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Frequently Asked Questions

2.  What's the history of Curve?


Dean Garcia's early career during the '80s was spent playing bass for several artists including Mick Jagger, Michael Kamen, Tom Petty and Eurythmics, The Blockheads and Sinead O'Connor. Toni Halliday started her music career singing in various bands (her first was called Incest back in 1978 but her first signed band was The Uncles in 1984). She was discovered by Dave Stewart after he saw her on a local TV programme saying she was a fan of The Tourists (his and Annie Lennox's current band before they split and formed Eurythmics). Through Stewart, Dean and Toni met backstage at a Eurythmics gig in 1983.

They first worked together when they formed State Of Play (along with Julie Fletcher & Olle Romö) in 1985 and signed to Virgin Records. The label invested several million pounds in them but the resulting two singles and album flopped badly and the band split acrimoniously...*

"We were just bunged loads of money, loads of gear... We were chucked into this mega-studio and none of us knew what the f*** was going on really... It was a disaster."
(Dean Garcia : Melody Maker interview, March 1991)

State Of Play : Dean Garcia, Olle Romö, Toni Halliday, Julie Fletcher (1986)

State Of Play : Natural Colour (1986)       State Of Play : Rock-A-Bye Baby (1986)       State Of Play : Balancing the Scales (1986)

Toni Halliday (1989)

For three years Dean and Toni had no contact (except through solicitors). Dean emigrated to Spain and got married, while Toni released a solo album - Hearts And Handshakes - on Dave Stewart's Anxious label. It also failed to chart and the singles from it fared little better...

* "Metropolis" (a b-side of all things!) is the only State Of Play track that Curve still regard as worth listening to these days...

Curve : phase #1

Dean returned to the UK in 1989 and he and Toni sorted out their differences... The following year they formed Curve and signed to the Anxious label. Their first release - the Blindfold EP (which cost just £300 to record) - was a surprising success. Promoted with just a white label 12" and an anonymous photo of the band, it became a Melody Maker Single Of The Week in February 1991 (even though it wasn't due to be released for another six weeks!) Curve rapidly became The Next Big Thing - appearing on the cover of pretty much every music magazine in the UK. The follow up EP's Frozen and Cherry were huge indie hits (and also reached the Top 40) and their live shows were sellouts... As is typical in the UK though, the backlash started quickly. Toni and Dean's failed 'pop' past was continually referred to and they were accused of being contrived, manufactured and of cashing in on the current "shoegazing" scene. In 1992 their debut album Doppelgänger was released and received mixed reviews - mostly criticising that it sounded too similar to the three EP's released over the previous year...

" should they have done a couple of reggae numbers, or what?"
(Robin Gibson : Volume, May 1992)

Curve : first photo session (1991)

Curve : Dean, Alex, Monti, Debbie, Toni (1992) (pic: Tom Sheehan)

To promote the album (and the singles taken from it - Faît Accompli & Horror Head) they toured the world. Afterwards, they returned to the UK and commenced work on their second, more experimental album Cuckoo. In Autumn 1993 the two-part BlackerThreeTracker single was released in the UK and was another hit - a month later the album followed. Once again, the band toured to promote it but during this time, Toni and Dean became increasingly disillusioned with the music business. Shortly after the tour, they split the band and disappeared as quickly as they'd arrived three years earlier...

"We weren't happy with the way everything was going. It had stopped being fun and we couldn't do what we wanted any more. We just wanted to jump off that treadmill."
(Toni Halliday : New Musical Express interview, August 1996)

'Post' Curve

While Dean spent time with his family and experimented in his home studio writing soundtracks, Toni worked with The Future Sound Of London, Freaky Chakra and also scored a UK Top 40 hit with Original - her collaboration with Leftfield. She also formed an all-girl band called Scylla though not much is known about them except that they recorded a few tracks but only one - Helen's Face - was ever released.

Toni Halliday and Leftfield (Neil Barnes & Paul Daley) (1995) (pic: Tom Sheehan)

Curve : phase #2

Curve (1996)

Toni and Dean made a low-key return as Curve in 1996. Forming their own record label - Fatlip - they released the Pink Girl With The Blues single. Many cynics believed that they'd returned to cash in on Garbage's recent success - an ironic claim considering that Garbage could easily be accused of the same thing, as their musical style could be interpreted as a more polished, radio-friendly version of Curve's old sound...

"Good luck to them. I can see our influence. I'm actually quite
chuffed - I know Butch Vig. He's a big Curve fan - he wanted to
produce our third album. I'm not bitter. If we helped to open
doors then that's good."
(Toni Halliday : Select interview, August 1996)

Curve later signed to Universal / Estupendo and in Winter 1997 released the Chinese Burn single - the track was also used on an advert to promote the new Sony MiniDisc format. Around the same time they returned to the live scene and were rapturously received by the press and fans alike.

"...Curve have established that they can still play the old songs with frightening intensity, that they can still make noises like coughing seagulls actually sound melodic, and that their new songs boast the grinding beats, morose basslines and atmospheric whooshings that made them so good years ago..."
(April Long : New Musical Express, November 1997)

A few months later in 1998, their third album Come Clean was released after several delays... It proved popular overseas but the UK press were as cynical as ever...

"...a band unique in the world of hi-tech, low-calorie goth music for never having chanced upon a tune... they split up a few years ago in the face of universal indifference - while still releasing identically-flawed records."
(James Oldham : New Musical Express, May 1998)

Curve : Come Clean promotional artwork (1998)

Once again they toured the world to promote the album while another single Coming Up Roses was also released in the UK (though it failed to dent the charts). Afterwards, they vanished again leaving their official website untouched and many fans fearing the band had split again just as before... Dean released an internet-only CD under his Headcase alias in 1999. Finally, in mid-2000, Curve re-surfaced with a brand new official website (created by Dean himself) plus an update from Toni...

"Keep it together everyone, Dean is working as fast as his little hands will allow, yes some things are still not right but the main objective of this site is going to be to get music to our fans as quickly as possible... Dean and I are in long drawn out negotiations with the record label but we fully expect a release later this year of our new album "GIFT" . Until then we are quite happy to update this site and offer "you" free music that we love in the hope that you will too..."

The site featured the first of many exclusive MP3 tracks to be regularly released online plus a message forum where Toni and Dean responded to fan questions. In January 2001 another announcement was made...

"Finally we have some news regarding our recording commitment with Estupendo Records. As of this week we have been formally released from our contract without the last record we recorded for them being released. So sorry to all the fans out there that have been waiting for "Gift" but it seems unlikely that this record will ever see the light of day since they technically own the recordings and have no intention of allowing us to use them. Unfortunately the music business has changed to such a degree that it no longer feels the need to support bands like us, leaving you the consumer with limited access to the wealth of music that is made...

As for the future of Curve..... that will depend on you and how willing or receptive you would be to buying music directly from us via our site. At the moment we are getting between 15-17 thousand hits per day or around 500 thousand hits a month. If just 5% of those people bought our records it would allow Dean and I to make the next record. Both of us have worked hard at making our music available to you through this portal for free. If you would like Curve to continue ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS.

On a lighter note... We're Free... We're Free... We're Free... Hip Hip Hooray."

Headcase : Crosseyedrabbit (2001)       Curve : Open Day At The Hate Fest (2001)       Curve : Gift (US version 2001)

2001 was Curves' most prolific in years, though the year actually started with Dean releasing a second Headcase album - Crosseyedrabbit. On the Curve site, four tracks from Gift were tantalisingly released as MP3's, while a new CD - Open Day At The Hate Fest (a collection of the previous online tracks plus 3 new songs) - was released exclusively through the site. The biggest event of the year though was Gift finally being released in September - but in the US only.

In 2002, with their new found freedom, Toni and Dean recorded an entirely new album - The New Adventures Of Curve - and released it though the site... Also, Gift was finally released in the UK and Australia along with two singles - Perish in the UK and Want More Need Less in Australia. The band then rounded off the year with a remix of Gary Numan's "Down In The Park" which was released on his 25th anniversary album...

The New Adventures Of Curve (2002)       Curve : Gift (UK version 2002)       Curve : Perish (2002)       Curve : Want More Need Less (2003)

The Way Of Curve

In June 2003 a message was posted on the official site:

"We've been working on our own and more recently with Flood. The tracks are sounding good so we want to do more. Alan is mixing 4 new tracks to be cut in a few days time. QuickTime clips of todays recording are posted here and here of Alan playing some guitar and mixing one of the new songs...In Disguise. We hope to be able to post more footage as we've recently got a cool you never know we may actually crop up here and there, better get the smoke and strobes out. Hope you like the clips and thanks for the continued support. love and all that."
Dean Toni Alan Turkey and Flood

The band were hoping for a September release of the new material but, apart from an MP3 of Some Good Some Bad nothing else materialised...

In July, the release of a compilation CD was announced and Curve asked their fans to choose tracks which they felt should be included. In October, the discovery of some old stock at the Church Studios finally allowed a few lucky fans to get hold of the Superblaster CD...

The Way Of Curve was released in May 2004. It featured re-mastered versions of material covering the whole of Curve's career and also included the new track In Disguise.

Curve : The Way Of Curve 1990/2004 (2004)

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