Custard (band)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

OriginBrisbane, Queensland, Australia
GenresIndie rock
Years active1989–2000, 2009–present
LabelsABC Music, rooArt, BMG
Associated actsThe Go-Betweens, Robert Forster, The Titanics, C.O.W, Miami, Computor, David McCormack and the Polaroids, Beachfield, The Boat Show, Adele & Glenn
MembersDavid McCormack
Paul Medew
Matthew Strong
Glenn Thompson
Past membersJames Straker
Shane Brunn
Gavin Herrenberg
Danny Plant
John Lowery
Tom Jackman

Custard are an Australian indie rock band formed in 1989 in Brisbane, Queensland. The band is colloquially known as "Custaro" (/kʌsˈtɑːr/) due to frequent misreadings of its name.[1]


1989-1993: Formation and early EPs[edit]

The band was originally known as Custard Gun and featured David McCormack on vocals and guitar, Paul Medew on bass (McCormack and Medew both ex-Who's Gerald?), James Straker (later in The Melniks) on guitar and Shane Brunn (who later formed Hugbubble and Vanlustbader) on drums. After a few shows and line up changes (namely Straker being replaced by Matthew Strong) Custard Gun morphed into Custard in early 1990.

Custard's first release was the four track vinyl EP Rockfish Anna, which was issued in November 1990.[2] A fire breathing Elvis impersonator was part of the EP's launch festivities.[3]

Custard's debut album, Buttercup/Bedford, was recorded in 1991. It was meant to be released on CD in March 1992, but things went awry. Unfortunately, the CDs never turned up on time for the album launch - forcing them to give away copies of the album away on cassettes to keep the audience happy.[3] It was not until the end of 1992 that the band finally got their hands on the elusive CDs. By this time Custard had signed to Ra Records and had released their first "major label"release, an EP called Gastanked. Gastanked was followed in 1993 by another EP, Brisbane, and two singles - "Casanova" and "Singlette". By this time the band was onto its third drummer - Shane Brunn had been replaced by Gavin Herrenberg, who had subsequently been replaced by Danny Plant.

1994–1995: Wahooti Fandango and Wisenheimer[edit]

McCormack, 1990s

Custard's debut major label album Wahooti Fandango was issued in 1994.[4] The video for the album's first single, "Aloha Tambourinist", was set on a beach, featured male models pretending to be Custard, while scantily clad women roll around in the sand.

Wahooti Fandango was critically acclaimed, and at the ARIA Music Awards of 1995 was nominated for ARIA Award for Best Best Alternative Release.[5]

The band's "breakthrough hit" didn't come until October 1995, when they released "Apartment", the first single lifted from their third studio album, Wisenheimer. "Apartment" received a high rotation airplay on triple j, and was voted in at number 7 in the Triple J Hottest 100, 1995.[6] Wisenheimer was recorded in San Francisco, being produced by Eric Drew Feldman (Captain Beefheart, PJ Harvey, Pere Ubu et al.). The album also spawned the singles "Sunset Strip", "Lucky Star" and "Leisuremaster".

After Wisenheimer, Danny Plant was replaced by Glenn Thompson.

1996–1999: We Have The Technology and Loverama[edit]

On 24 November 1996, Custard performed on the forecourt of the Sydney Opera House as part of Crowded House's Farewell To The World concert, alongside You Am I and Powderfinger.[7] Estimates of the audience in attendance range from 100,000 to 250,000 people.[8]

1996 and 1997 were big years for the band, touring Australia with Weezer, Frank Black, Beck and the Presidents of the USA, and venturing back to America (where Wisenheimer had been recorded) to play more shows with the Presidents. While in the USA the band also recorded album number 4, We Have the Technology.[9]

"Nice Bird" was the first single to be lifted from We Have the Technology, followed by "Anatomically Correct". However, it was the final single, "Music is Crap", that captured the public's attention and became their first single to peak within the ARIA top 100.[10] The song was written and sung by Thompson, and reinvigorated public interest in Custard.

The next single, "Girls Like That (Don't Go For Guys Like Us)", became the band's biggest hit. It peaked at #52 on the ARIA singles chart,[11] and came in at 3 in the Triple J Hottest 100, 1998.[12] At the ARIA Music Awards of 1999 they won ARIA Award for Best Video for Andrew Lancaster and David McCormick.[13] The album that it was featured on, Loverama, went on to become the band's most commercially successful.

Custard went on a six-month "hiatus" at the end of 1999, before eventually disbanding.[14]

2000-2008: Dissolution of the Band, Other Projects[edit]

After the split, lead singer and guitarist, McCormack, formed The Titanics with drummer, Thompson, also on guitar.[15] Joining them were McCormack's then-wife, Emma Tom, on bass and Tina Havelock-Stevens on drums. The Titanics did not last long, releasing two albums, Size Isn't Everything and Love is the Devil, before the group disbanded.

McCormack released a series of solo albums with The Polaroids, featuring his brother Dylan (Gentle Ben and his Sensitive Side) on bass, Shane Melder (ex-Sidewinder) on drums and Cameron Bruce (Paul Kelly). Releases include "Candy" (2002), "Save Dave" DVD (2003), "The Truth About Love" (2004) and "Little Murders" (2009).

In 2004, Strong joined The Lost Gospel, alongside Phil Jamieson of Grinspoon.[16] The group released one album.

Thompson joined The Go-Betweens in 2001,[17] having previously played with Robert Forster and Grant McLennan in 1995.[18] In addition to appearing on many of Forster's solo albums, Thompson played on The Go-Betweens' final two albums, Bright Yellow Bright Orange[19] and Oceans Apart;[20] and toured with the band until McLennan's death in 2006.[21] Thompson then released his first solo album, Brighton Bothways, under the name "Beachfield" in 2007.[22][23] In 2010, Thompson formed a duo with Adele Pickvance from The Go-Betweens, called Adele & Glenn, and launched a debut album in April 2012.[24]

In 2008, Medew was a member of The Purple Hearts.

2009-2011: Reformation[edit]

Matthew Strong, 2017

Custard reformed for an event on 10 December 2009 to celebrate Queensland's 150th birthday, appearing alongside Powderfinger and a number of other local acts.[25][26]

Since reforming, the band have played one or two gigs per year.[27] In 2010 they appeared at the Meredith Music Festival. They also performed as a headliner act for Float On: A Brisbane Flood Relief Benefit in February 2011, a show to raise money for the victims of the floods in Queensland. In 2011 Custard were featured as part of the Brisbane Festival.[28]

2015-2019: Come Back, All Is Forgiven and The Common Touch[edit]

Custard released their first album of new material since 1999’s Loverama, on 6 November 2015, entitled Come Back, All Is Forgiven, through ABC Music.[29]

In 2017, Custard released The Common Touch, featuring the singles "In the Grand Scheme of Things" and "2000 Woman".

In August 2018, to promote a short tour the group undertook that September, the group released The Band: Live in the Basement, a recording of a concert performed on 9 November 2017 at the Basement club in Sydney.

2020: Respect All Lifeforms[edit]

On 19 March 2020, Custard released the new single "Funky Again", and announced their eighth studio album Respect All Lifeforms.[30] The album was released on 22 May.


McCormack, 2017

Studio albums[edit]

List of studio albums, with selected chart positions and certifications
Title Album details Peak chart
  • Released: 1992
  • Label: Custard
  • Formats: CD
Wahooti Fandango
  • Released: 1994
  • Label: Ra Ra Records (2068300048)
  • Formats: CD, Cassette
  • Released: November 1995
  • Label: Ra Ra Records (2068300007)
  • Formats: CD
We Have the Technology
  • Released: September 1997
  • Label: Ra Ra Records, BMG (74321510192)
  • Formats: CD
36 ARIA: Gold
  • Released: June 1999
  • Label: Ra Ra Records, BMG (74321671072)
  • Formats: CD, CD_Rom
19 ARIA: Gold
Come Back, All Is Forgiven 71
The Common Touch
  • Released: 6 October 2017
  • Label: ABC Music, UMA (496293)
  • Formats: CD, digital download, streaming, LP
Respect All Lifeforms
  • Released: 22 May 2020
  • Label: ABC Music (0878875)
  • Formats: CD, digital download, streaming, LP

Live albums[edit]

List of live albums with selected details
Title Album details
The Band (Live in the Basement)
  • Released: 31 August 2018
  • Label: Custard, ABC Music
  • Formats: Digital download

Compilation albums[edit]

List of compilations albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart
Wacked Not Wacky
  • Released: 1996
  • Label: Custard
  • Formats: CD
  • compilation of early recordings, 1991-1992
Goodbye Cruel World
  • Released: 2000
  • Label: Sony BMG (74321765722)
  • Formats: 2x CD
  • greatest hits album
Brisbane 1990-1993
  • Released: 2001
  • Label: Ra Ra Record Sony BMG (74321868512)
  • Formats: CD
  • Compilation album comprising EPs Gastanked and Brisbane
The Essential
  • Released: 2010
  • Label: Sony BMG (88697764422)
  • Formats: 2x CD
  • greatest hits album

Extended plays[edit]

List of EP, with selected details
Title EP details
Rockfish Anna
  • Released: November 1990
  • Label: Round Records (rr001)
  • Formats: 7" LP
  • Released: 1992
  • Label: Ra Records (4509907562)
  • Formats: CD
  • Released: February 1993
  • Label: Ra Records (4509925152)
  • Formats: CD


List of singles, with selected chart positions
Title Year Peak
"Casanova" 1993 non-album single
"Singlette" Wahooti Fandango
"Aloha Tambourinist" 1994
"Pack Yr Suitcase"
"Alone" 1995
"Apartment" Wisenheimer
"Lucky Star" 1996
"Sunset Strip"
"Nice Bird" 1997 We Have the Technology
"Anatomically Correct" -
"Music Is Crap" 73
"Girls Like That (Don't Go For Guys Like Us)" 1998 52 Loverama 
"Hit Song" 1999 60
"Ringo (I Feel Like)" 
"The New Matthew"  98 Goodbye Cruel World
"We Are the Parents (Our Parents Warned Us About)" 2015 Come Back, All is Forgiven
"Rice & Beans" 2016
"In the Grand Scheme of Things (None of This Really Matters)" 2017 The Common Touch
"2000 Woman"
"Funky Again"[32] 2020 Respect All Lifeforms
"The Min Min Lights"[33]


ARIA Music Awards[edit]

The ARIA Music Awards is an annual awards ceremony that recognises excellence, innovation, and achievement across all genres of Australian music. Custard have won one award from three nominations.[34]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
1995 Wahooti Fandango ARIA Award for Best Adult Alternative Album Nominated
1996 Wisenheimer ARIA Award for Best Independent Release Nominated
1999 Andrew Lancaster & David McCormack for "Girls Like That (Don't Go For Guys Like Us)" by Custard ARIA Award for Best Video Won


  1. ^ Sennett, Sean; Groth, Simon (2010). Off the Record. University of Queensland Press.
  2. ^ "Custard - Rockfish Anna". Discogs. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
  3. ^ a b author. "Dave McCormack (Custard) Bio - From Who's Gerald to the Millionaires". Retrieved 27 September 2015.
  4. ^ "Wahooti Fandango - Custard | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
  5. ^ "Aria Awards - Home". Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Farewell to the World - Crowded House | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 7 November 2015.
  8. ^ Hepworth, David, Farewell to the World CD liner notes, Parlophone, 2006.
  9. ^ "We Have the Technology - Custard | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  10. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010 (pdf ed.). Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing. p. 71.
  11. ^ a b c d Australian (ARIA Chart) peaks:
  12. ^ "triple j's Hottest 100". Retrieved 27 September 2015.
  13. ^ "Aria Awards - Home". Retrieved 27 September 2015.
  14. ^ "Latecomers Guide to Custard". 5 March 2020. Archived from the original on 5 March 2002. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
  15. ^ "The Titanics - The Terminal -". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
  16. ^ "Grinspoon's Phil Jamieson uncovers The Lost Gospel". Retrieved 27 September 2015.
  17. ^ Hocking, Steven (11 June 2003). "The Go-Betweens". dB Magazine ed No. 306. Archived from the original on 15 July 2006.
  18. ^ McKenzie, Simon (1995). "The Australian Go-Betweens Show: Forster Interview". Time Off Magazine. Archived from the original on 28 April 2012.
  19. ^ Dwyer, Michael (20 June 2003). "The Go-Be twins". The Age.
  20. ^ Blackman, Guy (10 July 2005). "Happy families". The Age.
  21. ^ Fazio, The Hon. Amanda (9 May 2006). "Death of Mr Grant Mclennan". Parliament of New South Wales. Archived from the original on 5 November 2011.
  22. ^ F, D (9 November 2007). "Brighton Bothways". NME.
  23. ^ Beachfield (26 March 2012). "Beachfield". myspace. Myspace LLC. Retrieved 2 September 2012.
  24. ^ (11 April 2012). "Adele & Glenn launch Debut Album". Street Press Australia Pty Ltd. Retrieved 2 September 2012.
  25. ^ "Q150 Celebration Highlights Proclamation Day". Queensland Government. 3 November 2009. Archived from the original on 12 November 2009. Retrieved 15 November 2009.
  26. ^ Mengel, Noel (10 October 2009). "Powderfinger and Custard pay homage to Queensland music". The Courier Mail. Archived from the original on 13 October 2009. Retrieved 15 November 2009.
  27. ^ Alexander, Mitch (1 February 2011). "Custard". Rave Magazine. Archived from the original on 31 March 2012. Retrieved 27 August 2011.
  28. ^ Williams, Rohan (24 August 2011). "Custard: Popping The Cherry". Scene (910): 24. Archived from the original on 26 August 2011. Retrieved 27 August 2011.
  29. ^ Mengel, Noel (28 June 2015). "Brisbane rock band Custard to release first album since 1999". The Courier-Mail. Retrieved 10 September 2015.
  30. ^ "Custard announce new album Respect All Lifeforms". New Musical Express. 19 March 2020. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  31. ^ "ARIA Australian Top 50 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. 1 June 2020. Retrieved 30 May 2020.
  32. ^ ""Funky Again" (single)". Apple Music. 19 March 2020. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  33. ^ ""The Min Min Lights" (single)". Apple Music. 5 May 2020. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  34. ^ "Aria Awards". Retrieved 2 May 2020.

External links[edit]