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?
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
  • 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

    Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (B2B) - Romford - £40,000 + car

    £35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...

    Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

    £18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

    Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

    £35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

    Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

    £45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

    Day In a Page

    General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

    'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

    In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
    VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

    How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

    Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
    They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

    Typefaces still matter in the digital age

    A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
    Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

    'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

    New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
    The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

    Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

    Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
    Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

    Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

    Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
    Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

    Crisp sales are in decline

    As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
    Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

    Ronald McDonald the muse

    A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
    13 best picnic blankets

    13 best picnic blankets

    Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
    Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

    Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

    Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
    Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

    Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

    Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
    General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
    General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

    On the margins

    From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
    Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

    'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

    Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
    Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

    Why patients must rely less on doctors

    Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'