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.
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.
Lil' Chief Records
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