Mad Caddies @ o2 Institute 1st August, 2018

You would to be hard-pushed to find anyone that would argue against the fact that ska music is perfect for the summer months and sunny weather. With the UV rays pounding and that trumpet sound blaring there’s nothing better. Well, unless the beers flowing.

And with that in mind it was to the O2 Institute in Birmingham on Wednesday evening for Mad Caddies, as part of their current European tour.

First up however were late additions Last Edition from Leicester, who stepped in following Buster Shuffle’s removal from the bill due to health reasons. Having been a band for over ten years, it was clear that the band love being in each other’s company and on stage, and this energy and joy transferred to the ever growing audience.

Next up were arguably one of the most enjoyable support acts I have had the pleasure of seeing in a very long time in the form of Birmingham’s Lobster. Leaning towards a more punk and reggae sound rather than the ska pop punk sound of the previous band, Lobster were truly entertaining and I personally will certainly catch them at the next possible opportunity.

Acting as main support for the evening and to ‘bring the party’ was Mad Caddies touring member Jon Gazi who showcased his brand of upbeat acoustic tracks presented in a percussive loop style as per a certain ginger multimillion selling artist. Not Elton John. Unfortunately due to the acoustic nature of the performance, the majority of the energy that had been present was lost in the room and many people seemingly preferred to have conversations amongst themselves rather than watch the performance. Perhaps an opening slot next time would have worked more in his favour; however that’s not to say his set was not enjoyable by any means.

But there was certainly no reason to worry about energy once Mad Caddies took to the stage with the audience dancing throughout the entire performance. Tracks such as ‘Monkeys’ and ‘Tired Bones’ saw the audience go crazy, with people busting dance moves all over the shop. It’s clear why the band are still going strong despite forming in 1995, re-telling stories of previous visits to Birmingham including shows at The Irish Centre. Personally trombonist Eduardo Hernandez steals the show from lead vocalist Chuck Robertson, putting the utmost effort into playing his instrument. There were also a couple of covers thrown into the set from their latest release ‘Punk Rocksteady’ including Green Day’s ‘She’ and Propagandhi’s ‘And We Thought That Nation States Were A Bad Idea.’

It was certainly clear from the evening’s performance that Mad Caddies have a soul behind and in their music that perhaps sometimes gets lost within the genre. And for that they should be most applauded, and I can tell you that on Wednesday evening they most certainly were.

Reviewer: Dan Earl

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