A brash, up-front personality with a voice that can stop you dead in your tracks, Toni Halliday slummed around in the British music scene for several years prior to finding minor chart success and cult fame as the proto-Garbage duo Curve with partner Dean Garcia.
With Curve, Halliday gained a reputation for being something of an ice queen, thanks in no small part to the English press and the combination of her dark looks and sexy, confident, and dark vocals. Halliday played in a number of bands throughout her early teens, the most significant being Bonk, who released one single. During a 1983 television appearance she expressed admiration for Annie Lennox, who was then a member of the Tourists. Lennox's partner Dave Stewart just happened to be tuned in at the time and contacted Halliday, eventually convincing her to head south to London and get involved with a band. Within a short period of time, Halliday had become a member of the Uncles, who signed to MCA and released one single prior to breaking up. Stewart introduced Halliday to occasional Eurythmics' bassist Dean Garcia. The pair hit it off and formed State of Play with two other members, releasing one flop record of funk-based pop that left them deeply indebted to their label, Virgin. An acrimonious split resulted in Halliday and Garcia suing each other. The two spent a couple years away from each other until patching up their friendship. Halliday signed to CBS affiliate WTG for 1989's Hearts and Handshakes, with Garcia contributing bass to one track. A middle-of-the-road dance-pop record, it too failed to bring Halliday much public notice. Garcia and Halliday formed the long running Curve, initially opting to go the independent route. Enabling creative freedom on a small budget, the move proved to be a wise one. Their first EPs attained chart success in the U.K., and the duo became well-known as fusionists of dance beats and layered guitars. During a lengthy hiatus in the mid-'90s, the duo's profile was increased thanks to the success of the similarly formatted Garbage, who merely took the foundation of Curve and added pop sensibility while reducing some of the band's murky textures. Garcia and Halliday continued with Curve throughout the early 2000s. ~ Andy Kellman, Rovi