they literally are all about the music.

The ensemble cast for The Triffids ’s special one-off PIAF show was pretty impressive; eight band members in all, including The Necks’ Chris Abrahams on keys and all of the surviving members, with an array of guest singers lurking in the wings. Whilst there was no onstage bar for singers to refresh themselves in between songs as there was at their London comeback shows, plenty of effort had been made to get the right atmosphere as the stage was littered with eastern style rugs and an abundance of flowers, an orgy of carnations in fact, together with faded shots of the original line-up on the projector.

The evening began politely, with Rob Snarski on vocals and everyone else playing their part unobtrusively in the overall scheme, content to hover in the background whilst Snarski occupied the spotlight. The pack of vocalists was shuffled around with Adrian Hoffman, J.P. Shilo (who occasionally referred to his sheet music) and long time keyboard player Jill Birt all adding their personalities to a Born Sandy Devotional heavy set. The game changing impetus came from The Drones’ Gareth Liddiard, whose energizing effect on the rest of the band was palpable. He only sang and played guitar on two songs, a charged Stolen Property and a neck-cable contorting Lonely Stretch, but the momentum from those numbers seemed to carry through the rest of the set.

The depths of The Triffids’ goldmine of material became inescapably obvious as the night progressed, but somehow certain moments stood out, such as the way Rob McComb’s guitar chimed out at the start of Spanish Blue - a song Rob Snarski announced that he once bought on 7” from Dada Records much to the delight of the assembled throng – and the inspiring chorus of Save What You Can. A stripped down Bury Me Deep in Love, reclaimed from the glossy over-production of the Calenture album, was the band’s final statement; an aptly poetic meditation played out over ghostly images of David McComb. It was a soft and subtle a finale as you could ever imagine, but in the context of the night it worked perfectly.

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