David McCormack

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David McCormack
Born 25 October 1968
South Brisbane
Genres Art rock, indie rock, pop, country
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Vocals, guitar, drums, keyboards
Years active 1989–
Labels Das Kong
ABC Music
Laughing Outlaw
Associated acts Custard, The Polaroids, The Titanics, Robert Forster
Website www.custardband.com.au

David McCormack (born David Liam McCormack, 25th October, 1968) is an Australian musician and singer-songwriter, best-known as frontman of Brisbane-based rock group Custard.[1][2]

Early groups[edit]

McCormack grew up in the west Brisbane suburb of Kenmore, Queensland, and attended Ipswich Grammar School. He started his musical career as a vocalist and guitarist in Brisbane rock outfit, Who's Gerald?, in 1986, which included school friends Paul Medew on bass guitar and Glen Donald on keyboards, they recruited Cathy Atthow on drums.[3] They released a cassette, Who's Gerald's Greatest Hits in the same year on their own Gerald Corp Records. In March 1988 they released a single, "Wrestle Wrestle" and had the track, "Pins and Needles" on that year's Youngblood compilation. Atthow, McCormack and Medew briefly formed Automatic Graphic in 1988 with Scott Younger.[4]


In 1989, McCormack and Medew formed Custard Gun with Shane Brunn (later in Hugbubble, Vanlustbader) on drums and James Straker (later in Melniks).[5] After a number of performances, Straker left in early 1990, the band was renamed as Custard, and Straker was replaced at year's end by Matthew Strong on guitar.[1]

Custard existed for about a decade, with a number of different drummers including Gavin Herrenberg, John Lowry and Glenn Thompson, (later of The Go-Betweens). The band released five studio albums in the 1990s: Buttercup/Bedford, Wahooti Fandango, Wisenheimer, We Have the Technology and Loverama, a number of EPs and singles and a greatest hits compilation entitled Goodbye Cruel World.[6] A DVD video clip compilation called The Spaces by the Side of the Road – A Digital History of Custard was released in 2007.[7]

Custard released a new album in November 2015, entitled Come Back, All Is Forgiven.

Other 1990s bands[edit]

McCormack was moonlighting in other bands during the 1990s, which formed in and around Custard's practice rooms. The Cows from 1993 (later styled as COW or C.O.W. – for Country Or Western) had Thompson and Robert Moore on bass guitar;[8] as well as Maureen Hansen on vocals, Susie Hansen on vocals and Mark Lowry ( twin brother of John Lowry) on bass guitar by 1995.[9] COW released Beard in June 1996. In 2006, McCormack and Moore collaborated on a new COW single called "The Chicken Dance" with Rob Hirst of Midnight Oil on drums.

McCormack, Moore and Thompson recorded with Robert Forster (ex-The Go-Betweens) for his second solo album, Calling from a Country Phone, released in 1993 and toured with Forster as Silver Backwash.[1] Frank 'n' Stein from 1995 had Moore and McCormack join with his brother Dylan McCormack (ex-Biro) and Ian Wadley.[10] Miami, also from 1995, had Maureen Hansen (also in COW and McCormack's then girlfriend), Nick Naughton on drums and Medew.[11] Miami released two CDs: Costume of Sand (March 1997) and Feel the Seed (1998). Computor was another collaboration between McCormack and Moore,[12] which was electronic sounding and released a tape called Floppy Disk.

The Modern Day Lover[edit]

After the break-up of Custard in 2000, McCormack formed The Titanics with his then wife Emma Tom (newspaper journalist for The Australian) and Thompson and film-maker, Tina Havelock-Stevens. The Titanics released Size Isn't Everything (2000) and Love Is The Devil (September 2000).

Following the break-up of The Titanics McCormack went solo, releasing a CD of electronic doodling called The Matterhorn (2001) then recruited a backing band called The Polaroids. David McCormack and The Polaroids have released two albums, Candy (2002) and The Truth About Love (2004) as well as a few singles and a DVD entitled Save Dave.

McCormack was one of the two weekly 'mystery' guests on the Australian television show RocKwiz on SBS One in March 2006.[13] He later appeared as the guest host of RocKwiz in January 2009.[14]

In November 2006, under the guidance of JJJ, McCormack assembled a band to perform a concert at the Tivoli in Brisbane as a tribute for the late Grant McLennan of The Go-Betweens. Early in 2007, McCormack then went into the studio to produce a tribute album to the band, called Write Your Adventures Down (released on Sony BMG). He also recorded a cover version of Streets of Your Town for the film All My Friends Are Leaving Brisbane.

In October 2009, McCormack released Little Murders containing 20 tracks and running for almost an hour. The name comes from a 1969 film.

McCormack is a part owner of the Sonar Music composer collective and since 2009 has been responsible for many film and television scores includingThe Tall Man, Rake, Redfern Now, House Husbands, Wild Boys, and Blood Brothers. Additionally, McCormack has also composed film scores for Alex Proyas's Garage Days[15] in 2002, and for Daniel Krige's West in 2006.[16]

Custard reformed for a concert on 10 December 2009, as part of the Queensland Proclamation Day, 150th Anniversary Celebrations.[17] The band released a new album Come Back, All Is Forgiven in November 2015.

McCormack currently voices the character of dad 'Bandit' on the ABC Kids animated tv series Bluey.

External links[edit]


  • McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Whammo Homepage". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-072-1. Archived from the original on 10 October 2004. Retrieved 23 February 2010. Note: Archived [on-line] copy has limited functionality.
  • Spencer, Chris; Zbig Nowara, Paul McHenry with notes by Ed Nimmervoll (2002) [1987]. The Who's Who of Australian Rock. Noble Park, Vic.: Five Mile Press. ISBN 1-86503-891-1.[18] Note: [on-line] version established at White Room Electronic Publishing Pty Ltd in 2007 and was expanded from the 2002 edition.
  1. ^ a b c McFarlane 'Custard' entry. Retrieved 23 February 2010.
  2. ^ Spencer et al, (2007) McCormack, David[permanent dead link] entry. Retrieved 23 February 2010.
  3. ^ Spencer et al, (2007) WHOS GERALD[permanent dead link] entry. Retrieved 23 February 2010.
  4. ^ Spencer et al, (2007) AUTOMATIC GRAPHIC[permanent dead link] entry. Retrieved 23 February 2010.
  5. ^ Spencer et al, (2007) CUSTARD GUN[permanent dead link] entry. Retrieved 23 February 2010.
  6. ^ Spencer et al, (2007) CUSTARD[permanent dead link] entry. Retrieved 23 February 2010.
  7. ^ Mathewson, Catriona (21 November 2007). "Cream of the Custard". The Courier-Mail. News Corporation. Retrieved 23 February 2010.
  8. ^ Spencer et al, (2007) COWS, THE[permanent dead link] entry. Retrieved 23 February 2010.
  9. ^ Spencer et al, (2007) COW/ C.O.W (Country or Western)[permanent dead link] entry. Retrieved 23 February 2010.
  10. ^ Spencer et al, (2007) FRANK ?N? STEIN)[permanent dead link] [sic] entry. Retrieved 23 February 2010.
  11. ^ Spencer et al, (2007) MIAMI)[permanent dead link] entry. Retrieved 23 February 2010.
  12. ^ Spencer et al, (2007) COMPUTER[permanent dead link] [sic] entry. Retrieved 23 February 2010.
  13. ^ "RocKwiz". 2. Retrieved 25 February 2012.
  14. ^ "RocKwiz". Retrieved 25 February 2012.
  15. ^ "Garage Days (2002) Full Cast and Crew". IMDb. Retrieved 15 November 2009.
  16. ^ "West (2007) Full Cast and Crew". IMDb. Retrieved 15 November 2009.
  17. ^ Mengel, Noel (10 October 2009). "Powderfinger and Custard pay homage to Queensland music". Brisbane Courier Mail. Archived from the original on 13 October 2009. Retrieved 15 November 2009.
  18. ^ "Who's who of Australian rock / compiled by Chris Spencer, Zbig Nowara & Paul McHenry". catalogue. National Library of Australia. Retrieved 23 February 2010.