The Mowgli’s Bring Good Times To Velvet Jones Nightclub Santa Barbara
Review + Photos by L Paul Mann
May 25, 2016 – The Los Angeles based feel good pop group, The Mowgli’s opened their summer tour with a surprise concert at Velvet Jones nightclub, on a sleepy Wednesday night, May 25th, in Santa Barbara. While most college kids were cramming for finals, many managed to stumble downtown for the upbeat showcase of this new band best described as being made up of Millennium flower children. The music and lyrics of the band purposely revolves around a feel good theme, more closely associated with the 1967 Summer of Love, than todays’ ADD generation of Millennial slaves to cell phone apps. But the unique vocal harmonies and music structures that the band have created are anything but old school.
As fresh as they sound, the band members are now six year veterans of musical recordings. The group is currently working with producer Mike Green (All Time Low, Paramore), on their as yet untitled third album that’s due out in the fall of 2016 on Photo Finish Records. The band just released the album’s first single “Freakin’ Me Out,” available now on iTunes. The six piece group features, Colin Louis Dieden on vocals,guitar and percussion, Katie Jayne Earl on vocals and percussion, Matthew Di Panni on bass and vocals, Josh Hogan on guitar and vocals, Dave Appelbaum (Former Santa Barbara resident) on keys and vocals, on percussion, guitar, vocals and melodica, and Andy Warren on drums, percussion and vocals.
The Mowgli’s’ feel good music and message has resonated across the globe attracting a loyal fan base from all over the world. Their first album “Waiting for the Dawn,” premiered at #4 on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart and gave the group their first hit song “San Francisco.” Their sophomore album “Kids In Love” included the happy go lucky summer song “I’m Good,” originally written for an anti-bullying campaign. Following Kids In Love, they released two more fan favorite singles, and “Room For All Of Us,” a song released in support of the refugee-relief organization, International Rescue Committee.
The show at one of Santa Barbara’s premiere live venues, Velvet Jones, was an intimate experience with the band, feeling almost like a stay over slumber party at their house. The group, which would often switch up instruments and lead vocal duties, seemed to be gleefully enjoying their role as the feel good cheer leaders for the mostly college age crowd. Band members frequently bantered with audience members, engaging them one on one throughout the show. At one point they introduced keyboardist Dave Applebaum, as a former local Santa Barbarian eliciting a big roar from the crowd. He then took a turn as lead vocalist himself. The band has a sophisticated style that is easily overlooked in their happy go lucky approach to their sound and lyrics. But their musical structures often change mid tempo creating unique hooks and a fascinating new landscape of pop music. Judging from the response of the crowd at they’re opening salvo summer concert in Santa Barbara, this band will continue to make loyal new fans and fresh music for quite some time to come. Thanks for the good vibrations and come back soon.
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