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David McComb (of The Triffids)
, 1987

by Bleddyn Butcher

gelatin silver photograph (sheet: 50.5 cm x 40.2 cm, image: 30.7 cm x 30.5 cm)

David McComb (of The Triffids)

David McComb (1962-1999) was the songwriter and frontman for The Triffids, who remain one of Australia's best-loved post-punk bands. The Triffids formed from the remnants of other Perth groups in 1978. Following the lead of bands such as The Saints, The Birthday Party and The Go-Betweens, they left Australia in the early 1980s to live in the UK, where they had already formed a cult following. They performed and recorded in Australia and England until they split in 1989, when McComb formed a studio band, The Red Ponies, with Martyn Casey from The Bad Seeds. The rock critic Ian McFarlane has said that few songwriters have managed to capture the feeling of isolation and fatalistic sense of the Australian countryside better than McComb. McComb's health was poor for many years, and he died following a minor car accident at the age of 37.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2002
Accession number: 2002.30