Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Watcha Clan @ the Rickshaw Stop: Wowsers!

Posted By on Thu, Jul 16, 2009 at 10:53 AM

click to enlarge Sista K moves the crowd - EKAPHOTOGRAPHY
  • EKAphotography
  • Sista K moves the crowd

Call it globetronica if you must, but bands with a bunch of different cultural influences who mix and mash them together over uptempo, ultra-dancey beats are anything but boring. Expanding on the accordions-in-a discotheque aesthetic commonly associated with Balkan Beat Box (and other similar European globetronica groups), French-Algerian outfit Watcha Clan absolutely wowed a Rickshaw Stop crowd last night. Though the house wasn't quite packed--apparently, Watcha's critic-salivating buzz hasn't quite penetrated the West Coast yet, despite BBC and NPR kudos--the crowd smushed to the front as lead singer Sista K and her fellow Watchas took the stage (following a DJ set by the Afrolicious dudes).

click to enlarge EKAPHOTOGRAPHY
  • EKAphotography

Watcha is well-represented musically, with a bassist, guitarist, and keyboard/breakbeat player--who also picked up the accordion on occasion. Tamborines, flutes, and qarqarbas (Moroccan handbells) also made appearances. But it was really all about Sista K. Making her entrance with some crazy dance moves and sporting a painted face, she was the undeniable focal point all evening--singing in several different languages, kicking up her legs, singing through a megaphone, and otherwise making the audience feel completely at home with Watcha's Mediterranean mix of drum-and-bass, reggae beats and gypsy grooves.

The overall effect was like "Fiddler On A Roof" goes to a rave--tradition meets P.L.U.R.--and the take-home message was one of peace through finding common ground on the dancefloor. After the third or fourth encore, Watcha waded into the crowd--making the audience feel like they were gathered around a Romany campfire--as Sista K once again hoisted her megaphone while the crowd happily clapped along. Betcha Watcha gets a much bigger turnout next time; no doubt, word of mouth on this show will travel like a caravan.

click to enlarge EKAPHOTOGRAPHY
  • EKAphotography

  • Pin It

Tags: , , ,

About The Author

Eric Arnold


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • SuperHero Street Fair 2014

    From Batman to Superman to steampunk, people dressed up as their favorite superhero — or villain — for the annual SuperHero Street Fair held along Isails Creek, at the end of Indiana Street, on Saturday, Sept. 27. There was food, drinks, and lots of EDM music to dance to — check out all our photos form the event. Photography by Christopher Victorio.

  • @Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz Exhibit
    Nathaniel Y. Downes brings back photographs from exhibit @Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz. @Large runs through April 26, 2015.