KEF – at the Starry Plough – photo by Kat
We saw our Nieces band KEF at the Starry Plough in Berkeley and had a fantastic time. (Nisha is wearing red and playing a horn). KEF plays Balkan Folk music. It was such a great “Berkeley” experience, with lots of very friendly people dancing and having fun. In a word, it had Soul. They are a fabulous band and the dance floor was full, with people doing a traditional line dance – holding hands in a circle, the circle moving in and out and rotating after a few steps everyone took together. The people in the pub were also the stars and it was all ages and all were having fun with each other.
We don’t go out much anymore, because most experiences in the San Francisco Bay Area have fashioned themselves after what I call the “the fall of San Francisco”, which is when it went from having Soul to a much more sterile corporate mold. Tech took San Francisco over during the late 90’s Dot Con boom, and the city has only gotten worse in the Soul department. I’m glad I lived there from 1984 – 1994, which was the last decade I can remember artists and musicians being able to afford living there. It is sad and it’s something that is lost and will never come back. It’s too much of a good thing – San Francisco is just a place to go make money.
But, Berkeley, Oakland and Santa Cruz are three holdouts – and luckily, Berkeley and Oakland are just through the Caldecott Tunnel from Orinda.
Thank God for these last bastions of soulful places in the Bay Area. I swear I felt like I was in a time machine transported to before the onslaught of too much tech in the Bay Area.