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Mad Caddies
updated: Feb 15, 2014, 1:00 PM

By Rosie Sullivan

MAD CADDIES at Velvet Jones, February 7, 2014

I have only been to Velvet Jones once before and it was for an 18-and-up show where the under-21s were quickly ushered to a top balcony section. This time, the entirety of Velvet Jones was open to everyone, as it was a 21-and-over concert. In case you have never been to or heard of Velvet Jones, it is a bar and music venue located at 423 State Street. It is by no means a large space and you can expect it be over-crowded on the nights when there is live music (never wear open-toed shoes - you will get stomped on). It is definitely a nice intimate venue and they book good bands that you generally would not be able to see on a small stage. Friday night, however, I noticed that the overall sound quality was not very good.

Friday night's show was a punk rock/ska/reggae extravaganza. Opening for the Mad Caddies were The Olès and illScarlett. My ears are still ringing as I write this!

Comprised of three guitarists, a drummer, a trumpeter, and a trombonist, the Olès have a distinct reggae hip hop sound. From Isla Vista, their original songs are namely about IV living and one is even named after a street in the college town - Sabado Tarde. (Presumably they live there.) While the band brought a DP house party vibe to Velvet Jones, every band member was clearly enjoying himself and they all gave a great performance. A new female keyboardist joined them for two songs, one of which was Atmosphere's ‘Sunshine' which immediately got everyone in the audience to sing along. The Olès then played other covers, such as ‘Going Back To Cali' by Notorious B.I.G. and ‘California Love' by Tupac.

Following The Olès was a band from Canada - but, as the lead singer made sure to say, not the French part. The illScarlett, coming all the way from Toronto, have a slightly more punk feel, with edgier guitar riffs and lots of bass and more indistinguishable lyrics. They had an air of showmanship and were intent on trying to get crowd interaction. The crowd enjoyed it and certain harder songs even started a little bit of moshing. The illScarlett played songs entitled "Milkshakes and Razorblades" and "Rescue Me." They also played a rendition of MIA's ‘Paper Planes.'

By 10:30 pm, the crowd had filled out. The Mad Caddies, a punk/ska/reggae ensemble who have been around since 1995, came out around 10:45 and played for a solid hour and a half. This seven piece band played a good mix of new stuff as well as old fan favorites, such as ‘State Of Mind,' ‘Monkeys,' and ‘Coyote.' The new songs were from their upcoming album that is to be released in early April, I believe.

The lead singer had such an expressive face which made the performance that much more fun to watch. It was great to see these guys up close and personal. I think ska bands are some of the most fun to see live. I love hearing brass instruments live and a big part of ska bands is the trumpets or trombones. The band members are all great musicians and you can see on their faces how much they enjoy playing with each other. I am pretty sure that every instrument got the chance to have a solo! The level of energy in the performance is remarkable, as well as the audiences'. I am never one to join in the mosh pit but it is nonetheless enjoyable to watch.

Rosie is a member of the Dedicated staff and so glad her ska craving was filled by Friday's performances.


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