Live Review: San Cisco, Rescue Rooms (10/10/13)

The Rescue Rooms seemed a little empty for a concert. The vibe struck more of a laid-back, chilled night, rather than the usual pre-concert excitement one can immediately sense at music venues.

Regardless, Nottingham’s indie pop band Alaskan Faction came onto stage, displaying amazing confidence throughout their whole performance. Their songs came out very well-practiced, showing more years of experience than they could possibly imagie. Their intense, upbeat guitar-picking, along with very energetic individual personas, ensured some enthusiasm at least made its way around the crowd. After such animated set, the audience seemed well-prepared to receive San Cisco.

The Australian San Cisco started with the very catchy ‘Lyall’. However, on stage, the chorus vocals were weak and in general, they lacked the happy-go-lucky dynamism that the song does transmit on record. Next was ‘Stella’, from which they started picking up some liveliness.  Following songs such as ‘Hunter’ and ‘Metaphors’, showed frontman Jordi’s vocal strength and the whole band’s coherent instrumental skills. However, they lacked stage presence, making the crowd shy and too stiff for an indie-pop gig.

Midway through their set, a very particular, fuelled-up group of fans, started some amusing, synchronized dancing moves. This sparked some smiles on the band and actually, brought some more life to their performance.  Picking up on old songs from their EP such as ‘Golden Revolver’ and the very popular ‘Awkward’, they demonstrated the cheerfulness and dancing attitude that we were expecting from the beginning. The closing song ‘Fred Astaire’ was wonderfully sung and played, to which the audience responded by dancing and clapping along, finally.

They have been touring much lately; Australia, the US, and now the UK, and it is clear where the exhaustion comes from.  It is a shame because their record brought the idea of a fresh and much needed innovative take on current indie-pop. I guess it is up to the band to now calm down, re-focus and practice, in order to achieve the high sound quality levels reached on their album.

Claudia Jara

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