Two decades of funk

The Mellotones turn 20 with a Marquee blowout on Saturday.

On December 23 The Mellotones will celebrate their 20th anniversary. The eight-piece unit fuses soul, funk and R&B with an always-changing setlist.

“The 20th-anniversary show stems from when Tony Smith was the leader of the band,” says lead singer and saxophonist Jeffery Mosher. “In the early days, we used to do a Christmas show at the Marquee, so we thought it’d be cool to recreate that at a longstanding venue.

The Mellotones formed in the fall of 1997 and have been playing across the city ever since, with a loyal fan base that has followed them from the old Seahorse to the new Seahorse to Bearly’s. And for the celebration, they’re going back to one of their most historic, most-played venues.

“We’ve played the Marquee so many times throughout the years—it was the first place I played with The Mellotones,” says Mosher. “We are really excited to go back to a place that means a lot to us, where we haven’t played in several years.”

Mosher is excited to see everyone home for the holidays, as well as old friends the band has made through the years. “We have such a diverse group of fans, especially of all ages,” he says. “And they all come to dance.”

The Mellotones are excited to bring some new tracks, along with a storied guest list of performers taking the stage throughout the night, including Adam Baldwin, Tony Smith, Asia (of Asia & NuGruv) and Cyndi Cain.

Mosher credits the popularity of the group to Thursday nights at Bearly’s.

“We pride ourself on our a weekly gig, that’s our calling card. But we have a roster of different venues, we learn new material and we keep it tight,” he says. “My advice to anyone starting in the music industry would be to get a consistent weekly show.”

The band recently toured across Canada with Matt Andersen, and will take off to the Cayman Islands for New Year’s Eve. But first, a celebration.

“Twenty years,” says Mosher, “and we’re going to blow the roof off it!”