Mad Caddies: Coming Sunday to a small venue in Bend

Thursday, October 29th, 2009, 10:08 am by Ben Salmon

I’ll have more on this in tomorrow’s GO! Magazine, but I want to highlight Sunday’s Mad Caddies show in Bend for two reasons: 1) Because I haven’t seen a ton of promotion for it, and 2) Because I’m somewhat fascinated by this booking.

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Why? Because the Mad Caddies have for years played considerably larger venues than the Mountain’s Edge bar, where they’ll perform this weekend. (Mountain’s Edge is the new name of the old Timbers bar near Goodwill in south Bend.) A little over two years ago, in fact, the Santa Barbara, Calif.-based ska-pop band played Bend’s Domino Room, which holds nearly twice as many people as Mountain’s Edge.

This is, of course, why the Caddies’ show here is so intriguing. It’s always cool to see a bigger band in a smaller spot. To find out how the show came together, I got in touch with Ben Mann, who fronts local ska band Necktie Killer, which partnered with Mountain’s Edge to get the Caddies. I asked Mann a few questions, he answered, and I’ve edited them a bit. Here they are:

Frequency: Last time Mad Caddies were in Bend, they played at the Domino Room. Mountain’s Edge is a little more than half that size. So how’d you get them there?

Ben Mann: Mountain’s Edge was instrumental in being able to put this event on. (Necktie Killer is), of course, a band more so than a production or company. Mountain’s Edge provided some much-needed resources and a great venue for the Caddies to play. Without them agreeing to partner with us on this, there is no way the event would be possible. I interviewed (Caddies frontman) Chuck Robertson on the phone yesterday for 92.7 FM, and we touched briefly on the fact that Mad Caddies started out playing bars, much like a lot of the local bands in this area.

F: I haven’t been following what they’ve been up to … is Mountain’s Edge the size of venue they’re playing these days? Or will this be a chance to see them in a relatively small place?

BM: Mad Caddies latest album, “Keep It Going,” is possibly their most successful album to date. This is definitely not a band swinging through on the downward end of their career. They play large venues all over the world and sell out frequently. Being able to see them in a venue and atmosphere like this is a chance to be a part of something really special.

F: When I spoke to Chuck Robertson a couple years ago, he owned a home in Central Oregon and said he loves Bend. Was that a factor in this booking?

BM: Chuck mentioned to me that he is very fond of Bend and has friends in the area. I don’t know if he still has the house. He did say he’s had some good times over at the D&D downtown. They were actually planning on starting their tour off in Tacoma, Wash., on (Monday), so it made sense for them to stop through here on their way up from Santa Barbara.

F: How did this show end up with Necktie Killer doing the booking? Were you all looking to bring the band here? Or did someone get in touch with you because of the style you guys play?

BM: Steve Miller at the Mountain’s Edge really got the ball rolling on this, and got the band involved at the ground level. Necktie Killer has long revered Mad Caddies as the pinnacle of musicianship in the ska genre. They’ve surely influenced us in the way they add other styles of music to their sound that haven’t typically been paired with ska. We feel they are the best ambassadors to really show what our style of music is all about.

F: So why should people come see this show?

BM: This show has something to offer nearly everyone. Whether you like punk, ska, reggae, dance music, jazz or funk, there’s an element for you. There’s even some hip-hop thrown in the mix. There are three bands playing this show, all with fantastic horn sections. The bar will be in full service all night and the party atmosphere will be incredible. The Mad Caddies are professional, world-class musicians, the likes of which we don’t get an opportunity to come out support up close and in person very often in Central Oregon. If you come to this show and don’t have the time of your life, you are surely dead inside.

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