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My Friend The Chocolate Cake
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Concert to feature the Australian range
by Thanh Huyeàn

HAØ NOÄI — The capital next Monday will hear music from Australia ranging from atmospheric and ambient sounds through full scale romps and frenzied fun.

Bringing the works to the concert hall is the six member Australian band My Friend the Chocolate Cake, consisting of David Bridie – piano and vocals, Helen Mountfort – cello and vocals, Hope Csutoros – violin, Andrew Carswell – mandolin, Greg Patten – drums, and Dean Addison – double bass.

The concert is part of the celebrations for Australian National Day 2000.

The band will play material from their three recorded albums, the first self titled one, the second called Brood, and Good Luck, their third record, plus some new material which the band are working on now for their next album.

"They (the songs) have an Australian perspective dealing with the sense of space in the landscape, our political history, personalities I have met – old people, strange people, and people with something to say," David Bridie, head of the band, told Vieät Nam News.

The band’s sound at times has a sad atmosphere, a feeling of space, the rollicking big bang sound of a wild Hungarian wedding dance, or big belting rock instrumental sound.

"It is all over the place and we like it that way. There will be dancing and crying but not at the same time," says Bridie.

Performing in Haø Noäi, My Friend the Chocolate Cake expects to share their musical moods with Vietnamese audiences.

"We’d like to learn something, observe and soak ourselves in a new city and people," Bridie told Vieät Nam News.

"Melbourne, where we are from, has a very large Vietnamese population. And this has brought a strong cultural shift to Melbourne City. We look forward to soaking in the real Vieät Nam."

And "maybe we will write some new songs based around our Haø Noäi experiences."

My Friend the Chocolate Cake was founded by David Bridie and Helen Mountfort, who are former members of Not Drowning Waving. The idea of launching the band began when David took a holiday in New Zealand and wrote a collection of songs that did not fit into Not Drowning Waving’s style.

He and Helen then began My Friend the Chocolate Cake with the intention of playing all acoustic music. From the inception, the band emerged as an enjoyable ensemble, as musical friends and colleagues came together one by one to form their unique sound.

Bridie told Vieät Nam News that there is quite a diversity in the band with different perspectives on music.

Bridie was a rock musician who dabbled in film making. Helen Mountfort and Hope Csutoros both come from a classical and theatre background, Csutoros also has a Hungarian Gypsy background and her playing has a wild flowing lean to it. Andrew Carswell has more of a folk background but has also played in rock bands, while Greg Patten has a funk dance background and Dean Addison plays anything from swing, jazz and blues.

"But in My Friend the Chocolate Cake, it all moulds into a definite Cake sound, one that centres around melody, texture and atmosphere generated from acoustic instruments around the songs and lyrics," said Bridie.

Influences on the music composed by the Australian band are broad.

"The instrumentation draws from classical, rock and folk and the band’s sound draws on those influences and a whole lot more," he said.

After their performance in Haø Noäi, the Australian band plan to play in America and Europe.

My Friend the Chocolate Cake will perform next Monday at the Haø Noäi Circus in Lenin Park on Traàn Nhaân Toâng Street.

Apart from the main show, the band will perform during the annual Australian Family Picnic this Sunday at the American Club at 21 Hai Baø Tröng Street, along with some didgeridoo playing and the laid back sophistication of Quyeàn Vaên Minh’s jazz at his club at Löông Vaên Can Street next Thursday.

Tickets for the main show are free of charge at the Australian embassy.—VNS

Taken from Viet Nam News