Appearing as a one-off 7″ single in 1995 (during a speight of similar projects from the likes of King Loser and the 3D’s side-projects such as Chris Heazlewood‘s solo debut Spacious etc), the rather dubiously Australian-themed ‘A Sort of Holiday’ single was something of an undiscovered gem – and the recording debut of Auckland wacko Edmund Cake (aka Edward McWilliams.
Though the single itself went nowhere, Cake later resurfaced as a critical member of bizarro-pop trio Breast Secreting Cake (later redubbed to the slightly less vulgar Bressa Creeting Cake), who in turn released a heck of a debut album and the left-of-centre video-hit Papa People.
What a bizarre little band this one was! Starting off as Breast Secreting Cake, the trio of Joel Milton (drums, tabla, percussion, vibraphone), Geoff Maddock (vocals, acoustic/electric/bass guitars, piano/keyboards, mandolin, vibraphone) and Edmund Cake (vocals, acoustic/electric/bass guitars, percussion) made some of the most diverse, eclectic songs over their short, single album lifespan.
They had to change their name at Creative New Zealand‘s insistence (so that they could get a video grant), and so Bressa Creeting Cake was chosen as the debut album was being prepared.
And what a debut it was!, stretching from the most bizarre, Ween-like take on pop through calypso shuffles, samba numbers and psychedelic freak-outs. College radio success with original single ‘Papa People’ just fueled their fire for the bizarre (their video featured a love scene between a woman and a house-sized Weta (the New Zealand ancestor of the cockroach).
The album in full is a classic, highlighted by ‘The Chip That Sells Millions’ (an ultra-catchy sing-a-long about corn snack flavoring), ‘Rotted Old Bitch’ and the exceedingly chirpy ‘Palm-Singing’. An instant classic that comes highly recommended.
Milton and Maddock went on to form Golden Horse, which has since released a couple of great singles, and an over-rated album. Lastly Edmond Cake surfaced with an album under his own name, then a couple further as Pie Warmer – quite close to the original Bressa Creeting Cake sound.
Joel Milton (Drums/Tabla/Percussion/Vibraphone, 1991 – 1999, 2009)
Edmund Cake (aka Edmund McWilliams) is a bit of a cult figure in New Zealand music. Most local music fans would be familiar with his most famous group – the bizarre but super-poppy Bressa Creeting Cake. Others might know his later solo material under his own (fake) name or as subsequent releases as Pie Warmer. However one of the highlights of his early output was in fact a Flying Nun 7″ single under the name Rik Starrr back in 1995.
With a fake Australian back story, Cake spun a couple great tunes, immediately setting a template for future releases.
Cake has always been a dab hand at creating generally humorous and thoroughly eclectic pseudo pop music that spread-forth into many different stylistic directions.
However, after Bressa Creeting Cake went their separate ways, Cake found finding a home for his solo full-length debut -a tight pop package called Downtown Puff – quite a hard effort, despite working alongside Neil Finn on the soundtrack to Christine Jeffs critically lauded film ‘Rain’.
Thankfully after spending two years in limbo the newly established Lil Chief Records (home of contemporary popsters such as the Brunettes and the Nudie Suits) came to the rescue. The album featured contributions from both former Bressa Creeting Cake compadres (Geoff Maddock and Joel Wilton – now of Goldenhorse), along with a plethora of others in a small capacity.
Cake subsequently resurfaced in 2009 with a new group called Pie Warmer, releasing their debut The Fearsome Feeling on Lil’ Chief.
i don’t know what to say about goldenhorse. as a fan of geoff maddock’s previous bizarre tour-de-force bressa creeting cake i was disappointed to see him retreat to the relatively ‘safe’ goldenhorse – a band that draws lavish attention, yet fails to deliver its promise on its debut album (its not that the album isn’t pleasant, its just that they’re probably capable of so much more). see the attention has switched to vocal focus point kirstin morelle, a talented, playful vocalist fronting a group of musicians 10 years her senior, which could be mistaken for nothing more than a session musician backing band. gah… i dunno, proove me wrong. the auckland-based duo of maddock and kristin are flanked by ben king (guitar), vincent hine (bass) and ben collier (drums). the album was the slowest ascending sleeper hit in new zealand’s pop history, taking the better part of 2 years to climb to the top of the new zealand album charts as lead single ‘maybe tommorrow’ started appearing as an advertising favorite, and the band had fully crossed over into an adult contemporary market. discography picks in bold