A new band on the scene with some veteran players, Le Pêche has started their pursuit of music in the Bay Area with a strong desire to pursue making everyone happy and ecstatic through their rivetting melodies and rhythms that make you daydream and dance, sometimes simultaneously. This band is hot and not to be missed! Here is the night in review, from one artist to another.
I arrived just briefly after their set started to be greeted by Joe, the bassist/bartender- extraordinaire, by him raving about not only the band that was playing and the Sunday Night Balkan music nights that are happening at the Revolution Cafe every Sunday, but about the amazing and kind-hearted soul and spirit of Paul Bertin, the lead of Le Pêche band. Joe went on to say the amazingness of how ones soul can be expressed so deeply through his instrument and as well his heart, a genuine spirit of the times in music.
The music of Le Pêche expresses this, five times over. Each person in the band is comprised of a deep training, a high spirit for invoking pleasure through music, and the compassion and warmth to add the best touch to the night. One of the best examples of how this affects the scene is that in the beginning of the night, the room filled with many local friends and musicians that knew they were in for a treat, not only to support their friends ‘Le Pêche’ but also to share in a night with good people and good music. The tempos and rhythms changed from song to song, even sometimes within the song itself, leaving moments of fast uptempo dancing beats to get people going, and moments of reflection. The rhythm section was always holding town a tight beat, JonJon on drums, Andrew Cohen on Sousaphone, and Ofir on Accordion. Then you have Morgan Nilsen on clarinet, trained classically, but diving into balkan and middle eastern rhythms and scales that can blast you to another planet, or melt your soul back to earth. She follows Paul’s melody with subtle harmonies and counter rhythms to keep your ear wanting more. Paul Bertin on Sax was leading the band. You could see through his gestures his deep indulgence for the art form, expressed through sweeping gestures that sometimes led the band to follow in large beats, swelling from small French streets and and reaching all the way to San Francisco with a long cacophony, then dipping back into a pot of the middle east, and sharing beautiful sounds from around the world. One of my favorite songs was a soft rhythmic tune where Morgan on Clarinet captivated the crowd with an amazing makam, leading them into a deep rhythm, a trance that could allow your chest to expand and take a deep breathe.
The band is new, with excitement in the air and no limit to how far they can take their passion for rhythm and melody. I wrote some words while listening: soft sophisticated intelligent expression with explosions of excitement to contain nothing but the feeling to express oneself completely. As an audience member and listener, I clapped along, moving my feet and hands. I noticed many others doing the same, sometimes moved to jump out of their seat and start dancing happily bouncing across the room. This music has the ability to be put in a concert haul, or a dance auditorium; the sky as the limit.
Every Sunday now, you can hear a Balkan Music mash up of some of the finest musicians from the Bay Area. Le Pêche is one of my favorite groups of these special nights. The next time they will be there is December 1st, at the Revolution Cafe. Come through, learn and enjoy.