TIME has ticked on, but being back on stage with Custard hasn’t changed a bit, singer-songwriter and drummer Glenn Thompson told LIVE.
‘‘It’s pretty similar, surprisingly. When we first [got back together] we went in a rehearsal room. For half an hour it was a bit of a shambles and then something kind of clicked and it seemed exactly the same. Strange. It’s all deep within the reptilian part of the brain,’’ he said with a wry laugh.
Thompson joined Custard behind the drums in the late ’90s, one of several line-up changes for the band which always featured quirky frontman David McCormack front and centre.
Famous for their pop ditties such as Girls Like That (Don’t Go For Guys Like Us), Music is Crap, Apartment and Ringo (I Feel Like), Custard rose to fame in the early 1990s.
They toured the country extensively and released a string of albums including We Have The Technology and Loverama.
The band had called it quits by 2000 but, much to fans’ delight, they re-formed in 2009 after Powderfinger invited Custard to join them at Queensland’s 150th birthday celebrations.
The band made a triumphant return to the stage and have since played what Thompson said was about three gigs a year.
‘‘It’s a pretty random arrangement. If things pop up and we all happen to be able to do it and think it’s a good idea, then we do it,’’ Thompson said.
Thompson juggles his Custard commitments with a project with former Go-Betweens members Robert Forster and Adele Pickvance. Thompson himself was also a member of the Go-Betweens after the demise of Custard until the Go-Betweens disbanded in 2006 with the sudden death of Grant McLennan.
Custard’s latest commitment is to play the Gum Ball in the Hunter Valley on April 27 and 28, alongside acts such as Jinja Safari, Fire! Santa Rosa Fire!, Benjalu, The Beautiful Girls Mat McHugh and Aussie rock stalwarts Front End Loader.
Thompson said though the muscle memory had returned and playing with Custard was easy, the physical demands of being on stage were greater than in decades past.
‘‘It’s pretty hard work. You think gee, this is fast music,’’ he said with a laugh. ‘‘But it’s fun. The last time we toured I had a ball because we played two gigs in a row and by the second night I was match fit.’’
Any chance the band would re-form and tour more extensively?
‘‘We’re kind of playing by ear at the moment and seeing how things go. Everyone has got pretty separate lives now so we’re just going to see how it goes. We don’t really want to rock the boat because we do it occasionally and it’s great fun and it seems to work quite well.’’
Thompson said that besides the well-known Custard favourites his personal favourite was The New Matthew.
‘‘People say, wow, I didn’t realise I knew so many songs,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s weird, most of the songs in the set were actually released as singles so everyone who listened to triple j has them in the back of their mind,’’ he said.
Thompson told LIVE the songs haven’t aged, but, encouragingly, he did not rule out writing new material.
‘‘The songs still feel good, strangely for me they don’t seem that dated. It’s not embarrassing, not at the moment anyway,’’ he said. ‘‘Although we can’t go on forever playing the same old songs, it’d be nice to have something new, it’s definitely a possibility.’’
Custard play the Gum Ball, Belford in the Hunter Valley, Friday April 27 and Saturday April 28. Tickets and more information at thegumball.com.au.