Up-and-coming from Down Under: San Cisco 

click to enlarge Western Australian's San Cisco — from left, Scarlett Stevens, Nick Gardner Jordi Davieson and Josh Biondillo — play The City this week. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • courtesy photo
  • Western Australian's San Cisco — from left, Scarlett Stevens, Nick Gardner Jordi Davieson and Josh Biondillo — play The City this week.

Australian alt-rocker Jordi Davieson was 15 when he formed the quartet that would become San Cisco with school chums Josh Biondillo (guitar), Nick Gardner (bass) and drummer Scarlett Stevens. But once the Fremantle-based group started getting radio airplay with Vampire Weekend-ish tracks like "Awkward" and "Wild Things" (on its new self-titled album on Fat Possum/RCA), a problem developed. Davieson, two years younger than his bandmates, was under age when they played alcohol-serving clubs. He had to be ushered onstage by security at almost every show, and shown the door immediately afterward. At 19, he's still getting over the embarrassment.

How old were you when you started playing music — 3? Ha! I was probably about 10 when I started playing guitar and stuff. And I started writing when I was like 12 or 13. I just found it easier to play my own songs rather than other people's. Easier because there's no one to tell you that you're doing it wrong.

Do you remember the first songs you penned? Yeah, because we recorded them. The first one was called "Class Clown," and the second one was "Song For a Girl." They were pretty funny. For "Class Clown," there was one day that I pretended to be sick from school, because I was sick of going to school, so I was mucking around and being stupid and getting into trouble. So I wrote a song about it.

Under the early name King George, you guys were gigging all through your high school years, right? Yeah. We'd do weekend tours, and we did a few over East to Brisbane and Melbourne and Sydney. Fremantle is a port town, 40 minutes south of Perth — so we were like L.A., and Sydney and Melbourne were like New York for us. I'd just disappear on the weekends and go on tour. But it didn't affect my schooling too much.

Your parents weren't worried their kid was on the other side of Australia, playing bars? No, they were really supportive! I just had to finish school and study hard. But they were really cool with it.

Was the rest of San Cisco eager for you to graduate? Yeah. They were all at university and just waiting for me to finish, and the band purposely went dormant for a little while so I could do my final exams. But once that was finished, everything kicked into gear. We started touring a lot more and playing festivals. So San Cisco really took off from there.

San Cisco

Where: Slim's, 333 11th St., S.F.

When: 8 p.m. Monday

Tickets: $15

Contact: (415) 522-0333, www.slimspresents.com

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Tom Lanham

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