Listened CUSTARD BUTTERCUP (BEDFORD) : CUSTARD : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive from Internet Archive

Album ripped from CD in .WAV format.CD, artwork & booklet scanned at 1200DPI.In 1992, Custard released their first self-published album titled…

I remember reading about COW (Country or Western) featuring Dave McCormack, Glenn Thompson and Robert Moore, in Andrew Stafford’s book about the Brisbane music scene, Pig City: From the Saints to Savage Garden.

COW was far more than the in-joke their name suggested. Intending to score a hotel residency where they could have some fun, a few drinks and pick up a little extra cash at the end of the night, the band could indeed play country ‘or’ western, albeit with a knowing smirk. But such was the improvisational flair and natural showmanship of the musicians – McCormack in particular was becoming a formidable guitarist, distilling influences from Tom Waits’ sideman Marc Ribot to the Pixies’ Joey Santiago – that COW’s scope was almost limitless.

SOURCE: Andrew Stafford – Pig City: From the Saints to Savage Garden

Having played on Robert Forster’s Calling from a Country Phone, Moore had imagined COW as more than a band, but a ‘musical collective’.

Robert Moore had imagined COW as a musical collective similar to the Wild Bunch behind the first Massive Attack album, where a virtual reserve bench of musicians would be on call to play gigs or recordings. Often the band would be joined on stage by backing vocalists the Sirloin Sisters, twins Maureen and Suzie Hansen; at other times, former Go-Between John Willsteed and occasional Queensland Symphony Orchestra violinist John Bone would jump up to add their own flourishes.

SOURCE: Andrew Stafford – Pig City: From the Saints to Savage Garden

Coming to Bedford / Buttercup, I was left wondering where the country inspiration was. Although there are moments, say on the samples and licks on Fuming Out, but instead the album felt to me like jangly pop on speed. The fact that the album does not go much beyond 30 minutes with 11 tracks highlights this. In Andrew Stafford – Pig City: From the Saints to Savage Garden, Stafford includes a quote from from McCormick about the use of speed:

David McCormack: That’s when the drugs really came into play, around that time . . . In 1988–89 it was all speed, acid, ecstasy had just hit. And because we had nothing to do – we’d basically finished our degrees and were on the dole, and we were white middle-class kids from Kenmore – we could just get out of it forever. That’s why Who’s Gerald? broke up. We’d be speeding for days on end.

SOURCE: Andrew Stafford – Pig City: From the Saints to Savage Garden

One of the odd things about jumping into a focus on a band/artist is that it creates the conditions for different listening. With Buttercup/Bedford, I could not help make comparisons, whether it be:

  • Anna Lucia’s nod to The Pixies’ Debaser.
  • The British influences behind Delerious/I Live By The River.
  • The jingle jangle of the Go-Betweens throughout.

I wonder if these ideas are actually beyond that. The initial links are with the obvious, but somehow the true inspiration is outside of our reach. Stafford makes mention of the influence of Jonathan Richman.

Like Robert Forster, David McCormack had drawn considerable early inspiration from the suburban obsessions of Jonathan Richman.

David McCormack: I was at John Swingle’s house, he was in the Melniks, and he said you’ve got to hear this . . . He played me Roadrunner and Government Centre and it just blew my mind, it was one of those life-changing experiences. Because up until then I was listening to Devo and Kraftwerk, stuff like that, which is all very alienated, but it’s not really Brisbane. Brisbane’s too hot for that!

SOURCE: Andrew Stafford – Pig City: From the Saints to Savage Garden

Personally, I have not really listened to much of Richman’s work, even after my dive into The Go-Betweens. It leaves me thinking that maybe that although ideas often have origins and references, that these are not always present. Reading Paul Carter’s Dark Writings, I cannot help but wonder if the influences are beneath the line retraced:

The line is always the trace of earlier lines. However perfectly it copies what went before, the very act of retracing it represents a new departure.
To think the line differently is not only to read — and draw — maps and plans in a new way. It is to think differently about history. To materialize the act of representation is to appreciate that the performances of everyday life can themselves produce historical change.

SOURCE: Paul Carter – Dark Writing: Geography, Performance, Design

One of the oddities of the record are the inconsistences when it comes to the vocals. There is a lot made of Australian Academy of Music’s Encouragement Award prize of $500 recording time and how the band quickly recorded about 13 songs in eight hours, marking Buttercup / Bedford. However, looking at the booklet, I assume that this was the session in October 1990.


On first listen, I thought that tracks 4-10 was someone other than McCormick singing. However, looking at the booklet, clearly not. I am not sure if in the year between recording the initial tracks and the later tracks, McCormick had developed and changed or it was in the quality of the recording.

Andrew Stafford the place and politics that laid the foundation to the music scene Brisbane music scene between 1975 and 2005.

Review published here.

“” in The last time I saw Grant – Griffith Review ()


‘Here,’ writes Rod McLeod, ‘in a city practically under police curfew, you fucked and fought, got stoned, got married, or got out of town.’1 — location: 220 ^ref-1223

This book is my attempt to document the substantial yet largely unsung contribution that Brisbane has made both to Australian popular culture and to international popular music. In doing so, I aimed to chart the shifts in musical, political and cultural consciousness that have helped shape the city’s history and identity. In its broadest sense, Pig City is the story of how Brisbane grew up. — location: 231 ^ref-8907

A gerrymander represents the drawing of electoral boundaries in a way that serves the interests of the governing party. This certainly took place in Queensland, but it was the malapportionment, which meant that one vote in the west of the state was worth up to three in Brisbane, that was the critical issue. — location: 313 ^ref-21745

For much of the 20th century, education in Queensland was chronically neglected. Between 1919 and 1939, the textbooks in the small number of secondary schools remained unchanged; between 1924 and 1952, not a single new high school was built in Brisbane. The men ruling the state were the products of this system and the inheritors of its failings. As Peter Charlton observes, ‘It explains much of the state’s conservatism, suspicion and resistance to change.’4 It also accounts for the nickname given to Queensland by many commentators: the Deep North. — location: 326 ^ref-31412

Peter Milton Walsh: Anybody with a pulse would have felt they were trapped in a scene from In The Heat Of The Night. It was like a northern version of a southern American state; it was the cops against people who were alive. — location: 1895 ^ref-41850

This was punk’s greatest gift to Brisbane: far more crucial than any specific political refusal was the impetus that it provided to a bored youth to create its own history. — location: 1916 ^ref-19577

Living under the one roof on a diet of bread and black sauce was hardly conducive to group harmony; drinking and playing by night, no matter how good the gigs, only poisoned the cocktail further. — location: 1965 ^ref-45097

Mark Callaghan was too clever a songwriter to be stifled permanently by the breakup of the Riptides. With his new group, GANGgajang, he achieved deserved commercial success, writing a string of hits throughout the ’80s, experiencing a roughly equivalent measure of spoils and compromises along the way: the classic Sounds Of Then was even used as the soundtrack for both Coke and Channel Nine commercials. — location: 1977 ^ref-57417

Since acquiring Lindy Morrison, the band had completely deconstructed its original sound. Their music had become angular, based on shifting rhythms and tones rather than naive melodies. Robert Forster had no interest in rewriting Lee Remick, but for some time found himself unsure of which musical path to pursue: through 1980 and into 1981, by his own admission, ‘I didn’t write a really good song for two years.’ The band was practising obsessively and becoming stale. — location: 2210 ^ref-24557

Next to the albums that followed, Send Me A Lullaby, as the Go-Betweens’ debut was eventually titled, is often dismissed as amateurish and tentative. It is in fact ripe for rediscovery, making far more sense when viewed in the context of the band’s immediate post-punk peers. Still, the band was only beginning to find its feet. — location: 2242 ^ref-32483

Robert Vickers: I’d heard Send Me A Lullaby and thought it was quite different, obviously, to the early material. It was interesting, but it sounded like they were trying to work something out. So I was very happy when I heard Before Hollywood, because it was obvious that they had worked it out. It contained a lot of the melody that was in the early songs, but it was more intelligently put together. The structures of the songs were complex but also memorable, which is an almost impossible thing to do in music. — location: 2280 ^ref-4393

Not everyone appreciated the humour. Most of the station’s staff, particularly journalists, were finding themselves under increasing levels of surveillance. Some suffered the frightening experience of having their homes raided at dawn by the Special Branch. Others were subjected to more subtle means of intimidation. Amanda Collinge: I was at this Russ Hinze press conference one day, which was an eye-opener in itself, and I was approached by someone who started asking me questions that indicated he knew a hell of a lot about me. He asked me first how I was finding my lodgings at 8 Broadway Street in Red Hill. Then he asked me if my Datsun 180B was giving me a problem. And the third question was how was I managing to survive on whatever it was we were paid at Triple Zed at the time. — location: 2318 ^ref-61968

Where Midnight Oil’s Beds Are Burning spoke of ‘we’, and Archie Roach limited his own accounts of personal tragedy mainly to ‘I’, it is perhaps unsurprising that Carmody’s accusatory ‘you’ would prove too difficult for white audiences to swallow. — location: 2591 ^ref-3533

Some bands peak early. Almost all the great ones, however, take several years to hit their stride. — location: 4567 ^ref-37293