The underground security shelter where Avi Vaknin rehearses and works with kids used to be my second home. When I was in high school, I would meet my friends there every day to play music. At that time there were at least ten 'Music Shelters'—they were not used as shelters then, so they were given out to anyone who wanted to make music. Each became home for a music band or two, mostly rock bands.
(to hear some music made in the only remaining shelter, go to Avi Vaknin's page.
Two 'shelter' bands, Teapacks and The Church of Reason (see links at the bottom) became our model of success. We felt they made it despite of coming from Sderot, and not because of it. At the same time, the feeling was that there are a lot of musicians here, maybe because there was nothing else to do... There were many musical styles, with one main influence being Moroccan music, like that of 'Sfatayim' (Lips) band, which started working in a shelter a few years before us.
Today the concrete shelters became 'welfare shelters' used for work with the elderly or with 'youth in distress'- and almost everyone in Sderot is distressed these days… Most of the song lyrics now are in protest, mainly against the security situation. When I was growing up, we used to write about love.
For more music by Sderot's 'shelter bands', go here:
Church of Reason: