Formed 1989 by David Bridie and Helen Mountfort (members of Not Drowning Waving)
Like their former band, My Friend The Chocolate Cake's music can be seen to straddle the worlds of ambient and world music, with an emphasis on piano and violin-led acoustic music. Influences range from the obvious (such as Penguin Cafe Orchestra and Celtic folk music), to the less obvious (such as John Cale and Talk Talk).
In 1989, Bridie and Mountfort were playing in globally acclaimed ambient/world music ensemble Not Drowning, Waving when they opted to unplug and unwind with a few more breezy compositions. The idea of the band began when Bridie took a holiday in New Zealand and wrote a collection of songs that didn't fit into the Not Drowning, Waving style. He & Mountfort then began My Friend The Chocolate Cake with the intention of playing all acoustic music.
From the inception My Friend The Chocolate Cake emerged as an enjoyable ensemble, as musical friends & colleagues came together one by one to form their own unique sound. Hope Csutoros, a violinist with eastern European gypsy roots and a flamboyant stage presence to match, was an inspired early accomplice. Mandolinist Andrew Carswell and guitarist Andrew Richardson added to an exotic web of acoustic textures. Russell Bradley was the first of several percussionists.
The band's collective musical influences are diverse and include: Penguin Cafe Orchestra, Irish & Scottish folk music, Joy Division & folk / pop / rock performers such as Billy Bragg, Arvo Part, Talk Talk, John Cale & Michelle Shocked. My Friend The Chocolate Cake write songs of lyrical & musical mastery about people, characters and their community. Defying categorisation, the band perform emotive musical pieces that move from subtle chamber instrumentals to frayed acoustic pop, and songs of wry observation.
By no means formal in their presentation, My Friend The Chocolate Cake travel between atmospheric and ambient through to full scale romps and ballads. The band offer a unique and unsurpassed combination of moods. In addition to Bridie and Mountfort, the band includes Andrew Carswell, Greg Patten, Dean Addison, Andrew Richardson, and Hope Csutoros. Previous members have included Russel Bradley, Michael Barker, and David Adiuso.
My Friend the Chocolate Cake are:
David Bridie : piano, harmonium, vocals
Andrew Carswell : mandolin and tin whistle
Helen Mountfort : cello and backing vocals
Greg Patten : drums and backing vocals
Dean Addison : double bass
Andrew Richardson : guitar
Hope Csutoros : violin
and past members:
Russel Bradley : snare drum and shakers
Michael Barker : drums and percussion
David Adiuso : double bass