Looking for places to eat, drink, dance and go vintage shopping in Fremantle? It’s hard to imagine a more adept tour guide than Scarlett Stevens. The San Cisco drummer and vocalist has a strong connection to both the port city and its music scene.

Stevens spent a portion of her childhood perched on the bar of her parents’ legendary live music venue, Mojos, in North Fremantle. She co-founded her first band at the age of 11 and formed San Cisco (then called King George) with Jordi Davieson, Josh Biondillo and former band member Nick Gardner in 2011. Now both Stevens and San Cisco are indelible parts of the scene in their own rights.

The Fly by Night Club and Norfolk Basement were some of the venues where I played my first gigs as a teenager and where I got to see so many incredible performers get their start,” Stevens told Broadsheet reflecting on her formative years in Freo. “I’m that annoying person who’s like, ‘I remember seeing Tame Impala play to 40 people.’”

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“I have fantasised about living in a cultural capital like New York or London [but] I think there’s something grounding about WA. It’s hard to leave, especially Fremantle where the sense of community is so strong.”

San Cisco called on that community for its fifth studio album, Under the Light. It enlisted fellow local stalwarts and Pond bandmates James Ireland (also of Ginoli), Nicholas Allbrook, and Jay Watson (aka Gum), as contributors.

“James is my boyfriend, so he had to say yes to working with us,” Stevens jokes. “But in all seriousness, it was a dream working with those guys.”

In Stevens’s eyes, Under the Light represents a milestone for the band. “There’s been a significant maturation, not only sonically, but as humans growing and evolving together,” she explains. “We were very much looking to shake things up and change up our regular modes of creating … opening up the doors to collaboration and experimentation.”

When we speak with Stevens, she’s about to take the new album on tour but she shared all the places she’ll be rushing back to on her return to Fremantle.

Where do you like to go for a meal in Fremantle?
The Capri restaurant is one of my favourite Italian restaurants. It’s family-run, the decor hasn’t changed in 50 years and the soup is always free.

And for coffee?
I always love going to Best Wishes for coffee. It’s never just a pop-in-and-go kind of joint – you inevitably run into someone you know and sit down for a good 45 minutes to chat.

What about for a croissant?
It’s hard to say where the best croissant is because we have so many good bakeries in town, but I do love the pain au chocolat from Wild Bakery.

And a drink?
Patio for a late-night natty beverage is a must on the weekends.

Speaking of late nights, San Cisco’s latest video, for Consequence, was shot on Freo’s High Street at what looks like the middle of the night. What can you tell us about that?
We started filming on a Wednesday night and wrapped the following morning at sunrise, so basically pulled an all-nighter to get the shot. Originally, we planned to shoot on a Friday night on South Terrace with all the clubs open and people spilling out getting their kebabs but decided it would be way too hectic and we’d feel like absolute gooses strutting around with a camera crew.

We had always talked about making a one-take video clip along the lines of Coldplay’s Yellow, the Verve’s Bittersweet Symphony and Kylie’s Come into My World and luckily director Stephanie Senior was up for the challenge. I put together a mood board with a few stylistic references, including a ’90s Kate Moss beauty moment and stills from the movie Two Hands. We found Jordi the sequinned shirt on Depop and pulled some vintage looks from my mum’s wardrobe and we were good to go. After hours of sashaying down High Street at full speed in pointy boots, I don’t think my feet will ever be the same.

Your vintage wardrobe is legendary. Where do you find your pieces?
Thank you! I’ve found a lot of special pieces in vintage stores I come across on my travels. Outside of gigging that is my number one priority on tour. I will Uber far and wide to find the best vintage sellers on the road. A lot of my wardrobe is hand-me-downs and items my mum has found for me in op shops. There are some great vintage stores I like to hit up locally like Freo de Janeiro and Yeah Vintage as well as the Vinnies on High Street. I also love the seasonal Second Life Markets, which happen all over Perth, for well-curated second-hand clothing.

Along with your work with San Cisco, you DJ. Where do you most love to play locally, and what do you put on when you want people to dance?
I recently played records at Astral Weeks in the city, which was so nice because it’s a vinyl-only listening bar and the expectation isn’t to play banger after banger. When it’s time to get the party started my go-to dancing tracks are David Bowie, Let’s Dance, or New Order’s Blue Monday.

We have one day to spend around Freo. What’s your recommended itinerary?
Start the morning with a yoga class at Fremantle Yoga Centre, then head to The Cool Room Cafe for brekkie and a peruse of Old Values, one of my fave second-hand stores with an eclectic mix of books, clothes, records and furniture. If the sun is shining head to dog beach or grab a snorkel and head to the Omeo shipwreck. Park up at Madalena’s for a sunset spritz and oysters, followed by ice-cream from Chicho Gelato and a boogie at Honkey Tonk.