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It's Raining PleasureAustralia 2009
Directed by Steven Levett
Running time 125 minutes
Prior to seeing this documentary I knew nothing of 80s Australian indie band The Triffids other than that their frontman David McComb was highly regarded as a singer-songwriter and that he died in 1999 whilst still only in his 20s. A series of tribute concerts were held in Sydney in 2008 and Steven Levett’s straightforward documentary record of them, which intersperses the songs with sound-bites from band members and others connected with the project fully realizes their stated intention - to bring McComb’s music to a wider audience.
Firstly the songs. The only one I recognized was “Bury Me Deep in Love”, a relative hit for the band and one which suggests an influence on Coldplay on their megahit “Vida La Vita” (compare the official videos on Youtube) but the McComb songbook is replete with strong songs which are both melodically appealing and emotionally intense, clearly referring to McComb’s personal experience but without the solipsistic tendencies of many who mine such a vein.
The performers, including the surviving members of The Triffids along with guest artists Mick Harvey (The Bad Seeds), Toby Martin (Youth Group), Rob Snarski (Black-Eyed Susans) and Steve Kilbey (The Church) do an excellent job with the songs. For me, Melanie Oxley, a singer I had never heard of, steals the show with her treatment of two of McComb’s songs. Whether already a Triffids fan or just curious, you are likely to find It's Raining Pleasure well named. BH
DVD Extras: Additional performances by Youth Group and Steve Kilby; Readings of McComb’s poetry by his older brother, John; Image Gallery
Available from: Madman