Double Allergic was released in Australia on 2 September 1996, and catapulted Powderfinger from virtual obscurity into the alternative music limelight.
Singles Pick You up, D.A.F., Living Type and Take Me In found a home on national youth radio station Triple J, and the band made their first TV appearance when they were asked to play the ABC’s popular Saturday morning show, Recovery.
Powderfinger wrote and demoed the songs for Double Allergic under a house that Ian Haug (guitarist) lived in in East Brisbane. As Ian recalls, one of the very first songs written was Pick You Up, which set the tone for the rest of the album. When the band played the song live for the very first time, the crowd went ‘nuts’. Powderfinger had never had a reaction like that to a new song before, and they knew they were onto something with the laid-back Pick You Up.
Double Allergic was produced by Tim Whitten (The Clouds, Underground Lovers), and was immediately praised for being more simple, melodic and accessible than its predecessor, Parables For Wooden Ears. But there was more to it than that: Double Allergic seemed to capture the zeitgeist.
People started to resonate with the album—and the band—in large numbers. Double Allergic was a triumph, and it soon became the soundtrack to every party, backyard BBQ, and road trip in 1996-97.
For those growing up at the time, hearing Double Allergic was watershed moment: a coming-of-age experience. A little band from Brisbane called Powderfinger was really starting to hit their stride.
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