My Friend The Chocolate Cake

Published on May 15th, 2017


The song writing genius of David Bridie combined with the glorious strings of Helen Mountfort’s cello and Hope Csutoros’ violin are high in the curious collision of elements that have made My Friend The Chocolate Cake a big concert  draw, triple  ARIA winners  and  a vivid  presence  on  countless  film and  TV  soundtracks  for  more  than  two  and  a  half  decades.  Their  album history is a multi-dimensional mural of modern Australia that illustrates its geography, its political mores and its predominantly suburban identity, all by  the  kind  of  stealth  that  makes  the  most  haunting,  exhilarating  and enduring pop music.

David Bridie saysThe Revival Meeting is “a collection of songs in which the protagonist (who could be you, who could be me, who could be the woman next door) is trying to find their place in an increasingly mad world… Songs that seek out beauty in the simple, wisdom in the plain, sparkle in the ordinary.

To see the world through a similar prism to the Sydney painter Jeffrey Smart –urban landscapes, stark portrayals of contemporary life, the joy of shape and light and colour.

Songs about love and small noises and futility and travelling and vague notions of justice and dying, the Pacific and balloons and odd people. Instrumentals from both ends of the spectrum, that make you tap your feet, or ponder. Songs with three notes in them, beats that hammer, chords that ring out, tunes that meander and make you shrug your shoulders, melodies to make you hum or single along. Cello is the voice, Violin the expression, and piano notes ring out through the valley.”

To record the album the band retired to a cosy shack past Flowerdale in regional Victoria to work up arrangements for songs brought to the table by David Bridie (piano and vocals) and Helen Mountfort (cello). David had his customary doubt, Helen her no nonsense drive. Greg Patten (drums) and Dean Addison (double bass) brought the big gear, food, groove, attitude and the odd red wine and cigar. Andrew Richardson (guitar) had to cover Jim’s (the  groups  original  mandolin player) mandolin parts as well as his own guitar noodles, and Hope Csuteros (violin) adds the final spark.

Instruments lay strewn around a rustic cluttered living room. Amongst books, drawing pads and dusty furniture, 15 tunes were fleshed out, 4 daysof playing and conversation, laughs and food.

David says, “We all get along pretty well after all these years. These new tunes still have that certain feel that makes us go “yeah, it’s worth all the effort”.

For a while we’d pondered our mortality as a band, weren’t sure whether we’d make another one. However we’re on the creative quest yet again. And we followed through recording the album in my ToRurua studio  in  Thornbury  with  Andy  Robinson,  and  we  asked  the  wonderful  sound  artisan  Simon  Polinski to mix it. We’ve recorded it,we like it, and now we just hope that others will like it too. Otherwise we’ll just enjoy it on our desert island.

“A new album called The Revival Meeting. A band still called My Friend the Chocolate Cake after all these years.”

MFTCC play the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts, Brisbane QLD on Friday 28 July (2017)