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My Friend the Chocolate Cake


Country of origin:

Australia

Type of music generally:

Evocative/eclectic folk/rock with pop elements and prominent strings

Status:

Most recent release, Best (Cake) in Show: A Collection of Live Recordings from My Friend the Chocolate Cake (live compilation, 2014); most recent studio release, Fiasco (2011)

See also:

My Friend the Chocolate Cake's site

My Friend the Chocolate Cake's bandcamp site

Wikipedia's entry on My Friend the Chocolate Cake

Comparisons:

Other David Bridie projects

Covers/own material:

Own, occasional cover

General comments:

They are brilliant. I have all of their cds and wholeheartedly recommend everything of both Not Drowning, Waving and Chocolate Cake. (11/95, Garry_Potter.VICROADS@vrnotes.roads.vic.gov.au)

The first exposure I had to these bands was through one song by Not Drowning, Waving on a mixed tape a friend from Melbourne made for me. Then the same friend came to visit and brought me a My Friend the Chocolate Cake CD (self-titled). Love it! (11/95, abehrend@Direct.CA)

Wonderful band, half of the time. The dark, moody, introspective half. Their other face is somewhat on the jangly, folky side, which kind of annoys me, but might well appeal to some people...perhaps the fans of The Nields, from what I can gather about them. The Chocolate Cake are the acoustic sound of cello, violin, piano, mandolin and guitar plus drums, and male vocals, with two women in the band (cello and violin players) providing occasional harmonies...I would classify it as ecto music, with a side-note that while I love the songs I love, I hardly ever play the others. But the good ones... ah, they are wonderful. They have their own way of creating and exploiting a mood. They are also consummate live performers, true professionals in the best sense of the word.
     There are basically three types of My Friend the Chocolate Cake songs: the upbeat, bouncy ones sound just like what you'd expect from a band calling themselves My Friend The Chocolate Cake, and I usually edit them out—not that there's anything wrong with them, but they spoil the mood for me. The second type is the slower brooding ones; they are the reason I buy their records! And finally there are the instrumental interludes, which can also be some of their best moments. To my great pleasure, with each release the balance seems to shift towards the latter two types. MFTCC have a low-key but dedicated following though I'm not sure how many fans they have on Ecto. In any case, despite the fact that their vocalist is male I think they qualify as at least fringe Ecto material, with their rich acoustic sound and accomplished musicianship...
     one of very few male-vocal acts admitted to my collection.
     Not Drowning, Waving was another project (in fact, often the main project) for David Bridie and Helen Mountford, two leading forces behind My Friend The Chocolate Cake! Their presence is unmistakable in both bands, but Not Drowning, Waving are more influenced by world music. (afries@zip.com.au)

I must have discovered them last year, but this was the year that I traded for almost their whole catalog. Excellent Australian folk-rock with male vocals (!), violin and cello. Beautiful instrumentals, stirring ballads and reasonably entertaining more rocking moments.
     I'm a huge fan of the previously mentioned My Friend the Chocolate Cake and I highly recommend picking up something by them. (neal)

Comments about live performance:

My Friend The Chocolate Cake paid us one of their rare visits, wonderful as always. Despite the fact that it's always been sort of a part time project for them these guys can play! (12/99, afries@zip.com.au)

Recommended first album:

Parade—The Best of My Friend the Chocolate Cake is a great starting place

Recordings:


Live at the National Theatre

Release info:

1997—Mushroom Records—MUSH33072.2

Availability:

Fairly wide in Australia; otherwise see My Friend the Chocolate Cake's site

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

David Bridie—piano, vocals
Helen Mountfort—cello, harmonies
Hope Csutoros—violin
David Abuiso—double bass, accordion
Andrew Richardson—guitar, harmonies
Andrew Carswell—mandolin, tin whistle, harmonica
Greg Patten—drums

Produced by:

Paul Petran

Comments:

This group is great! WOW! This is sooooooo cool (she said as she listened and typed at the same time). Starts out with slow cello and piano...then a male vocal is added...nice gentle stuff.... The next thing you know, they're sounding like Ben Folds Five...and then Dave Matthews Band.... Slow stuff, fast stuff...fiddle...female harmonies. All I can say is that I'm very, very pleased. (Riphug@aol.com)

I recently got my hands on a copy of this and have really been enjoying it. They've got a lush sound, somewhat progressive sounding, but no noodling! And cellos all over it, which is very good in my book. There are a number of instrumental songs, and the others feature a male lead singer. I haven't listened enough to say much more, but I definitely like it, I'd get more of theirs, and I'd love to see them live. (neal)


19 Easy Pieces

Release info:

1999—CC1199M

Availability:

Fairly wide in Australia; otherwise see My Friend the Chocolate Cake's site

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

David Bridie
Helen Mountfort
Hope Csutoros
Andrew Carswell
Greg Patten

Guest artists:

John Phillips—bilas guitar
Hannah Cooper—oboe on "Emrys"
Rebecca Barnard—backing vocals on "I'll be alright"

Comments:

A collection of b-sides, demos, live versions and soundtracks so it's more of a collector's item than proper release. One other bit of trivia: 19 easy pieces also contains a track they did with Michelle Shocked: "I'll be alright". (afries@zip.com.au)

Curious

Release info:

2002—EMI—724354016622

Availability:

Fairly wide in Australia; otherwise see My Friend the Chocolate Cake's site

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Produced by:

Helen Mountfort, David Bridie, and Christian Scallan

Comments:

No huge stylistic departures here—it's just another My Friend The Chocolate Cake record, which is just fine by me! (afries@zip.com.au)

Parade

Release info:

2005—Blunt—BLUE106.2

Availability:

Fairly wide in Australia; otherwise see My Friend the Chocolate Cake's site

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Dean Addison—double bass
David Bridie—piano, harmonium, vocals
Andrew Carswell—mandolin, tin whistle, harmonica
Hope Csutoros—violin
Helen Mountfort—cello, backing vocals
Greg Patten—drums, tubs and rock ukulele, backing vocals
Andrew Richardson—guitar
Russel Bradley—snare drum, shakers (3, 5, 9)
David Abuiso—double bass, electric bass, accordion (2, 7, 10, 17)
Michael "Skimpy Egg" Barker—drums and percussion (1, 6, 11, 14)

Guest artists:

Bill McDonald—bass guitar (1)
Rebecca Barnard—vocals (2)
Rowan McKinnon—acoustic guitar (5, 9)

Produced by:

David Bridie and Helen Mountfort

Comments:

A best-of album which would make a good introduction to them for those who don't know where to start. (anthonyhoran@hotmail.com)

A great overview of the band's career and their different styles, including songs from 5 albums and 3 new tracks. This was my introduction to My Friend The Chocolate Cake. Having never heard any of their music, but liking their name, I asked my sister to bring me back one of their albums when she visited Australia. She brought this one, thinking a retrospective would be a good place to start, and it was love at first listen. (JoAnn Whetsell)


Home Improvements

Release info:

2007—Blunt/Liberation Music—LIBCD9231.2

Availability:

Fairly wide in Australia; otherwise see My Friend the Chocolate Cake's site

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

David Bridie—piano, singing, harmonium
Helen Mountfort—cello, backing vocals
Hope Csutoros—violin
Andrew Carswell—mandolin, tin whistle
Greg Patten—drums, ukulele, backing vocals
Dean Addison—double bass
Andrew Richardson—acoustic guitar

Guest artists:

David Abuiso—accordion? (7, 10)
Matt Stonehouse—percussion (10)

Produced by:

<
Tim Cole and David Bridie

Comments:

Showcases both their upbeat, poppier side and their slower, more introspective side. Most tracks are really good, though there are a couple of less than stellar songs. Definite standouts are the 4 instrumental tracks—especially the stunning "The forgotten athletes of Persia." (JoAnn Whetsell)

Further info:

A Compact Disc & Video Collectors Edition of Live at the National Theatre was released in 1997.

Other Projects of My Friend the Chocolate Cake band members include the bands Not Drowning, Waving (David Bridie and Helen Mountfort) and Cosmo Cosmolino (Helen Mountfort and Hope Csutoros); solo releases by David Bridie; and solo releases by Helen Mountfort.


Thanks to JoAnn Whetsell for work on this entry.

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Entry last updated 2016-06-04 23:04:45.
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