San Cisco, 2nd May 2012 @ Corner Hotel

on 4 May 2012 in Gig Reviews


San Cisco

Oscar Wilde once said: “It is absurd to divide people into good or bad. People are either charming or tedious”. The concept of tedious doesn’t exist on the same planet as young Perth band San Cisco, in fact they’re quite possibly one of the most charming young acts in Australia.

Opening for San Cisco were another Perth act the Voltaire Twins, who played a set of echoey and slightly dark electronic pop that has characterised them since first being uncovered in 2008. These guys seem to have enough skill and vibe that you would’ve expected them to make a bigger mark in the time they’ve been about the electro-pop scene, however with new EP Romulus just out, maybe it’s this time around that will see them up the popularity stakes even further.

Now, it’s safe to say that from listening to a few San Cisco tracks alone, you can tell these guys are kind of sweet and know how to pen a tune (that could play on loop in your brain for up to five days straight). But what the interweb and radio can’t get through the airwaves is the personality and stage presence of this young foursome. The band opened with their first break-through number Golden Revolver, executed almost identically ot the recording, and was then followed by another saccharine and light pop number Fred Astaire. At this point, one could be excused for thinking early on this was going to be a polished but slightly hollow set. But then the floodgates opened and out poured the charm.

Lead singer Jordi Davieson was outright astonishing. For a young hipster who is yet to finish high school, he had a sense of presence and ease on stage that would rival some of the veterans, yet couldn’t have been more humble. Added to this was his intensifying vocal performance as the set went on, not to mention the maturity that he also carried himself with. There was great banter between Davieson and drummer-girl Scarlett Stevens – which also involved the front row and a few love letters – all ad lib and all totally endearing.

Highlights of the set were a cover of the Arctic Monkeys’ 505, where young Jordi somehow morphed his voice to sound uncannily similar to Alex Turner, and a striking version of Records that was much deeper and progressive than the EP recording. This song really knocked any remaining socks off the audience, as San Cisco showed that they have far more up their sleeve than a few sweet Vampire Weekend-sounding tunes. Also of note was a solo performance by Davieson singing a Dylan-like ballad that he had penned after a conversation with an old man.

Predictably, finishing out the set was a fun rendition of ‘Awkward’ (which had an awkward but quickly recovered mishap with the intro), after which the crowd completely dissolved in applause and delight with this very lovable young band. I’d hazard a guess the tea towels on sale at the band merch table most likely sold out in five minutes.

Dannika Bonser


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