What originated as a joke named after Caribbean sweet bread has become one Florida’s most entertaining live music acts. Playing a style of music they have branded “Gutter Calypso," Johnny Cakes and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypso are known for their unique brand of high energy, light-hearted music. The sound blends together calypso, ska, punk rock, reggae, rock steady, tropical, rock, and many other genres. The band has rocked some of the premier venues in Florida and can be counted on to get crowds moving.
“Johnny Cakes and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypso take ska, punk, calypso, rock, reggae and standup comedy, throw it on spin cycle and let the good times roll.” -Carole Giambalvo, St. Pete Times Oct., 2009.
Johnny Cakes brings a lot more to the table than just tunes; they also have an exciting and always evolving visual production that keeps every show fresh. The band has produced several animated short cartoons which are occasionally used to open their shows. The band is usually joined by the renowned Johnny Cakes Jellyfish Dancers, a group of professionally trained dancers. In addition to performing elaborate choreography to the music, the dancers will often interact with the crowd. By combining these visual elements with their outstanding music Johnny Cakes shows become an event that the audience will not forget.
"This band came on like gangbusters from the beginning, and maintained a buoyant intensity with a healthy dose of humor in the lyrics."
- Marc Ganancias, examiner.com May, 2009.
Johnny Cakes and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypso have opened for a number of well respected touring national acts such as Flogging Molly, Less Than Jake, Big D and the Kids Table, the Independents, Hub City Stompers, Left Alone, Black President, the Briggs, and two shows with legendary ska band, The Toasters.
"Equal parts punk, rock steady and mischief, this band is worth catching. . ." - Creative Loafing May 2009
In 2008 the band released their first EP titled "EP Rude Girl." The tropical rock single from that EP, "Long Island Iced Tea Island," won the Tijuana Flats Rock Out with Your Guac Out Contest and was featured on the burrito company's award winning website. In November 2008 they played a packed show at the famous Three Floors of Ska festival in Ft. Lauderdale.
"Johnny Cakes puts on a show that is energetic, entertaining and just really fun." –Krystal Sousa, Tampa Night Life Examiner Oct, 2009.
But, it turned out that 2009 would be the banner year for Johnny Cakes and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypso. In March they were included in tbt’s Ultimate Local Band Guide. Then, in May they played an unprecedented two shows at WMNF’s Tropical Heatwave Festival making them the first and only band ever to play the festival twice on the same day. When the results of Creative Loafing’s Tampa Bay 2009 Readers Poll were announced in September the band took runner up for both best reggae/ska band and worst band name. (Ironically Tampa Bay Soundcheck put Johnny Cakes at the top of the list for Greatest Local Band Names in December). In October, Johnny Cakes also released their first full length album "Rise of the Pink Flamingos". The album, recorded at Audio Impact Studios in Clearwater, FL is a dynamic portrayal of the bands unique style and will simultaneously have listeners dancing and laughing along with the music. Finally, in November they were nominated as one of the Songwriter’s Showcases of America’s Band of the Year finalists.
"If the name isn’t crazy enough for you, just check out this band’s music."- Kate Cillian, Creative Loafing Jan, 2010
2010 promises to be another great year for Johnny Cakes and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypso. Already they played many successful shows, including headlining a breast cancer benefit that raised over $1200.
The band has also been playing several prominent festivals such as the Florida Music Festival where they were selected to showcase on the Main Stage with Less than Jake. They have also played Sunfest in West Palm Beach, a large multi day festival that drew over 300,000 music fans and included acts such as Weezer, ZZ Top, Shinedown, Rise Against, Flogging Molly, Damian Marley, and Ben Harper.
Johnny Cakes also played at the Ecolution Sustainable Development Festival and returned to Tropical Heatwave in May. The band was recently featured on the Sonicbids homepage and on their Who's Getting Gigs profile. The band also launched a new website and is currently working on writing new songs and producing new videos.
Looking forward, in August the band is slated to return to West Palm Beach and appear on the local CBS affiliate, Channel 12's Morning Daybreak Show. During September, the band headlines WMNF's Birthday Bash at the Ritz Theater in Ybor City. Finally, in October the band performs again with The Toasters.