After the demise of This Kind Of Punishment, Graeme Jefferies recorded a solo EP called ‘Messages From The Cakekitchen‘, and needed to form a band to perform the material in a live environment:
[Started] as a two piece guitar, vocal and drum project with drummer Robert Key (The Sombretones) agreeing to help Graeme play a series of live shows at The Rising Sun Tavern on Auckland’s notorious Karangahape Road to promote the then new release on Flying Nun Records messages for The Cakekitchen.
The 2 piece format (an idea used by The White Stripes to great effect years later) evolved into a more easily palatable 3 piece lineup with the inclusion of young Auckland bass player Rachael King.
Together they toured New Zealand 3 times, recorded two albums worth of material and made a healthy impact for themselves before calling it a day and going their separate ways in April 1990
– Graeme Jefferies
With the band going in different directions, Graeme formed a new Cakekitchen in London with expatriates Keith McLean and Huw Dainow, recording the ‘How Far From The Sun’ album and touring Europe and then the States, securing a deal with homestead records in New York just as things were falling apart in England.
Jefferies had soon again relocated – this time to France, and with the departure of his London backing band he started recording with french multi-instrumentalist Jean-Yves Douet.
With ajax releasing Jefferies back catalog in Europe (including the long out of print This Kind Of Punishment material), the new Cakekitchen duo recorded two of their most acclaimed releases; ‘Stompin Thru The Boneyard’ and ‘Devil And The Deep Blue Sea‘.
What they (The Cakekitchen) lacked in personal, they more than made up for with hands, legs and fingers, managing at one time or another to play 6 different instruments during the course of their sometimes over two hour long shows
– Graeme Jefferies
This configuration of The Cakekitchen lasted until 1995, securing European distribution through the Raffmond label, and stateside through Merge along the way, touring 7 countries and playing many high-profile festivals and performance slots.
Graeme resurfaced in Bavaria with another duo, this time using Raffmond boss (and a member of The Notwist) Marcus Archer as a collaborator on analogue 8-track recordings which eventually constituted the everything’s going to work out just fine album.
The Cakekitchen continued to tour (including an american jaunt with The Mountain Goats) using many different musicians (Stefanie Bohm, Marion Gerth, Andre Richels, Paul Lemp, Steven Keusch, Dieter Roseeuw, Herbert Dee etc) releasing ‘Talking To Me In My Sleep‘ and the soundtrack to the successful German film ‘Sonnenallee’ for director Leander Hausmann.
More live work followed in 2002 when Graeme played solo for the first time in 10 years when he took to the road with Robert Scott‘s ‘Creeping Unknown‘ package tour.
The tour was a healthy 14 shows and after jamming with Robert in a hotel room in Dortmund Graeme joined his band at the end of the night to play some additional songs with them such as the classic Flying Nun chestnuts “Tally Ho” and “Anything Could Happen”.
The traditional two piece Cakekitchen line-up was even resurrected for a couple of the shows on this tour when at the Munster and Koln shows Herbert joined Graeme on stage for the entire set.
– Graeme Jefferies
‘How can you be so blind?’ was recorded with Michael Heilrath and released in late 2002, with Marcus archer rejoining to fill in the percussion roles.
the performing line-up continues to fluctuate, with Graeme performing through-out Europe utilizing many different configurations for an increasingly eclectic Cakekitchen.
A very active documenter, Graeme tracks the bands history and current progress on the excellent Cakekitchen website. (where Graeme’s various quotes have been taken from).
- Graeme Jeffries (Vocals/Guitar/Piano, 1990 -)
- The Cakekitchen 12″ EP (1990, Flying Nun Records, FN126)
- Time Flowing Backwards (1991, Homestead, HMS156)
- World Of Sand (1992, Homestead / Raffmond, HMS176)
- Far From The Sun (1993, Homestead / Raffmond Raff003)
- Stompin’ Thru The Boneyard (1994, Merge / Raffmond, RAF012)
- Bald Old Bear EP (1995, Merge / Raffmond)
- Devil And The Deep Blue Sea (1995, Merge / Raffmond, RAF017)
- Everythings Gonna Work Out Just Fine (1996, Merge / Raffmond)
- Talkin’ To Me In My Sleep (1999, Eggbox)
- How Can You Be So Blind? (2003, Hausmusik)