When you descend into the depths of 170 Russell for a San Cisco gig, you don’t expect to be confronted by the loud and booming bass lines of Crooked Colours. After managing to navigate the multiple dimly lit stairs to the dance floor, I look up and these Perth based synth lovers are just as striking visually. Back lit by stadium worthy lights, the band is in a line at the front of stage, equal frontmen, all contributing to the heavy synth rock sound pulsating through the venue.
Being prepared for the more lo fi synth pop that I’ve heard on Soundcloud, my companion and I spend the majority of the set vaguely shell-shocked. Huge baselines and jarring, almost industrial, synth lines dirtied up their more well-known tunes, “Come Down” and “In Your Bones“. Instrumental interludes hinted that they could almost go down an electronic dance set path while a surprising cover of “Electric Feel” showed their love of electro pop, particularly the singer who busts a move mid song showing that I’m not the only one who has a nostalgic love for this 2007 summer hit.
This support band is a hard act to follow (pun definitely intended) and unfortunately, San Cisco begin their set with a false start. Although they slam out their breakout hit of “Golden Revolver” first up, I barely notice as I try in vain to reconcile the scruffily sexy singer on stage with the baby-faced Jordi Davieson from the music video for “Awkward” in 2012. Seems I vagued out for three years…anyway I continue to find it hard to pay attention as they seem to half heartedly lope through the next 4 songs. Even the crowd pleaser, “Awkward” comes out early and seems off tempo which denies the drunken pop fans their sing along.
Never fear! Luckily plenty of that comes later, as they get into their more recent tunes. The band seem to step up the energy and get behind the performance. John Biondillo is pretty relaxed throughout the set as he strums out some sweet surf pop vibes that matches the nostalgic teenage tone of their new material. “Too Much Time Together” and “Run” go down a treat and Scarlett Stevens comes out from behind the drums for a duet that is paired deliciously with awkward choreography.
The dance moves almost distract me from the fact that the silver-haired sound guy, continues to light up a cig side of stage and nip off for a smoke during the end of the set…rock on, brother.
They end on a high note and return for an encore of “Skool” which Davieson performs solo and “Fred Astaire“, much to my delight. Averaged out, San Cisco delivered a solid set, would definitely recommend if nostalgic surfy pop is your thing.
Hometown: Freemantle, Western Australia
Latest EP: Gracetown – March 2015
Sounds Like: The Beatles with more unrequited love
Say What?: Stevens also is part of a two piece electronic hip hop called Ghetto Crystals
Stay Classy, Rosa