Custard (band)

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Custard, 2015.jpeg
Background information
Origin Brisbane, Australia
Genres Indie rock
Years active 1990–1999, 2009–
Labels rooArt
ABC Music
Associated acts The Go-Betweens, Robert Forster, The Titanics, David McCormack and the Polaroids, Beachfield, The Boat Show, Adele & Glenn
Members David McCormack
Paul Medew
Matthew Strong
Glenn Thompson
Past members James Straker
Shane Brunn
Matthew Strong
Gavin Herrenberg
Danny Plant
Tom Jackman

Custard are an Australian indie rock band formed in 1990 in Brisbane, Australia. The band is colloquially known as "Custaro" due to frequent misreadings of its name.[1]



The band was originally known as "Custard Gun" and featured David McCormack on vocals and guitar, Paul Medew on bass, 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.

Early 1990's: Buttercup/Bedford[edit]

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 punters happy.[3] It wasn't 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" CD - an EP called Gastanked.

Gastanked did very well for the band, peaking at #41 on the ARIA singles chart. It was followed in 1993 by another EP, Brisbane, and two singles - Casanova and the double A-side Singlette/Flanelette. By this time the band was onto its third drummer - Shane Brunn had been replaced by Grant Herrinberg, who had subsequently been replaced by Danny Plant.

1994-1995 : Wahooti Fandango and Wisenheimer[edit]

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

Wahooti Fandango was critically acclaimed, being nominated for 'Best Alternative Release' at the 1995 ARIA awards.[5] However, the band's "breakthrough hit" didn't come until October 1995, when they released Apartment, the first single lifted from Wisenheimer. 'Apartment' received a high rotation airplay on triple j, and was voted in at number 7 in the 1995 Hottest 100.[6] At the time, it was the highest ever placing by an Australian band.

Custard performing live at the Sydney Opera House, 1996

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. From around 1995, Custard music video director Andrew Lancaster would sometimes play keyboard with the band at their live shows.

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]

David McCormack and Andrew Lancaster accepting an ARIA Award in 1999.

'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. 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 bruised the ARIA top 50 singles chart, and came in at an impressive number 3 in the 1998 triple j Hottest 100.[10] The song's film clip won the 1999 ARIA Award for Best Video.[11] 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.[12]

Dissolution of the Band, Other Projects[edit]

After the split, lead singer and guitarist, McCormack, formed The Titanics with drummer, Thompson, also on guitar.[13] 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 (of comedy trio GUD). 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.[14] The group released one album.

Thompson joined The Go-Betweens in 2001,[15] having previously played with Robert Forster and Grant McLennan in 1995.[16] In addition to appearing on many of Forster's solo albums, Thompson played on The Go-Betweens' final two albums, Bright Yellow Bright Orange[17] and Oceans Apart;[18] and toured with the band until McLennan's death in 2006.[19] Thompson then released his first solo album, Brighton Bothways, under the name "Beachfield" in 2007.[20][21] In 2010, Thompson formed a duo with Adele Pickvance from The Go-Betweens, called Adele & Glenn, and launched a debut album in April 2012.[22]

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

Come Back, All Is Forgiven

Reformation and new album: Come Back, All Is Forgiven[edit]

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.[23][24]

Since reforming, the band have played one or two gigs per year.[25] 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.[26]

Custard released their first album of new material since 1999’s Loverama, on 6 November 2015. The band have lost none of their sense of humour: it’s called Come Back, All Is Forgiven. The album was released through ABC Music on CD, vinyl, and digitally.[27]




  • Quarantine (1994) – Soundtrack to the video game
  • Wacked Not Wacky (1996) – Compilation of rare songs and Buttercup album
  • Goodbye Cruel World (2000) – Greatest Hits compilation
  • Brisbane 1990-1993 (2001) – Compilation of first 2 EPs (Gastanked and Brisbane).
  • Spaces by the Side of the Road DVD (2007)
  • The Essential (2010) – Greatest Hits compilation



  • "Rockfish Anna" [7" vinyl] (1991)
  • "Casanova" (1993)
  • "Singlette/Flannelette" [Double A-side single] (1993)
  • "Aloha Tambourinist" (1994)
  • "Pack Yr Suitcases" (1994)
  • "Alone" (1995)
  • "Apartment" (1995)
  • "Lucky Star" (1996)
  • "Sunset Strip" (1996)
  • "Leisuremaster" (1996)
  • ”Nice Bird" (1997)
  • Anatomically Correct" (1997)
  • ”Music is Crap" (1998)
  • Girls Like That (Don't Go For Guys Like Us)" (1998)
  • Hit Song" (1999)
  • ”Ringo (I Feel Like)" (1999)
  • "The New Matthew" (1999)
  • "We Are The Parents (Our Parents Warned Us About)" (2015)


  1. ^ Sennett, Sean; Groth, Simon (2010). Off the Record. University of Queensland Press. 
  2. ^ "Custard - Rockfish Anna". Discogs. Retrieved 2015-09-27. 
  3. ^ a b author. "Dave McCormack (Custard) Bio - From Who's Gerald to the Millionaires". Retrieved 2015-09-27. 
  4. ^ "Wahooti Fandango - Custard | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-09-27. 
  5. ^ "Aria Awards - Home". Retrieved 2015-09-27. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Farewell to the World - Crowded House | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-11-07. 
  8. ^ Hepworth, David, Farewell to the World CD liner notes, Parlophone, 2006.
  9. ^ "We Have the Technology - Custard | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-09-27. 
  10. ^ "triple j's Hottest 100". Retrieved 2015-09-27. 
  11. ^ "Aria Awards - Home". Retrieved 2015-09-27. 
  12. ^ "Latecomers Guide to Custard". 2002-03-05. Retrieved 2015-09-27. 
  13. ^ "The Titanics - The Terminal -". Retrieved 2015-09-27. 
  14. ^ "Grinspoon’s Phil Jamieson uncovers The Lost Gospel". Retrieved 2015-09-27. 
  15. ^ Hocking, Steven (11 June 2003). "The Go-Betweens". dB Magazine ed No. 306. 
  16. ^ McKenzie, Simon (1995). "The Australian Go-Betweens Show: Forster Interview". Time Off Magazine. 
  17. ^ Dwyer, Michael (20 June 2003). "The Go-Be twins". The Age. 
  18. ^ Blackman, Guy (10 July 2005). "Happy families". The Age. 
  19. ^ Fazio, The Hon. Amanda (9 May 2006). "Death of Mr Grant Mclennan". Parliament of New South Wales. 
  20. ^ F, D (9 November 2007). NME  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  21. ^ Beachfield (26 March 2012). "Beachfield". myspace. Myspace LLC. Retrieved 2 September 2012. 
  22. ^ (11 April 2012). "Adele & Glenn launch Debut Album". Street Press Australia Pty Ltd. Retrieved 2 September 2012. 
  23. ^ "Q150 Celebration Highlights Proclamation Day". Queensland Government. 3 November 2009. Retrieved 15 November 2009. 
  24. ^ 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. 
  25. ^ Alexander, Mitch (1 February 2011). "Custard". Rave Magazine. Archived from the original on 31 March 2012. Retrieved 27 August 2011. 
  26. ^ Williams, Rohan (24 August 2011). "Custard: Popping The Cherry". Scene (910): 24. Archived from the original on 26 August 2011. Retrieved 27 August 2011. 
  27. ^ Mengel, Noel (28 June 2015). "Brisbane rock band Custard to release first album since 1999". The Courier-Mail. Retrieved 10 September 2015. 
  28. ^ Ryan, Gavin (14 November 2015). "ARIA Albums: Elvis Presley Has the No. 1 Album in Australia Again". Noise11. Retrieved 14 November 2015. 

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