Electricity free psych prog pop rock band

The Scoop

Goldmine Magazine, Oct 2018

"Helium is Gregory Curvey, mastermind behind long-time Spin Cycle faves Luck of Eden Hall, but stepping out here with what is less a solo album, and more a whole new notion – prog rock unplugged.  Or, as Curvey prefers to put it, “electricity free.”

It’s a wry notion, especially if one recalls British DJ John Peel’s early condemnation of ELP as “a waste of electricity.”  But there is no monster moog inflected classical navel-gazing going on here; if anything, Custard Flux feels more like something XTC might have hatched, had they only had other plans for Nigel.  

The opening “Hit Parade” is certainly a pumping piece of pop, and while the rest of the album is certainly a lot less over-excited (well, mostly), that impression does not stray far.  From the folk-in-space “La Mort” and the Beatles-y “Out of Phase,” to the delectably convoluted “Shire of Gingham” (Ozric Tentacles meet Blackmore’s Night), it’s an album that wanders across a multitude of emotions, and the fact that each one feels like a fresh peak is further evidence of its overall eccentricity."  Continued...

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Interview by Mick Dillingham

Here at IDHAS, we are big admirers of the magnificent Psych Pop purveyors, Luck Of Eden Hall. We also love Curvey's latest project, Custard Flux. So we thought it was about time that we caught up with the great man. Mick found out all about Custard Flux, including a track by track breakdown of the Helium album and much more.

Mick: So you moved from Chicago to Detroit. That must have been quite an upheaval for you both physically and emotionally.

Curvey: Yes.  I really had no desire to leave Chicago, and my house that I’d been pouring my heart and soul into for ten years. But my wife was really burned out from working for the City of Chicago for twenty years and she was receiving job offers from all around the country.

So we decided to make the move for her career.  I thought I could handle it, but it has really taken a toll on me psychologically.  Detroit has a great music history, but I haven’t had much luck finding local musicians to play with and it’s been quite depressing.

Mick: So how did the Custard Flux project first germinate in your mind?

Curvey: My friend Lee Klawans, a great photographer and man of many talents, was managing an estate sale in Chicago, where they were selling an old harmonium, or pump organ.  He told me that I should see it and that I’d fall in love with it, so I rented a trailer and drove from Detroit to Chicago to have a look."  Continued...

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Prog Magazine, Oct 2018

"From the heart of the English countryside via Detroit.

Custard Flux is the new project from Gregory Curvey of The Luck of Eden Hall.  Based in Detroit, it seems a safe bet to guess that Curvey may be something of a musical Anglophile.  The premise behind the project is to make music using instruments that don't require electricity, so that means a lot of Harmonium, acoustic guitars, upright bass, and drums. The result is a sound that blends psychedelic and the Canterbury scene with early Genesis and XTC, Happily, Curvey's songwriting is strong enough that while he wears his influences on his sleeve - in the track Golden Opportunity he sings about watching Soft Machine in a field - Helium is full of memorable melodies. The folky Forevermore is lovely with Curvey sounding like a young Peter Gabriel, and La Mort is just lush with it's overlapping guitar parts. The only quibble would be the slightly flabby drum sound, but Curvey has made an album full of warmth and whimsy." Continued...

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The 100 Year Old Harmonium

Custard Flux

For the last 30 years, Curvey has been thee driving force behind cult psych-prog-pop band 

The Luck of Eden Hall. Custard Flux is a new electricity free outlet. Captain Curvehead's sonic ointment to remedy the daily routine of human life.

Electricity Free

"This project was born out of a vision, after I had acquired and restored a 100 year old Harmonium, and the possibility to be able to set up in the park and play progressive psychedelic pop without any electricity."

Prog-Psych-Pop

"Newly located in Detroit, I've set out to find a group of like minded musicians, including a Double Bassist, Drummer, Keyboardist and Guitarist. It's taken some time, but the spark has been lit, and I'm pleased with the music. I hope you like it too." -Curvey 

The Hit Parade

A wonderfully trippy music video created by artist Shane Swank.  This song appears on the album Helium.

Innermission

Another fabulous music video by artist Shane Swank.  This song appears on the Helium Box Set Bonus CD.

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For an occasional email and first dibs on goodies.

Images

Many thanks to Gregory Chamberlin for the use of his brilliant paintings.

Visit more of his work at gregorychamberlin(dot)com

Lyrics

The Hit Parade

March on in luxury
You’re on the Hit Parade
Jet streams and radio waves
You’re on the Hit Parade

I feel better

Conquer and celebrate
You’re on the Hit Parade
Grand Marshall serenade
You’re on the Hit Parade

I feel better

We should give, more than take
It’s an honest mistake

Float by on accolades
You’re on the Hit Parade
This is a perfect day
You’re on the Hit Parade

Forevermore

We’ve stormed the castle
To slide down the banister
Coins rain from our pockets
As we swing from the chandeliers

We pushed together
The egg King fell off his wall
His prayers are answered
Our hands are stained with yolk

The kingdom is falling

The love Queen feels anger
She screams to kill us all
Join us your Highness
We’ll sleep forevermore

The kingdom is falling

Empyrean House

Lying still

Underneath a quilt of stars

Upon a great stone

That keeps me warm

In the dark 

Swarms of bats fly over me

And pass by so close

I hear their song

In this empyrean house

Only men are off their balance

Sitting here

High atop a mountain ridge

The edge of a bowl

I feel so small

Gazing down 

Across a million flowers

I can see a sleuth of bear

Eating mushrooms

In this empyrean house

Only men are off their balance

Sleep takes her

I’m waiting

We glide through

Various worlds

Our vessel

Sails truly

Until her alarm calls

Tiger

Shiva
Dance in me
India
Kerala
Smoking
Sandalwood
Floating there
In the air 

Anger and sadness
Feed the tiger inside

Buddha
Plasticine
Mounted there
Smiling
Driving
Round and round
Here and now
Touch the ground

Anger and sadness
Feed the tiger inside

Sleepy

I am so bored to tears

The hours pass endlessly

Keeping one eye on the second hand

She wears a tattered ghost

Of something once beautiful 

Her twilight eyes are so heavy now

Sleepy hollow

Northern wind blows

Watching shadows

Recede from the sun

Down to zero

Weeping willows 

Now my heroes

Are all dead and gone

Oh no

Penny in the Symphonion

A curtsey, then off we go

Whirling around in another dream

My head nods for a hundred years 

In a long, slow agreement

As darkness yawns and we go to sleep

Out of Phase

We met on a plain
Oscillating
Together we'd swing

Constant velocity
Our horology
Together in sync

Passing through the days
We've grown out of phase
Back and forth we run
Like coupled pendulums

We live on a plain
And meet twice a day
As we decay

An opposing motion
We're in unison
In wrong directions

Passing through the days
We've grown out of phase
Back and forth we run
Like coupled pendulums

Golden Opportunity

Golden opportunities
Can be surreal
Standing in the rain
In an English field
The girl with the umbrella smiles
Watching you melt
Golden opportunities
Patiently

All day long
I listen to my favorite song
Waiting for
The sunny intervals to come

Golden opportunities
Can be surreal
Watching Soft Machine
In an English field
Navigating through the crowd
Standing in mud
Golden opportunities
Patiently

Golden opportunities
Never seem real

Helium

She never has the time
For photographs of the sky
Flipping through magazines
Sampling chocolate things
Called her on Saturday
Wouldn’t come out to play
She never has the time

She never has the time
For riding a motorbike
Painting some canvas red
Tripping inside her head
Texted her on the phone
Wanted to walk her home
She never has the time

I tied my helium balloons to her
Couldn’t get off the ground

She never has the time
To listen to Bowie songs
Practicing bass guitar
Strolling through the bazaar
Tried her again today
Told me to go away
She never has the time

I tied my helium balloons to her
Couldn’t get off the ground

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