2022, it’s fair to say, has been another turbulent year for musicians and music fans. Rising ticket prices; closing venues; exhaustive schedules. It’s been a lot.

That’s why the idea of enjoying some nice wine and music to close out the year is so enticing, for San Cisco included.

The beloved Fremantle indie pop band are part of this year’s Wine Machine lineup, alongside the likes of Flight Facilities, Client Liaison, and Cut Copy.

Garden party by day, fabulous fiesta by night, Wine Machine takes music fans into the heart of some of Australia’s best wineries.

The fine wine and music event is heading around the country throughout the next few months, beginning at Oakover Grounds in WA’s Swan Valley this Saturday, November 26th (see full dates below).

As San Cisco’s Jordi Davieson told Tone Deaf ahead of the festival’s first date, Wine Machine has arrived in the nick of time for him and his band.

Mostly unable to tour their acclaimed 2020 album, Between You and Me, due to the pandemic, they’ve been eager to play that album’s hits for fans before unveiling new music next year.

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You can read our full chat with Jordi below. Further information and tickets for Wine Machine 2022/2023 can be found here.

For more on this topic, follow the Live Music Observer or the Indie Observer.

Wine Machine 2022/2023

November 26th 2022
Swan Valley, WA

December 17th 2022
McLaren Vale, SA

January 14th 2023
Huon Valley, TAS

March 18th 2023
Hunter Valley, NSW

March 25th 2023
Canberra, ACT

April 1st 2023
Yarra Valley,VIC

Tone Deaf: Are you looking forward to playing Wine Machine?

Jordi: Yeah! We haven’t played any festivals for a while now, and this year has just been show after show being cancelled. So it’s good that things are finally going ahead. 

How does an Aussie festival like Wine Machine compare to a British festival like, say, Reading & Leeds?

We played there years ago. I think an Aussie and British festival are pretty similar, but an American one is a bit different, and the rest of the world is a little bit different.

What’s an American festival like? Is it worse?

They’re a bit more polite (laughs). I haven’t been to an American festival for quite a while now. Aussie and British crowds are there for something similar, they’re there to have a good time, but the Americans are more polite. They won’t yell at you!

What attracted you to Wine Machine initially?

It’s just a good run of shows to play around this time of year. We’re at the backend of our album cycle now, working on new material, getting ready to put that out early next year, so it fits well for us to do a little run of festival shows, and getting to play our album we released two years ago that we really haven’t had much opportunity to play at festivals. It fit where we’re at really well, there’s a great lineup, and we get to visit wineries as well (laughs). 

Are you all big wine connoisseurs in San Cisco?

Um, yeah. We love a natural wine, but we’re not sitting around wanking each other off about it! We try not to be pretentious with it.

Is there another artist on the bill you’re keen to see?

Cut Copy. I think they’ll be really good to see. They’re all just really good Australian acts though. 

With so many bands travelling together on the same run of shows, do you become close over time?

I’m hoping that we can make some friends. We haven’t been on a tour festival for quite a while now, but it’s really fun when you do it. You see the same people, but Wine Machine is quite spread out. 

So how’s the new album coming along? Is it in the final stages?

There’s still a fair bit of work to do on it. It’s really coming together. There’s a few tracks that we’re quite excited about. There’s definitely a lot more work to do, but it’s shaping up to be a bit different to what we’ve done before. And also to be able to release new music without COVID will be good. We just finished four or five of the tracks last week, so it’s all fresh. 

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How have you found touring post-pandemic? Is it harder?

It’s been awful! What happened here was a lot of the crew of the Australian music industry left because they didn’t have royalties, merch sales, and all the ongoing incomes that bands have. When strict lockdowns were lifted, not only did all the promoters put on as many festivals and shows as they could, but it was so hard to find people to work for you. 

Obviously there are a lot bigger bands that people will go work for, but our setup was intricate, and you kind of need to know it. The first few weeks of touring was a crash course on how to tour again. There was stuff breaking, the people working for us didn’t know what was going on, we didn’t know what was going on. 

It was a really steep learning curve, which felt really weird after touring for most of my adult life. So we learned a lot, and it taught us that it’s (touring) a bit harder, so we need to make everything a lot more bulletproof and plan ahead. 

My mindset with a gig now is like, ‘there’s a 50% chance this is going to get cancelled.’ That’s how many shows have been cancelled! Which is nuts.

Surely it’s going to improve next year?

Surely it will, but it’s not just COVID. Over East, they’ve been getting some fucked up weather. First it was the bushfires, then COVID, and now it’s flooding. It’s crazy. On our tour, we got COVID and a bunch of shows got cancelled due to flooding. 

Last week’s Ausmusic T-Shirt Day felt like one of the most important so far for this reason. 

Definitely. The stuff that Support Act does for the Australian music industry is amazing. The government really dropped the ball supporting the entertainment industry, so they’re a real knight in shining armour.

Are you all based in Fremantle? How’s the music community in WA handled things?

When Melbourne and Sydney were locked down for months, we could go up and down the coast and tour a little bit. We got hit really hard but we weren’t locked inside for months at a time. But then there was all this fucked up stuff about border closures, which was really bad, but our longest lockdown was like a week here and there. I think it’s just because we’re so spread out.

What did you miss about touring the rest of the country?

I missed the whole thing. I missed going around the East Coast, and I even missed touring internationally. We played a show in Thailand a couple of weeks ago, and just being in an international airport, I was like, ‘I didn’t realise how much I missed this!’ It was nice to get out of our little town to see the world. 

I miss going and playing over East. You can do a proper tour there, and the crowds are bigger, and it’s all sort of happening there.

Do you have any tour dates lined up next year?

Nothing that I can talk about yet, but that’ll be the plan! Releasing some stuff and touring it. 

Listen to Between You and Me by San Cisco:

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