In support of their latest release, Melbourne’s Sydonia will be packing up the van and hitting the tarmac to tour Australia for the first time off the back of the Words That Don’t Exist EP.
Already behind the band is a swelling legion of supporters, one of whom being Slipknot’s guitarist Jim Root, who commented on the band, stating, “Sydonia, they’re a really amazing band, and the lead singer’s got a very unique voice. They’re really heavy but incorporate so many different vibes that it’s a little bit hard to categorize them musically. I think, too, that’s something music’s sort of lost.”
It’s no small deal to have Jim Root in your corner, through the level of professionalism and talent that pulses throughout the wall of sound that Sydonia will throw at you through not only your speakers, but also through theirs. And you now have the chance to bear the full force of Sydnoia’s ‘Pow! Right in the kisser’ melodic hooks as the band gears up to tour throughout August and September.
To catch the ensuring chaos, you need look no further: Feeds will be hosting the one and only official tour diary for the lads, who will be keeping you updated on their shenanigans on the reg.
Great Northern Hotel, Newcastle, NSW
Hotel Gearin, Katoomba, NSW
Annandale Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Yours & Owls, Wollongong, NSW
Macquarie Hotel, Port Macquarie, NSW
Plantation Hotel, Coffs Harbour , NSW
Crow Bar, Brisbane, QLD
Peregian Originals, Sunny Coast, QLD
Newmarket Hotel, Bendigo, VIC
Enigma Bar, Adelaide, SA
Beggars Orchestra (Sydonia’s Support Band) Tour Diary
Leg 1: Melbourne
We ran into trouble right at the start, when our van booking had mysteriously vanished. But nothing was going to stop us, and a Houdini booking was no match for our friend, technician and guru of all things noise, Andy. In a couple of hours, we were sorted. Luckily, that was the last of our troubles and we began our 11 hour journey to Melbourne stopping only for an emergency petrol detour, and a freakin submarine on dry land.
I really love Melbourne. It’s always had an atmosphere of excitement and creativity, and arriving this time the air felt rich with that energy.
When the doors finally opened and the people of Melbourne flooded in, I knew that it would be a great night. Throughout our set I could feel the crowd warming to us and losing their trepidation. By the time we were closing with “Explode,” I felt like we had won over a small part of Melbourne, and after we’d left the stage, the comments and conversations we had left us feeling truly appreciated.
After Glass Empire (one of my new favourite Aussie bands) rocked the stage, it was time for Sydonia. It has been far too long since I’d seen those boys do what they do best. I’ve missed them, musically and personally.
The drive home seemed longer than the drive down, with the anticipation over for the week. But at least there was a freakin submarine on dry land.
Leg 2: Newcastle, Katoomba, Sydney and Wollongong
The first part of travels were starting to develop a pattern of unpleasantness. Both Jimmy and I were catching a train to Newcastle after work, and wouldn’t you know, a tree had fallen across the track. The 2 hour train trip turned into a 4 hours of impatience and I arrived at around 7 with Jimmy 2 hours behind me. Happily though, I arrived to dinner and a show. A pub feed with burlesque dancers rehearsing mere metres away. We started to load onto stage with no sign of Jimmy still. We have tuned, checked the lines and warmed up when Jimmy walked in, put on his bass, and a few seconds later our set had begun. The crowd was small and stood a few metres back, but were by no means quiet after each song.
Katoomba was a total surprise. A small town in the mountains should not be able to rock that hard, but they defied logic by being one of the most energetic crowds of the tour. The intensely cold weather did nothing to discourage several men from discarding their shirts in an epic display of rock spirit.
It was a great feeling to rock up to a familiar venue, the Annandale. I knew that the Sydney show would be good, but I had no idea what was in store. I kept expecting people to stop arriving but they just kept coming. By the time I had plugged in my guitar, the room was packed with a home town crowd, ready to rock. I can’t pick a favourite part of the set, because it all seems like a wonderful blur of endorphins and excitement. There really is nothing like a home town show.
A true highlight of the night was Sydonia’s percussive piece, “Bateria,” with special guests Beggars drummer Nelson, and from Breaking Orbit, Dylan and Tyson joining the percussion line up ingiting a tribal fire in the audience.
The venues for Sydney and Wollongong were polar opposites. Yours and Owls is an art gallery/cafe/venue and one of the smallest rooms I’ve played. In saying that, it was an awesome place and the people that came got an intimate night unlike any other on the tour. We had a coffee, and set Nelson’s kit up on the footpath outside while we prepared to play. For something special, we decided to pull out “Finale” for the only time on this tour. Although it was a little rusty, and is sort of long winded, Wollongong honoured us with their full attention the whole time. Sydonia managed to fit their enormous amount of gear up the front, and shook the walls around the should to shoulder
onlookers. They nailed it, as always.
Leg 3: Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour and Brisbane
From the moment we set down in Port Macquarie, we were treated like a band well above our level. We have now learned that the Port Macquarie Hotel treats its bands amazingly. We were given beds, beer and bourbon by Barbs, the legend who books the entertainment there. The crowd was small but awesome. There was even a few people that came from a funeral for a drink, and felt that music may help. It’s always worked for me. Port was my first guest spot for Sydonia’s “Bateria” on guitar, with Nelson on percussion. This became a ritual for us for the rest of the tour. It was great to stay in the same place as Sydonia, to hang out, have a few drinks and learn from these great performers.
Most of Beggars grew up playing in bands around Coffs Harbour, so the Plantation Hotel is no stranger to us. Still, I had forgotten what a great venue it is. After some good Thai, thanks to local knowledge, we headed back in to see Nelson pull a double set with both us, and punk rockers Matty Effin Morisson. Standing on stage barriers with a guitar, playing to a rocking crowd of old friends and new, made for an incredible night. It was good to be home for a night.
We recorded “And Then The Crows Will Come” around Brisbane, so it was great to finally bring it back to its birth place and see what people thought. Crow Bar was a dark, dingy rock bar. Just how I like it. We opened our set with “…” and the people of Brisbane started to pay attention, slowly warming to us and gradually moving closer. By “Atonement,” we had heads bopping and a couple of people dancing, which is somewhat of a rarity for us. By the time Sydonia hit the stage, the people had well and truly warmed up and were getting rowdy. On this night, “Bateria” featured myself, Nelson, Rob on Cello and Luke from Dead Letter Circus on percussion. It sounded huge.
Leg 4: Bendigo and Adelaide
Bendigo was yet another small town who love their heavy music. We were greeted at the bar by a Roller Derby girl, called “Ya mum,” who gave us beer and ended up buying shirts and CD’s from all the bands. After the end of our first track, the compliments were being yelled out like the most polite case of tourrettes of all time. And they just kept coming with the growing crowd and the slightest of moshes breaking out. After the set, I don’t think I’ve ever had so many people coming up and telling us how much they appreciated our music. It was such an honour. The people of Bendigo kept the excitement levels rising all the way through the night. Beggars and Sydonia both agree that it was one of the best shows we had.
The road between Sydney and Adelaide has two different sets of scenery. Either vast fields of canola stretching a golden blanket across to the horizon, or nothing. Incredible expanses of nothing. It was an interesting feeling to be so far from anything in any direction. Nothing like nothing as far as the eye can see and thousands of kilometres of driving to make you realise how insignificant we are. On the drive someone sent me a picture, which I thought was spam. Turns out it was a picture of a girl in the last town we stopped, holding Nelson’s wallet. Thank God for small town honesty, and for Gizelle, who handed Nelson’s wallet to Sydonia who were an hour behind us. We eventually rolled into our last stop on the tour. Enigma is a great bar, filled with black lights and giant metallic Predator statues. Unfortunately, we had chosen a night that left us competing with a few other events in Adelaide, so the crowd was a little small. But what they lacked in quantity, they made up for in quality. Everyone was all smiles as we wrapped up our tour, even though we felt a hint of sadness that it had come to an end. I had a question in the back of my mind. We have now toured with Sydonia, some of the most awesome people I have had the pleasure of meeting. Is there another band that will be able to live up to how much fun we had with them? Only time will tell.
I’d like to thank so many people. Sydonia, you all taught us so much, whether is was musical advice or weird/screwed up information. For sharing the stage, gear and letting us get up on stage with you. It was truly an honour. Dugald and Karlos for all your help. Stu, for taking us under your wing, managing the tour, mixing us and countless other things. Everyone who came to a show, bought some merch, shook our hand or said you liked our music. You are why we do this.
Saturday, after an epic night at Bendigo we rolled out onto the Western Highway….this road is fucked, but it’s ok because it leads to Adelaide. 8hrs later…..we arrive at Enigma, load in time! Being the last show we thought we would all have have a bite with the Beggars boys. Tom Kha nomnomnomnomnomnom….i’m so happy (watch iphone 5). Laconica opened to a oddly quiet Enigma. Apparently metal-heads go like showbags???(the royal show opened tongight). Beggars played their last of the tour and smashed it completely, it’s awesome touring with you; Jarvis, Russ, Nelly, Jimmy, Mitchy and Andy Pandy (the best dressed boy on tour) you are all legends, total legends, i gucking glove you. Fell at 10 kept the vibe up with their alt/prog riffs and double vox soaring over the small but lively and appreciative crowd. We hit the stage at midnight, making the set and taking requests as we went along. Despite the small numbers it was still good times. Thank you to Lisa from Laconica for putting us up for the night, we’ll see you cats again next week for the front bar gig……..my shout! Next up is our Front Bar with Breaking Orbit, Moroccan Kings and our buddies Laconica.
Friday, a harsh brutal day when it starts with work, by 6pm we had all assembled at Danas house, only to discover usual hire car fitness: trailer plug busted, tyres bald and engine severly needing oil change. Sam the man, rewired the trailer plug and spat on the wheels. We loaded off and we were off. Melbourne traffic not so good when the footy is on, we lingered through lane maurending freaks and angry and sexually frustrated truck drivers. Dana starts to moon passing traffic…..2.5 hrs later we rolled into Bendigo. To be greeted by the warmth and glove from the lovely newmarket crew. Aberact were up first, fisting our minds their brutal post-hardcore styles, singer leaping from table to table, screaming in my face….i love it. \m/. Next up were the mighty B.Orch, these guys fucking do my head in? WHY ARE THEY SO GOOD!? Nelly & Russ i love you in your man beards. The party vibe that was completely happening…the Newmarket was rocking to the beggars. Artilah’s crew to the room to the next level, people losing their minds in the crowd and rockign out to the powerful riff maddness. By now the room was full of hot and sexy people, Artliah’s form of lubrication had worked, Bendigo….loving life!
I like Coffs, especially for getting Offs… and by offs I means whacking out our sounds to a happy and receptive crowd. What looked like a tumbleweed desert sized room turned out to be swimming with welcoming-home wrigglers. The Beggars boys finally started displaying their wiggly-fingered goods to the front of stage to which they were greeted with very respectful horn salutes and fruit cabooses.
As the high of the show wore off, or the venue’s mixed berry Pavlova, whatever sugar-high it may have been, I basked in the glory of standing in the sticky emptied room with Dana’s Uncle Dana (yes, double man Dana’s) and got to ponder the benefits of having a belly full of his wonderful Mexican buritto action. Those benefits exposed themselves later on in the van to some more highly receptive and captive audience members that inhabited the van to Brisbane.
Speaking of farting in confined spaces, the Crowbar was the opposite to that. We pretty much inhaled the audience in through our anosses and sharted out some musical chaos in the sweaty underwear of a basement room. Who needs air conditioning when the collective stinkhole that we are incited both man and woman to expose their chesticles. I saw at least 7, 2 of which were side boobage that could be either gender, i don’t care, it was awesome, side boobage is always the best, especially of men cos you really have to use your imagination to make it work you know… and by that I mean getting them to hang out and stand partially naked side on in front of me whilst I go to work on some business. Yeah, you know what I mean.
Waking up to sunshine and home cooked breakfast is what the entire planet should experience. Although that may require flattening the Earth out again like in the 1600’s, it is a nice thought really,mostly because it means we could push certain dickheads over the edge. BY dickheads I mean whingey cockgobblers who wouldn’t want events like the Peregian Originals to continue. Man, what a truly awesome turnout and day. Set in the park next to the beach, close to 500 or more family, friends and pets, even a pirate with a parrot, gathered on the lawn to dance, have fun and support live original music. That is life in a nutshell for our Sunday. I wish it was every day, but I’m guessing a couple of Richy McRichardsons put the double dick into their moniker and smoke the pipe of penis-filled complaints department to spoil the organisers and everyone present’s good times. I don’t get whingers like that. What I can relate to though is the poor drongo who would be cleaning the dunnies and bushes the next morning and absolutely loving life like a skewer to the ear hole.
Oh yeah, we had a cracker mellow set with young 5 year old ish Kyuss own the stage by playing percussion throughout our set. He totally got to win at life by smashing out some beats, unlike at his dance class where he’s not allowed to play drums… teachers are weird sometimes.
Now we head south for a dreary 24 hour straight drive home and back to work for a few days before the final 3 shows of the tour. It’s not so much dreary diary, more challenging cos I’ve eaten mushy peas on my vegetable pie from Beefy’s this morning and they speak to me like no other food group does… tender, yet assertive, just don’t get to close to that mouth as it has teeth. - Sam
After a chilaxing couple of days of watching Workaholics and $10 meals, we arrived in sunny Port Macquarie. The only other time we’ve been here was on a food detour a few years back in search of pancakes. Being poor meant skipping the $20 pancakes for Thai. Damn overpriced tourist towns! Anyhow, today was a memorable one as we had our first ever diem (free money!!!). For a moment we were living the dream…then we paid for lunch and it was gone!
Many dumplings and undersized wraps later we moved into the venue on mass and smashed out a fun and intimate show for the locals. Although a quietish show, merch ran out the door. One guy even purchased 2 skateboards. Guess he wants one for each foot. Question not the wisdom of the drunken punter.
That was about it for the night, until a largish, rather seedy gentleman in the neighbouring hotel decided to start waving to us and the Beggars boys on our balcony. He seemed to want someone to head over to his hotel and join whatever he was doing on his computer. Yep, seedy and dodgy as they come. Fear not, everyone awoke in their own beds, without a fat naked guy next to them. Next morning we packed the van, woke Jubes and left for Coffs Harbour, the town that doesn’t quite understand vegetarians.
I awoke with a blinding headache and a tongue that felt like I’d been eating sand and vinegar. The night before was a pleasant memory of arriving in South West Rocks, looking at the gorgeous dark waters, and checking into the Sea Breeze Hotel. This was followed by catching up with Marshall who used to work at the Excelsior, dinner, and beers round the pool table. This turned into more beers, a stream of terribly un-pc jokes (scientologist jokes were the tamest of them) and more beers… And maybe one more beer. Hence the tongue transplant in the morning.
Sam and I then held hands all the way to the beach just for funzies and went for a swim in the glassy but very cold water. We swam onto some rocks and walked about looking at lots of bird poo while our outies turned into innies.
Then we had breakfast- standard- Sam took twenty minutes to order. I cried then ate everyone’s leftovers.
Back to the rooms- conference call with Blue Pie, very brief on air interview with CHY radio in Coffs and some intense watching of ‘Workaholics’.
Then a walk to the ‘Old Gaol’ a nice hike along 4km’s up the beach. We saw a dead clown trigger, popped the odd blue bottle, avoided giant ants, learned about the plovers broken wing act, and saw a whale breaching off the coast. The Gaol had a $7.50 entry fee, which was out of our budget, so the destination was a complete waste of time. We walked home singing the entire icehouse catalogue from start to finish. Well… maybe not.
Up and showered in the manor, bins taken out, fresh Jasmine picked and placed in kitchen, locked up the doors, stashed the keys and away we go. We can’t wait to camp out there again cos it is always a pleasure especially due to the amount of Cyanide and Happiness comics strewn about with deliberate reckless abandon. Diary, please tell them we miss them already. We know you will.
Smashed some strawberries in our faces then headed to brekkie. It is something we like to do on tour, sit and eat and discuss stuff first thing in the morning. The first and second part of that gets done, discussions are few and far between as we all seem to nerd out and stare into our dumb-arse phones. Upon being called up on this social interaction problem of the First world, we proceeded to play “Galaga” on a sit-down old school video console. Problem solved.
Next stop, South West Rocks for a couple of days at our mate Marshall’s pub. Laundry will be the first point of call on our days off cos apparently it’s important.
Tour summary through the eyes of a roadie:
Dear Mr Diary Mang,
So far the Sydonia ‘Words That Don’t Exist’ Tour (aka Sydonia Nek Minute Dungeon Coopers Pale Ale Bacon Strips Tour) has been really awesome. After a 14hour or so drive from Melbourne town to Newcastle town we loaded in and kicked things off really well. The next morning I set the Great Northern Newcastle Hotel alarm off, after being told not to venture down before 830am, but I swear I heard movements, I literally got to the bottom of the stairs, heard beeping and thought “ahhhh shit”. There was nowhere for me to hide from what I knew would be an angry few people that I woke up. I took it like a mang and went upstairs looking all worried and stuff. I was sentenced to die, but my shout on coffees cleared me and my crimes were forgotten…not really.
Beggars Orchestra have been an awesome band to play with Sydonia, they have been rocking it and killing it, I love them and so have the many other people who have been coming early to shows. Next-stop was Katoomba, they greeted us with gale force winds. The support bands for the show were cool, the first bands guitarist shot crowd members with his guitar and did a rad solo thing that melted some faces. Red Bee killed it too, they were running around on stage and banging heads, we hung out with them after the show and they kindly gave us pies, they had a cool dog too, which responded with a bark and tail-wag when you said “coornflaaakes”. So amusing, could have done it for hours on end.
Nek morning we woke up and went to a nice little café place thing where bacon, eggs, mushrooms, hash-browns, baked beans and bacon strips and bacon strips and bacon strips and bacon strips and bacon strips and bacon strips and bacon strips and bacon strips and jack daniels sauce was consumed. We drove to the ‘dale and Sam proved again that he was a mang by doing the impossible and backing into tight space with a spaceship of a touring van. We loaded in like ninjas, Sean and I did our thing and setup the kit and then Sydonia did their sound-check. The Sydney show was probably the best show of the tour, 250 or so heads, quite possibly the best Sydney show Sydonia have done too, it included an awesome sing-along to ‘No Womans Land’, brought a smile to my face. Bateria was played with Dylan and Tyson from Breaking Orbit and Nelson from Beggars Orchestra, the show came to an end and everyone at the ‘dale left buzzing, especially the ‘stripey pants gig crew’ who came to the Katoomba show and the ‘Gong show on the Sunday night too. The night went on and very little sleep was had.
Nek morning…more bacon strips. Headed down to Wollonbingbonglingfongtongrongpongyonggong for a cosy lounge room-esque show at Yours & Owls, it was tightly spaced, and Sean’s kit was stored all over the venue. It was a sweet show though, very intimate. I remember last-time I was in Wollongong with Sydonia I saw a guy who had a mullet that looked like a raccoon hat thing, It’s haunted me ever since, I wanted to see him again, nevertheless I didn’t, and tears were shed.
Nek day we kicked on to Sydney for our first day off the tour, we went to a label meeting then stayed the night at the Berkshire Manor. I nearly tripped over Adz and I’m surprised I haven’t been murdered yet, so far I’ve set alarms off and nearly woken up Adz numerous times, it’s the equivalent to kidnapping Liam Neeson’s daughter.
More fun times ahead as the tour continues on.
We saw your cows today. Isn’t it strange that you have cows even though you are a diary? Do you think you could herd Soy beans for me and squeeze their little nip nips for me please as I much prefer not to be all bloated and farty in the tour van…or do I?
Woke up in the Gong, stretched our bones with a walk on the beach after brekkie and then headed to Sydney for our meeting with the CEO of Blue Pie Productions. There we discovered the benefits of anti-oxidising fruits such as blueberries can be extremely helpful with our future musical career. Career being the operative word as you need a high fibre foods to fuel such vocations… and tour van atmospheres.
Then we were graciously welcomed into the Berkshire Hunting Club’s manor of awesomeness. We fell asleep to the sounds of them and their friend’s bands on Radio FBI. It was really comforting to fall into such a soft pocket of communal support system. Sometimes it feels like the radio is an alien planet filled with the vacuum of space sucking the life out of us, but not this eve.
What’s the stozz with Yozz & Owls? I mean, how good is it? It’s one of the coolest little café bar venues in the world you say. And how is it a diary understands weird questions in some kind of weird slang? And you answer like you are actually one of the many voices in my noggin… I am now more confused than normal.
Anyway, local lads Lint opened for us before heading south to our home neck of the woods this week. As we booted them out the door, Beggars came crashing in with their coffees and enchiladas of good times on a Sunday night and playing a special song “Finale” for us. Adz and I were singing the creepy child-like chant part cos we are a pair of creeps and Sean and Dana were heard to be kissing each other in the back alley on an old trailer rug.
Damn the Blue Mountains have an icy late afternoon wind. Not the best thing when you’re loading in wearing only your pantyhose.
After some beyond mountain sized meals fit for an Amazonian woman like Dana, we were treated to Earprojector’s “Kamakazi Highlander” machine gun guitar solo fit for any guitar god.
Beggars smashed it as always with their tasty beats and random bearded queen of the desertness.
Next up was the local smash face assault of Red Bee. New favourite band and all round great pie making legends. Can’t wait till we hurt their minds again.
After a brutal assault by the returning technical gremlins, we borrowed some gear from the legends of Red Bee, therefore forcing them to stay for an angry, angry set, and got on to smashing out some classic gold hits.
Merch once again ran out the door, including a skateboard to a rather nice gentleman who received many man hugs.
We’ll be back asap for sure.
Shite list entry 2: Dana’s 2nd absence from loading gear.
I found my second……damn did it again!
After driving up the Hume we hit a brutal storm that had us arrive 2 hours late. But none the less, the Great Northern welcomed us with open arms and so much deep fried potato. How could one not feel welcome.
Local acts helped us load in, then preceded to destroy the stage. One smashed guitar taking out the singer. For a Thursday school night, it was ripping undies.
In fine Sean form, he had picked up the flu from our roadie Jubes the 1st. Add to that the sore wrist, he was certainly sucking at life.
The show went swimmingly, loads of merch was sold and Newcastle was a happier place.
The wonderful staff there put the “Great” in The Great Northern by putting us for the night with one strict and yet simple rule. DON’T GO DOWNSTAIRS BEFORE WE ARRIVE IN THE MORNING OR THE ALARM WILL GO OFF!
Simple in its message, however Jubes the 1st(soon to be demoted) doesn’t play by the rules, being on his first tour, decided to investigate a random noise downstairs at 7am.
Who’d of thunk an alarm would go off and wake everyone up…….except Karlos the unwakeable.
Seeing the error of his ways, Jubes the 3rd (freshly demoted twice) went out for coffee for everyone.
We felt this wasn’t punishment enough, so after asking on Facebook for a suitable sentencing, Grant’s was the winning suggestion of top shelfing his laptop. It was a unanimous agreement by all.
The USB port is still available for docking.
Shite list entry 1: this was Dana’s 1st absence for loading gear.
Now to the Blue Mountains.
I found my first…….oops wrong story.
Why is it that when support bands are overheard by our friends whinging about us, the law says we are not allowed to put our fists in their mouths?
Kids today, no respect or manners or a life.
Anyhow, the show was a complete cracker. Even before we started, people were gagging for riffs. Then they were literally gagging on the incense that someone liberally applied to the room. Once we requested someone piss on the said incense burner, lungs and senses were restored to normal.
From the get go, we were on the back foot with Sean almost broken wristed, but he drunk some Viagra and instantly hardened up with man points. The crowd stamped his man up card thusly.
We blasted out a couple of newies and some old favourites for a great show. For once, no technical gremlins gave us any jib.
Before the show Sam and Adz were interviewed by Red Sky Entertainment about the tour. The video is online for your viewing pleasure at …………..
The other noteworthy happening that night was poor Adz’s car breaking down just after loading in. Sadly it broke down in a metered parking spot and he was fined by the Fitzroy Nazi inspectors.
Speaking of that pube I found………
Thanks for joining us for our first tour diary. For the opening night of the tour at the Evelyn we thought we’d show a glimpse of what writing a set is like in the Sydonia camp.