So Cal Ska Masters Mad Caddies Pack the Nectar Lounge, by Holly Homan

Sunday June 18th was not only Father’s Day but also the day the Mad Caddies played in Seattle. This time they returned to the Nectar Lounge in the one Seattle neighborhood that’s kept its counter culture charm, Fremont.

Front man Chuck Robertson came out sporting his usual scruffy look (unshaven, unkempt) and his usual overdose of heavy charm. The band opened with Lay Your Head Down and many immediately sang along. A few times during their set I was slammed against the stage but this audience was much tamer than the Caddies audiences I’ve experienced in the recent past. This was a packed club for a Sunday night. People knew the songs and sang along with many of them and Chuck played up on this by stopping his singing and goading the crowd to sing instead.

The horn section added to the liveliness of this show with their gyrating and twisting about when they weren’t tooting their respective horns. The band played all my favorites, Coyote and Riding for A Fall, (my no. one favorite that I’ve only seen them play once and that was because I managed to slip them a note requesting it). Weird Beard was not on the set list and as they left the stage with two songs not played on said list, I was surprised and overjoyed that they returned for an encore and played that song. My evening was complete. The Caddies are a really fun band live and a great band to just lie back and listen to. They are pure, So. Cal unadulterated ska and judging by the enthusiastic response from the audience, no one can say Seattle doesn’t love the Mad Caddies. The current lineup of the Caddies besides the aforementioned Chuck Robertson is, Sascha Lazor – Guitar Graham Palmer – Bass Todd Rosenberg – Drums Jason Lichau – Trumpet Chris Butcher – Trombone

Preceding the Caddies was a Bay area band called the Happys. This is a band that lives up to their name. They grace the stage with bouncy energy, lots of enthusiasm and tons of charm. Lead vocalist (Nick Petty) and bass player (Brett Brazil) took their shirts off about three songs in and played without shirts for the rest of their set. Brett and lead guitarist Dana Lindstrom, both had long scraggly hair that they whipped about during their frenzied playing. Drummer Joe Kelner slammed away yet his cowboy hat remained firmly in place and he never seemed to break a sweat. The Happys are mostly a power pop band but I heard elements of psychedelia in one or two songs. They aren’t ska, but the fit right in with being sandwiched between two ska bands. They were non-stop fun and I’d see them again in a heartbeat.

Opening the night was a favorite of mine, It Gets Worse, only they just keep getting better. Vocalist/bassist James Sweazea is the perpetual class clown, but outdid himself this time when he brought out a small whip and slammed it against the stage during their song Iron Lung (their self-described spaghetti western epic). Chelsea Crispin, Lead Vocals, was as bouncy as ever. It Gets Worse is always a lot of fun and I never know what to expect each time I see them. They never get stale and they never get worse. The remainder of It Gets Worse is, JR Sorrells- Drums, Eric Stallard- Lead Guitar, Andrew Adams- Trombone, Frank Smith- Tenor Saxophone, Peter Fink – Trombone and Sam Trowbridge- Trumpet.

This was a fun night with three great bands and put an exclamation mark to the end of a wild weekend that for me began with the Warped Tour on Friday.

– All photos property of Holly Homan, all rights reserved.

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