Shaft grew out of the ashes of the South Island's seminal noise-rockers, The Axe Men. Bob Branigan/Cardy decided to take his opportunity to step to the centre stage and kept the raw energy, but channeled it into a more classic songwriting approach. The band's first full length album, Open Sesame, was the fruits of over five years of hard work and it is bursting with perfectly-crafted rock gems.
The long gestation of the album saw many of the band's original members move on to other projects soon after it was released, but Bob found a way to re-invigorate the group by arranging for the entire line-up of local group, The Situations, to step in as the regular line-up of Shaft (these young musicians have also stepped in as Wanda Jackson's live group, so they are no slouches!). This led to their second studio album, Down At Your Life, which caught some of the energy and excitement of Shaft's live show and the group continue to be one of Auckland's best-loved indie groups.