The Triffids frontman, David McComb, was a tragic poet who wrote songs inspired by the Western Australian landscape and his own inner world. Art was his religion, says his former partner in a new documentary screening in Byron called ‘Love In Bright Landscapes’.
Using rare archival performance footage and evocative Super 8 family movies, the film reveals McComb’s story and the creative urges that inspired his music. A prolific songwriter, McComb achieved cult status amongst audiences worldwide but record labels and radio stations found his work too complex to promote.
His musical psychodramas and heart-broken epics sprung from the ever present turmoil of his ill-fated heart. He actually received a heart transplant in 1996 but that didn’t stop him drinking and using hard drugs until finally he died in 1999, a few days short of his 37th birthday.
The poems and letters of this creative melancholic are read in the doco by Man Booker prize winning novelist DBC Pierre. And in a series of graphics at the end we learn how very influential his body of work was. In 2009 The Triffids were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame and in 2016 The Guardian said their album ‘Born Sandy Devotional’ was the best Australian albums ever made.
Last year his friends released the very last songs her ever made posthumously, a fitting tribute to a creative soul who perhaps had an innate death wish but definitely died too young.
‘Love in Bright Landscapes’ screens at the Palace Cinemas Byron Bay – 2pm Sunday June 26 and 6.30pm Wednesday June 29.
Hear Writer/Director Jonathan Alley talk about the making of the film on Australian Music Box here.