When the curtains rose at a little past 11 o’clock on Sunday night, the crowd at Velvet Jones exploded for Santa Barbara favorites The Mad Caddies. The club itself was packed to the brim, with owner Craig Jenkins estimating that somewhere between 180 and 220 people turned up for the show. An occasional misunderstanding or two in the skeet/mosh pit led to at least three people being escorted out of the front and back doors, but for the most part, everyone seemed to be happy to rock out in harmony.
“People can’t hang with mosh pits,” noted bouncer Ryan Purty. “Whenever there are ska or punk bands, there are mosh pits. It’s always a misunderstanding-people are just dancing,” he explained loudly over one particular exeunt, who repeated over and over that he’d gladly re-enter and apologize to whomever he’d bumped because it hadn’t been his intention.
But the band paid little notice to the shirtless ruckus before them, instead focusing on delivering the enthusiastic, high-energy musical vibes they are best known for. The tunes ranged from the classics to the more recent, and highlights included the ska funk mash-up “Backyard,” the fan favorite ode to all things pirate, “Weird Beard,” and the easygoing “State of Mind.”
Catching up with Caddies frontman Chuck Robertson post-show, the spirit of the band was reaffirmed. “It was a positive night, a lot of fun. I’m pleased with the turnout. People say New York or L.A. can be tough crowds, but I think Santa Barbara can be a tough crowd,” he described. “People are happy here, so they’re hard to entertain.”
Robertson described the band’s newest release, Keep It Going, as “more laid back, a little more soulful-we’re moving in a different direction. As we grow older, we’re exploring new styles.”
And the band is already working on another record, which “should release early next year-hopefully,” he said. “We’ll have free music this fall. A few songs from the new record will be available on our Web site.”