The Cakekitchen was founded in 1989 as a duo of Graeme Jefferies and Robert Key and in 1990 as a trio with Key and Rachael King.
The Cakekitchen released their first EP through Flying Nun Records. Two songs stood out on the release; the oblique, hard-edged Dave The Pimp and the sparkling Witness To Your Secrets.
Graeme relocated to London in 1990, reforming the band with fellow kiwis Keith McLean and Huw Dainow. Together Keith, Graeme and Huw made the Far From the Sun album, toured France and America playing shows at the legendary CBGBs and Maxwells as well as other key cities like Chicago and Boston.
The band received a positive response from Ken Katkin at Homestead Records of New York, a label founded on the brains and good taste of Gerard Cosloy and Chris Lombardi. Homestead provided just enough financial muscle to float the band for a couple of years.
In 1991, Homestead released Time Flowing Backwards, which added to The Cakekitchen’s first EP several stray tracks such as Airships (from Xpressway Pile-up) and One Plus One Equals One that refined and validated the dynamic of the EP’s best tracks.
World Of Sand was also released via Homestead Records and from 1994-1996 US indie label Merge Records released such masterpieces of melodic razor-edged ebb and flow as Tell Me Why You Lie, Old Grey Coast and the Bald Old Bear, EP which would buoy the band well into the 1990s.
Two very cold English winters took their toll on the group. Graeme relocated to France, Keith got married and returned to New Zealand and Huw stayed in London for a while before moving to Australia.
With a free short term apartment in Paris, Graeme teamed up with French multi instrumentalist Jean-Yves Douet and the two of them began playing shows in Europe that were organised by concert promoter Dirk Hugsam. This line up of The Cakekitchen made the critically acclaimed Stompin Thru the Boneyard and Devil and the Deep Blue Sea.
Spending the majority of time in Germany for much of the 90s and into the 2000s, The Cakekitchen (with evolving members, Jean-Yves Douet and NoTwist drummer Markus Archer) toured Europe, United States, Australia and New Zealand.
The 2002 album How Can You Be So Blind? was released on Wolfgang Petters’ "Hausmusik" label and received very favorable reviews worldwide.
This sparked interest in live work and 2003 saw The Cakekitchen on tour again with an expanded 4-piece line up. They toured Germany in September that year to enthusiastic audiences. Graeme then skinned the line-up down to a 3-piece and toured Germany, Austria and Switzerland the following year before dissolving the group.
2005 saw Graeme reorganising the band and playing a few odd low-key performances sometimes reverting back to the two-piece format first utilised with Robert Key and later Jean-Yves Douet. The Cakekitchen also released a new album that year called Put Your Foot Inside The Door.
Graeme relocated back to New Zealand in 2007 meeting up with fellow Nocturnal Projections band member Brett Jones. Together they worked on a live set and new material, the fruits of these efforts making up the bulk of the next Cakekitchen album Kangaroos In My Top Paddock.
In mid 2009 Graeme played a couple of solo shows in Russia. One at the prestigious 16 Tons Club in Moscow and the other in St Petersburg.
In 2011 whilst promoting Kangaroos In My Top Paddock Graeme played more European shows including a German TV Special filmed at the Sub Rosa in Dortmund and for the first time in his life played live on a boat while it sailed around Hamburg Harbour.
The Cakekitchen released their latest album Calm Before The Storm in 2013 receiving warm praise:
“…this album (available on vinyl) continues in his tradition of often hypnotically low-key songs where his multi-tracked voice -- engagingly dropping into an arresting baritone at times as a signature style -- rides melodically over rolling and rippling guitars.”
Graham Reid, Elsewhere
“Jefferies’ voice – a disquieting murmur at times, breaking off to accent itself with baritone asides, bass hiccups that punctuate his flow – is something all his own. And wonderful. But then – you’d expect that. For no one else is writing songs like this – they deserve the sort of idiosyncratic treatment he affords them”.
Simon Sweetman, Blog on the Tracks