Easy Big Fella Headline A Fun-Filled Ska Party at Seattle’s High Dive, by Holly Homan

On Friday the 13th Seattle hosted another night of top notch ska. This time it was at the High Dive and the headliners were Seattle legends Easy Big Fella. They came on stage introducing themselves as Puttin’ On the Ritz. This eight-piece lineup shared a few members from Natalie Wouldn’t and a three-piece horn section (Ric Penttila- Trumpet, Liam Barksdale- Trumpet, Shawn Brockman – Tenor Sax and Eric Ellsworth- Trombone) who twisted and danced about the stage. This band put on a lively, fun filled show to a very packed house. The sound was exquisite as was the musicianship. Lead vocal duties were shared mostly between guitarist Ric Dybvad and keyboardist Mike Birenbaum. The remainder of EBF are, Brendan DeMelle-Bass and Kelly VanKamp – Drums.

At the end some of the musicians from openers the Skablins & Georgetown Orbits joined Easy Big Fella on stage and the whole house seemed like one big happy ska party.

Georgetown Orbits played prior to Easy Big Fella. The Orbits play a smoother more mellow type of ska often with some jazzy overtones. This didn’t stop trumpeter Adam Bruno or the barefoot trombonist Mike Ayer from twisting and leaping about the stage every chance they got. Add that to keyboardist Timmy Conroy who could croon with the best of them. There seemed to be a good deal of trading musicians this night, all of which were in top form, and just adding to the fun. The current lineup of the GT Orbits is, Orion Anderson – Guitar | Cale Wilcox – Bass | Timmy Conroy – Keys/Vocals | Harald Bell – Drums | Sean Jensen – Saxophone | Adam Bruno – Trumpet | Mike Ayer – Trombone/Vocals.

Starting the whole evening was a band I’ve made no secret about how much I love. That would be Arlington’s the Skablins. The Skablins never disappoint, but this night they outdid even themselves. I arrived when they were already on stage and performing their bang up cover of the (godly) Kinks’ Come Dancing. The highlight of their show came when they did a song called Take Your Pants Off. Sax player Heather encouraged everyone to take off their pants and that she would if she were wearing pants, but she was wearing a short black dress. The next thing I saw was drummer Morgan Williams sitting behind his kit in his underwear. Then someone nudged me and pointed out guitar player Kevin Eyre strumming away with his trousers around his ankles. Front man/singer Gordy Whyte seemed a bit hesitant to follow suit and unbuttoned his black trousers and strutted about the stage like that for a couple songs before he too dropped his trousers to his ankles and continued his strutting and dancing unabated. Then one woman in the audience reached up and pulled his pants off his feet and somehow one of his shoes followed and Gordy spent the rest of their set singing and dancing about in his red boxer briefs, white tailed shirt hanging to his hips.

They ended with their usual version of Hell and their fun filled set was over way too soon. As fun as this night was and as great as all the bands were, I have to say the Skablins playing in their underwear stole the entire night.

This was indeed one big happy ska party. The Skablins are, Gordy Whyte – Vocals & Lyrics, Heather Beck – Bari Sax, Backup Vox, Kevin Eyre – Guitar, Backup Vox, Anton Beck – Bass Guitar, Morgan Williams – Drums, Ben Curley – Organ, Keys, Backup Vox, Patrick Smith-Trumpet, Michael Turner Anderson, (MTA) – Tenor Sax, Backup Vox, Josh Berglund- Trombone, backup Vox.

– Photos property of Holly Homan all rights reserved.

Easy Big Fella

Georgetown Orbits

Skablins

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