Pop: Long-distance learner

If Richard Davies's band seemed a little on the hesistant side last time they played London back in March, maybe it was down to the fact that his band - now well bonded and happy after a long US tour - had only just come together.

The Aussie behind the venerated Moles and Cardinal may have worked with the drummer, bassist and guitarist on solo studio projects over the last three years, but he admits this spring has been a bit of an experiment. "I used to find it frustrating, having to find new musicians to play with every year, but now I like that part of the process - you discover how other people play," he enthuses.

"I went through a period of a few years where I didn't play live much, where I was trying to find the sort of music I wanted to play, but I wasted my time a bit because it didn't warrant that much thought."

Richard Davies's career has taken many a twist since 1991, when The Moles were one of Australia's finest exports. The band relocated to Britain in the hope of greater things, but after a round of dizzyingly favourable press reviews and a Peel session, the band disintegrated.

Davies's next project was painstaking pop confectionists Cardinal, also featuring Eric Matthew and Bob Fay, the Sebadoh sticksman. 1994 saw the release of their classic- pop-inspired eponymous album, drawing inspiration especially from Bowie, the Beatles and the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds.

With his solo albums, There's Never Been A Crowd Like This from 1996 and the recent Telegraph, his style has moved in other directions, and keeps changing. "There's Never Been A Crowd Like This was recorded quickly, and influenced by bands like Guided By Voices who I liked when I started to make music. While with Telegraph, I just wanted to make the record that I wanted to make, so it took a lot longer to do," recalls Davies.

He's a craftsman of understatement - low-key, observational charm ticks away in his music. The atmospherics are simple and subtle, making room for many a sensitive reflection - which has led some to believe that he has mellowed out considerably since his Moles days.

"The Moles were a garage band," Davies states matter of factly. "They were just an excuse to drink on a Friday night with your mates, have a social life. I went back to Australia for a holiday a couple of years ago, but I wouldn't be recording the kind of records I do now if I wasn't in New York. There's not enough there to get started with the things you want to do. Travelling really motivated me to write."

Richard Davies, 12 Bar Club, Denmark Street, WC2 (0171-916 6989) 22, 23 May

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Supply Chain Administrator

    £8000 - £10800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Supply Chain Administrator is ...

    Recruitment Genius: Client IT Account Manager

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Client IT Account Manager is ...

    Ashdown Group: Management Accountant / Analyst (CIMA finalist/newly qualified)

    £32000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Management Accountant / F...

    Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - .NET

    £27000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of a mark...

    Day In a Page

    No postcode? No vote

    Floating voters

    How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

    By Reason of Insanity

    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
    Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

    Power dressing is back

    But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
    Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

    Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

    Caves were re-opened to the public
    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

    Vince Cable interview

    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
    Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

    Licence to offend in the land of the free

    Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
    From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

    From farm to fork in Cornwall

    One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
    Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

    Robert Parker interview

    The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor