Shaft formed in 1992 when Cardy encountered guitarist John Segovia (AKA Rent Hamilton) in a gas station. Cardy was already working with fellow Axemen member Stu Kawowski (AKA Stuart Page, drums) and the band soon added Danny Mañetto on bass.
The original line-up only lasted a couple of years leaving Cardy with the name and a changing line-up. Shaft followed the Pooty EP with Cheap Candy (1999, on John Baker's Zerophonic label) and two brilliant tune-stuffed albums for Auckland indie, Lil' Chief Records – Open Sesame (2004) and Down At Your Life (2006) – and a never ending tour of Auckland, and less frequently, national venues, big and small, in the late 1990s and 2000s.
Other Shaft line-ups included Tony Rush (bass), Rich Mixture (drums) and Mark Petersen (bass and guitar), but it took the arrival of The Situations – the Kett brothers Sam (bass) and Stuart (drums), Glen Casey (keyboards) and Brad Walkington (guitar) – in the mid-2000s to fully reveal Cardy's way with a song.
In 2012, Shaft supported 13th Floor Elevators' Roky Erickson at Auckland’s Powerstation.
Robert Cardy - vocals, guitar
Glen Casey - keyboards
Sam Kett - bass, vocals
Stuart Kett - drums
Ben Maitland - guitar
Danny Mañetto - cello
Rich Mixture - drums, keyboards
Stuart Page - drums
Mark Petersen - guitar
Tony Rush - guitar
Brad Walkington - guitar
John Segovia - guitar
Matt Brown - guitar
The Nudie Suits song Little Too Loose There is written about Bob Cardy.
During his years in The Axemen Bob Cardy went by the name Bob Brannigan.