It took me a long while to write about Curve over at the old blog, and when I did it was as part of an occasional series on cover versions.  It was a post which attracted a fair number of comments and it is fair to say that there’s a few folk out there who remember the band with much fondness and who have never got over their lust for lead singer Toni Halliday.

For the uninitiated,  Curve, comprising said Ms Halliday and multi-instrumentalist Dean Garcia, came together in Manchester in 1991. At a time when the Madchester sound (Happy Mondays/Stone Roses/James etc) was very much in full flow, Curve were something a bit different. The first few releases were EPs. The music press loved them, and they were championed by John Peel.

And yet….they didn’t ever quite turn the critical praise into popular acclaim and really meaningful sales, albeit the debut LP in 1992, Doppelganger, reached Number 11, while the follow-up, Cuckoo, went Top 30.

I love an awful lot about Curve, but especially the sound of Toni Halliday’s voice. In many places it reminds me of Elizabeth Fraser, and there’s no doubt that Shirley Manson of Garbage owes a lot to Toni.

Many fans consider that they never surpassed Blindfold, which was their debut EP:-

mp3 : Curve (feat.  JC001) – Ten Little Girls
mp3 : Curve – I Speak Your Every Word
mp3 : Curve – Blindfold
mp3 : Curve – No Escape From Heaven

It was an astonishing debut in so many ways and while I can understand some folk thinking they never quite hit those heights again I’m willing to stand by a number of their later releases and say that they were equally as good – especially this track:-

mp3 : Curve – Fait Accompli

Going back to the March 2007 posting, here’s the two covers that were featured:-

mp3 : Curve – I Feel Love
mp3 : Curve feat. Ian Dury – What A Waste

The first song originally appeared on the NME album Ruby Trax (which got a mention as part of a recent piece on Inspiral Carpets), and is a quite fantastic cover of the disco classic written by Giorgio Moroder and sung by Donna Summer. Evidence, if any were needed that dance music need not be mindless pap.

The second song was recorded with Ian Dury himself, as part of a project called Peace Together that raised money for young people in Northern Ireland.


3 thoughts on “REMEMBERING CURVE

  1. “Lust for Toni Halliday…” Yep, that’s me! As for post-debut tracks, I loved ‘Missing Link’ from the second album, and ‘Chinese Burn’ from their third album remains an absolute MONSTER of a track.

  2. No lust for Toni Halliday here*, but I did enjoy Curve, especially in the period where they came to prominence; a large chunk of the UK music scene that did little for me. I enjoyed their early EPs on release and years later got the idea to buy several of the albums. All were much better than the proto-Curve group “State Of Play,” which didn’t begin to hint at the power they would eventually have as Curve. And yes, it always felt like they would reach a higher level of stardom than they did. Didn’t they get stick for Garcia being part of the Eurythmics machine? That might have dampened their “hipness factor” that kept them in sub-stardom.

    *She seems like a female Gary Numan in that photo!

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