The

Mick

Sinclair

Archive

Tsk Tsk Tsk

May

1986

NME

feature review

 
 
IT'S WRITTEN as three arrows, pronounced Tsk Tsk Tsk (click the tongue three times against the roof of the mouth), comes from Melbourne Australia, has appeared in various guises all over the world and reaches the UK for the first time this month.

TTT (for brevity and convenience) began around 1977 as a punk antidote to Punk, playing at gigs and private parties with a fluctuating line up centred around Philip Brophy and Maria Kozic. Sometimes their set consisted solely of covers. Other times they all-male band that played Minimalism. Other times an all-female band that offered Feminalism.

Their records, of which there have been many and usually in very limited editions to accompany a particular piece of stage work, include the bizarre but riveting 'Rock, Muzak And Minimalism' LP. This is a collection of simple tunes simply played (and none of that 'deceptive simplicity') which earned the label 'music in close up' or 'music about music'.

Their ideas and attitudes (analytical rather than emotional) have spread into theatre, film and performance works. Among many weird and wonderful events they've re-written the Bible, presented a stage version of Andy Warhol's novel A, and created an examination of the disco phenomena called Asphyxiation.

One connecting principle is the impact of popular culture and the media on our lives – and the impact of our lives on popular culture and the media. Reviews of TTT are often good, sometimes bad, frequently heavy on the theory and prone to mentioning Roland Barthes and Semiology.

In 1979 the un-Barthes-like Kim Fowley said TTT should change their name to the Chocolate Lizards. The same year Philip Brophy said "people are vegetables".

They could both be right.

 

mick sinclair

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