Updated: Dec 6, 2019
Being old and continuously low on serotonin, mid-week gigs are solely reserved for those acts I simply can’t afford to miss. That’s why I had to make my way to The Zoo, in all its low ventilation glory, to squeeze in to catch a sold out San Cisco.
San Cisco have been laying pretty low for the last couple of years, only dropping a single and a couple of cheeky Like A Versions over that time. But with the release of a new single, the question suddenly became, is there more?
So, for those of you short on time, yeah, there is even more new music. And yeah, there will be a new San Cisco album in 2020, I am confident in calling that now. But beyond the hype for everything unreleased, the band still has a stellar back catalogue to draw from.
I was afraid it would be neglected, but San Cisco opened with one of my all time favourites in ‘Beach’. A powerful track to start with, it set the scene for the rest of the show, as the crowd overwhelming joined in on the choruses. Whether it be at home, or in the middle of a packed venue, the final line, “You’ll never come back to me, I read your eulogy”, will always be an absolute gut punch.
From the emotionally harrowing, to the equally devastating but with a catchier beat, ‘About You’ was next. ‘About You’ is a perfect example of what all the best San Cisco songs share, a careful blend of indie-pop beats and memorable melancholy lyrics. You can’t help but tap your feet as your heart hurts.
‘Gone’ was the first of the unreleased songs played over the evening. It also provided a glimpse into the mindset of the band when some of the new tracks were conceived. Jordi mentioned that ‘Gone’ was written while he was laying on a couch, wallowing in a bout of depression, which is actually how I always imagined the San Cisco writing process. The new album was then essentially confirmed when Jordi stated that ‘Alone’, which was played for the first time that evening, was the song he hopes is the final single before the release of the album.
With an extended instrumental intro, featuring Jordi on the keyboard, new single ‘Skin’ was next. Another strong crowd performance led to praise from the band, as they declared “This is the first time people have actually known the words!” Jordi went on to say that hearing the crowd sing along was what he always hoped for when writing a song, that “We write a song, show it to you guys, and then you sing it back to us.”
‘When I Dream’ was next and if the band was excited with the singing on ‘Skin’, they would have been bloody impressed with the number of people screaming along to “Why does it feel so good to be self-destructive again”. ‘When I Dream’ is such an infectious song, I have woken up more than a couple of times since the concert, humming “I’ve lost a few of my good friends lately” as my alarm buzzes.
It was their breakout hit about bad dates and stalkers, featuring a fun vocal back and forth between Scarlett and Jordi. ‘Awkward’ still has a place in the set, if not for the tambourine that got busted out, then only to force me to picture every unfortunate date I’ve ever been on and cringe. ‘Run’ closed out the main set, and deserves a mention solely for the mouth sounds on the track. Also, who amongst us haven’t encountered our own “Isabella”?
The encore opened on a pretty sombre note, as only Jordi returned to the stage, acoustic guitar in hand. “I’m going to play a sad song. It is a song I wrote after I broke up with my first girlfriend” was how he introduced another new song, ‘Flaws’. We’ll have to wait and see if the stripped back, acoustic only version he performed live is the same as the version on the album. If so, it would have to be one of only a few such songs San Cisco have ever released.
‘Fred Astaire’ saw the return of the rest of the band and ‘Too Much Time Together’ was the last song of the night. The final verse, “I haven’t seen you for a year, and I just want to make one thing clear, we spend too much time together” was a perfectly savage way to end the show.
After two years of filtering heartbreak into song, San Cisco have plenty to provide fans, whether it be their classic tunes or a taste of things to come. And look, San Cisco’s continued personal life struggles are bad. But, on the other hand, it does lead to new San Cisco music. It may make me a bad person, but I don’t want to imagine a world where Jordi is happy. San Cisco’s new single ‘Skin’ is available now to stream, and you check out the brand new film clip for the song below
PS. Shoutout to Josh’s moustache. Lookin’ good.