el olio wolof [2007]

Bottom of the Hill
San Francisco, CA
25 July 2007

Standing at the very front, facing the Bottom of the Hill stage, you can’t help but notice the performers’ footwear, or lack there of, in the case of El Olio Wolof.

The bassist was barefoot right from the start, and the lead singer was soon to follow, shedding his sandals mid-third-song in sufficiently dramatic fashion. I immediately feared for the worst. An entire set of Dead covers broadcast through swirling clouds of patchouli-laden foot odor?

Thankfully, we were instead treated to a rousing collection of drunken, syncopated minor-key gypsy tales. The dry land equivalent of sea shanties, as could only be performed by self-proclaimed aspiring Merced, CA farmers.

Though their very first song (don’t know the title, but it contained the refrain “just me and the birds up here”) was their best, the rest of the show did not disappoint: altogether a fine mix of acoustic and electric guitar, keyboards, accordion and even an occasional flute thrown in for good measure.

Visual highlights of the performance included: the baby footprints on the guitar of the lead singer (Radioactive Cauliflower is apparently his name), the spasming right leg of the REI-themed accordion player and RC himself (as apparently is his nickname) wildly dancing a jig with his baby-feet guitar around the stage.

Big man can move.