Evening Post - Wellington
Cakekitchen comes home a success
Graeme Jefferies is a Kiwi musican making a go of it
overseas. But few people here would have heard of his
band, The Cakekitchen. Back to play his first local shows
since the mid 1980s, Jefferies talks to Mike Houlahan.
Most of the year Graeme Jefferies tours the world playing in places
like New York, London and Berlin. But today heīs in Taranaki, home in
Stratford. "I quite like being able to come back here," Jefferies says.
"After living out of New Zealand for quite a few years, and touring through
maybe 50 or 60 cities in the space of each year, itīs nice to be able to come
back to New Zealand, especially small-town New Zealand. Itīs nice to be able
to sit on the back porch in the sun or on the lawn or something."
All very far from the rock īn roll lifestyle. Jefferies made a name in the local
alternative music scene at the start of the 80s, playing with such bands as
Nocturnal Projections and This Kind of Punishment. Jefferies says he still
finds copies of these bands records sought after overseas; astonishing really,
given there were hardly enough copies pressed for everyoneīs relatives to get
a copy of the record, let alone folks overseas.
The late 80s saw him form The Cakekitchen; the band which, in various line-ups
he has now taken around the world and back again. New Zealanders, if theyīve
heard of The Cakekitchen at all, would be familar with the bands The Cakekitchen
EP on Flying Nun.
After that 1989 release, they toured the country in 1990, and then left. And although
they may not have found fame and fortune, Jefferies says The Cakekitchen is certainly
paying its way. "Our position now is such that we can go to places like New York or
the big European cities and be able to headline our own shows. We sell records and do
merchandising at shows, which means we can sell stuff at a very reasonable price, and
support ourselves that way.
"If weīre doing a European tour, say, it would take about 12 shows for us to break
even and start to make money. Itīs not the lap of luxury, but at least we get to eat good meals." Just after the release of The Cakekitchen EP the band scored a three album
deal with Homestead Records. They are now signed to the Merge label owned by the
recent tourists here Superchunk, and have just completed their fourth album, Stompin
Thru the Boneyard.
After going through various line-ups, The Cakekitchen are now back to the way they started in 1988; a duo, Jefferies newest musical cohort is Frenchman Jean-Yves Douet. "We donīt use any backing tapes or samples live, Iīve never believed in that sort of thing for a show, " Jefferies says. "Itīs all played totally live. We use maybe five or six different instruments on stage and swap around between them. We rely on a very full guitar sound, and I reckon at times we sound like at least three people, even though thereīs really only two of us."
The Cakekitchen play Bar Bodega on Friday night.