Second Circle - Diode

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Visiting Woodstock woolshed

Visiting Ravensthorpe in 1999, you are aware that you are close to the place where the Triffids recorded In The Pines back in the 80’s. Unlike Liverpool’s fascination with the fab four, there are no signs in the town that something of cultural significance has occurred here. The large “A“ frame sign in the information bay has the usual WA town standards, caravan park, mining sites, maps and distances, but not a thing about the Triffids.

Eating dinner in the hotel later, after a glass of wine, you bravely ask the waitress if they know where the Triffids recorded their album. A version of ‘never heard of it’ is the dismissive response and you retire to your hotel room embarrassed, wishing you had kept quiet. As you fall asleep, you can see the antique light fixture making interesting shadows on the pressed-tin ceiling and hear David McComb singing, “higher , higher, flames grow higher” on repeat in your head.

Room 8, The Palace Hotel Ravensthorpe, 1999

Then something unusual happens. In the morning at breakfast in the dining room, someone has come to see you. A woman has heard through the town’s whispering chain that you are interested in the Triffids. She can take you to the Woodstock farm to see the woolshed where the album was recorded.

Inside the shed, there is a strong sensory input that cannot be gleaned from the recording, text or photos - the strong smell of sheep and raw wool. The shed is not a trendy architectural space, it is cluttered with dark wooden ramps and fences for the purpose it was built, shearing.  You thank the woman and before you leave, you make one loud clap of your hands and the sounds rebounds like you just won some money. The sound of the natural reverb is completely familiar, it is the exact sound that permeates that record, In The Pines by the Triffids.
Kevin Robertson, 2016