Oh to have been a fan of TISM!
In a place far, far away from here and in a time long, long ago lived a band, a troupe, a performance group called TISM. TISM stood for This Is Serious Mum. I was a fan, I saw them
live on at least one occasion, that being one of my first live gigs to attend. It was in ‘the Valley’ officially known as Fortitude Valley in Brisbane. The Valley to those who don’t know is a kind of adult entertainment area in
Brisbane City, also the home to Brisbane’s Chinatown. The venue was the ‘Roxy’ later called the ‘Arena’. I went with friends and I remember it being crowded, very loud, very energetic, great fun and one where I knew
the words to a fair chunk of their playlist. Despite their name containing the word ‘serious’ they weren’t serious to me. To me they were a bunch of blokes in crazy costumes and masks that held an element of mystery. Well,
I assumed they were all male and nothing I have seen to date has changed that.
They always wore crazy costumes and masks whether on stage, giving rare interviews and/or on their video clips and later DVDs. These guys had controversial songs, some had a decidedly Melbourne-centric feel but somehow applied to all
Australia and beyond. Now, this was back in the 1990s, a time of ‘grunge’ though a few of their songs/lyrics are still in my head to this day. That could, in part, be explained by the fact that I recently re-visited some of their video
clips and watched some stuff that was made later on about them. Much thanks to YouTube and the people who upload these clips, keep up the good work. It was a great little walk down memory lane in a digital sense. Facebook friends may have
noticed me posting a few of these clips for old time sake.
have their ‘greatest recordings’ in a black box package. I used to have a bunch of singles of theirs but many moves forced me to part with those. Some of the material i.e. lyrics might be a little dated now however they did mention
refugees/illegal immigrants and that is still very current and hotly debated. Seeing some of the more recent stuff they put out about themselves, I begin to wonder if they could replace members and still be a viable performance?? Like I said previously,
they wore masks and the full line-up would pretty much remain unidentified so replacing them would be Wiggles-like. Just a suggestion from a fan, guys.
I am putting a few links down here to video clips of theirs, please enjoy them as I have done over the years. Don’t let the controversial lyrics, titles put
you off, this is performance art 90s style. In my next blog post I will be talking about other music of interest but TISM is one of my all-time faves and sometimes I need their dark humorous take on life and politics. These days I listen to them
seldom but when I do I really get into it, I still remember some of the words. In my humble opinion these lads were poets, not just a band and they were more interested in performance and lyrical content than traditional sounds and moves.
Now if you need a good road safety advertising campaign here’s a video clip you may appreciate. A great song with a great message.
Greg, the stop sign: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4Sr63_EDBc
This article on buzzfeed basically
sums up what I mean about the band who pushed the boundaries.
Immigration was talked about back when this video was put out and strangely
it continues to be a divisive issue here in Australia.
Philip Ruddock Blues: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWIXZzg2KJI
Check the poetry and performance art of this piece on a predecessor to ‘The Project’.
Live on The Panel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQShSBhzG40