San Cisco @ The Corner Hotel
Girl drummers are awesome, not just because they are doing this very physically demanding thing on stage and showing they can rock it as hard as the guys, but because of all the other downtime stuff that goes along with the instrument, which seems a bother. You’ve got to carry awkward things, manoeuvre cumbersome cases and adjust oddly-placed nuts whilst crouching or in otherwise unladylike positions. You also can’t play sitting side-saddle. San Cisco’s Scarlett Stevens impressed The Corner very thoroughly with her ability to navigate all these things on this Wednesday, and the show was a truly danceable, indie-pop success despite my initial misgivings.
Singer Jordi Davieson’s innocent speaking voice belies his beautifully strong singing voice – his notes are round and robust like they’re coming through a giant conch shell but there’s a sincere vulnerability to them too. Early on, Fred Astaire showcased Jordi’s skills as well as guitarist Josh Biondillo’s jiggy, Strokes-y style. Stevens brought her sticks way up high, enjoying the playful track.
Covering Arctic Monkey’s 505, the parallel between the two bands was clear. Lover followed with an extremely cool melody and some great 126.96.36.199’s style rhythms from Stevens, with the double snare and all. Biondillo played keys, producing an apt merry-go-round-the-Hammond sound.
Reckless was another stand-out, with big melodies flying up and down and a huge finish. All endings were pretty excellent in fact: crisp and sweet without any self-indulgent messing around. Around this point, somebody in the crowd threw a love letter (presumably) up onto stage, which Davieson retrieved. “I’m Scarlett’s PA now,” he joked, as Stevens opened the cologne-misted (presumably) missive. She responded with a coy but firm “thank you,” and the show resumed.
At the opening bars of Awkward everyone looked alive and it really was a great rendition of the track which reached number seven in last year’s Hottest 100. To be honest I expected less effort from these young cats, but they’re determined and they nailed this gig. Hats off.
BY ZOË RADAS
Photo credit: Richard Lipp
LOVED: Spritely old lady fan in the tartan hat.
HATED: Many fans staring blankly at the stage.
DRANK: Sparkling wine, just ‘cause.