This week’s Throwback Thursday is dedicated to Jeff, aka Moesplant, aka Ska Jeff, aka Filburt Shellbach, aka one of the raddest dudes in Ottawa and the awesome ska show he once promoted. Through his label and promotion company Finish What You Started, Jeff is presenting Finish What You Started Fest this week (starting tonight). This is the five-year anniversary of this awesome DIY punk rock label and the festival lineup is amazing. But it’s important to note that Jeff has been promoting shows for much more than five years, let me take you back to 2005 when Skattawa (Jeff and a few friends) organized an amazing ska show at the Blackburn Hamlet Community Centre.
Back in the day, Punk Ottawa, a message board and show listings site, was the source of pretty much all musical information in town and Jeff, aka Moesplant, was a huge contributor to the community. Most people now know Jeff as a promoter of mostly punk rock and hardcore, as well as a bass player in some pretty heavy bands. But back in the day, he was huge into ska, hence the nickname Ska Jeff. Through Skattawa he presented Winter Fest 2005, featuring Rude Dudes, One Night Band, Finkelstein Shit Kids and Take One for the Team at the Blackburn Hamlet Community Centre for $6. Ah the good ol ‘days when all-ages shows were abundant and Ottawa had a ska scene.
The Rude Dudes were the Ottawa kings of ska, always playing high energy sets full of great horn play which got us stomping our feet to the beat (listen here). And the Finkelstein Shit Kids were a new band, playing their first show I believe. They were a great group of young teens and played super fun music (check them out for yourself). I caught them several more times after this show. Sorry Take One for The Team, I don’t remember your band or your set, but I am sure you rocked it. The band of the night though, was the only none Ottawa band on the bill, One Night Band.
The band from Montreal absolutely amazed my 15-year-old self. Their originals were great, like “When I Fall In Love” sung by a gorgeous saxophone player with a soft voice, “Feeling So Low” (as seen in the video), and “Rolling the Dice” (listen here). The band was so tight and did an amazing job of covering classics like “Message to Rudy” by The Specials and some Skatalites, if I remember correctly. Needless to say, I skanked my way through their entire set and loved every minute of it. Check out the video above of One Night Band playing the 2008 Ottawa Skafest at The Underground, now House of Targ.
One of the coolest parts of the entire night though was Skanking 101. It was originally offered by Jeff but executed by Vince (of the Bad News Bears… I think). Here is Jeff’s post on Punk Ottawa announcing the lesson, the entire thread can be found here, what a sweetheart.
Between Take One For The Team and Finkelstein Shit Kids sets I will give all you new skanksters, who are trecking out to your first ska show, some quick and easy skanking lessons! You’ll be moving your feet, skanking to that beat!
Clearly Jeff, or whatever you want to call him, has and still is a huge part of the Ottawa music scene. You should really find time in your schedule over the next four days to check out any of the wonderful shows at Finish What You Started Fest, I know I am planning on attending every one of them.
I am greatful to have such an awesome person contributing so positively to my city and most of all to be able to call such a wicked dude my friend. Here’s to forging many more memories Jeff. Pick it up, pick it up, pick it up!