We played 'In and Out' with San Cisco
WORDS BY MICHAEL SUN AND APARNA BALAKUMAR
The high seats at Manning Bar are plush leather and located just underneath the air conditioning vent - a welcome respite from the 42-degrees-Celsius day outside.
These seats are ordinarily comfortable, perhaps less so when we have sat and shifted nervously in them for the past 3 hours, watching a sticky wooden floor be scrubbed clean, barricades installed, audiovisual magic tested and retested - yet no sign of San Cisco, the USU’s OWeek 2016 band of choice.
We’ve been told the band have declined all interviews via email. Our manager has said there is a 99 per cent change they will say no again, even if we do ask politely and in-person. But being opportunistic (and time-rich) we swallow our pride and wait for the right moment to strike.
We’re yet to read an article about the quartet that doesn’t include some mention of the words “indie darlings”, but perhaps there’s some truth in this cliche as Jordi Davieson, Josh Biondillo, Nick Gardner and Scarlett Stevens finally file in, dressed for the part in white socks, logo-ridden tees and scuffed R.M. Williams.
Always willing to rise to a challenge with an above-average amount of awkwardness, we slowly approach the band.
“Are you San Cisco?” Michael asks despite knowing the answer, with all the jumpy anticipation of a third-grader receiving a pen licence.
The joke falls flat.
“Yeah,” replies frontman Jordi, the only one of the four not preoccupied with the selection of chips in Manning’s lone vending machine.
“We loved your set in Canberra,” we continue in an attempt to break the ice. It remains pre-global warming levels of rock solid though, and we are redirected to their manager while the band go back to deciding on their snack purchase (it was original flavoured Smith’s chips btw).
As we slink off into a corner to hide our shame, we are accosted by two exchange students from NYU who have asked Jordi to put them on the guestlist for the night’s show. A transcendent bond soon forms between our four weary selves, and we wallow together on the Manning Bar couches in a tense and hopeful silence.
After what feels like an eternity of watching San Cisco eat potato chips and soundcheck, their tour manager finally shoots some semi-meaningful glances at us and takes pity.
A few minutes with the band’s red-lipped drummer, Scarlett, is officially ours…
IN OR OUT: A LIGHTNING GAME WHERE POPULAR TRENDS FACE THE CHOPPING BLOCK
AB+ MS: Shannon Noll?
Scarlett: In - I had no idea he performed at your OWeek! That’s crazy. Good sport.
AB+ MS: OWeek?
In - It’s a classic celebration. I don’t remember really getting involved myself even though I went to uni for two years, but we’ve just played at a lot of OWeeks, and they’ve always been good.
AB+ MS: Macca’s Loaded Fries?
Out. Gross. Yuck. They’re wrong - just so wrong.
AB+ MS: An organic vegan lifestyle?
I think parts of it have some merits...in.
AB+ MS: Your dad’s Hawaiian shirts?
AB+ MS: Your belly button?
I’m an innie!
Exactly two minutes and forty-four seconds later, we are being ushered out of the room again, slightly more well-versed in Scarlett’s niche interests.
As we watch Scarlett sing her half of the duet ‘Super Slow’ with bandmate Jordi later that night we can’t help but think about her (justified and correct) distaste for loaded fries.
Michael swears that Scarlett makes eye contact with him at one point during the show. Aparna maintains it was just his recognisable and garish Hawaiian shirt that she couldn’t look away from.