Deniliquin Pastoral Times

Home from Japan tour

By Olivia Duffey

Archie Jacobs has never been one to let his Cystic Fibrosis stand in his way.

He was encouraged to take up playing the recorder at the age of six when his parents - Digby and Georgia - read it could help with the symptoms of the lung disease.

It inspired a passion for music in Mr Jacobs, who has recently returned from a tour in Japan with his Melbourne band Sunnyside.

Mr Jacobs is the band's saxophonist, and siad his early start learning music in Deniliquin has attributed to his success.

He was tutored by Richard Davies and George Maddison before taking up a music scholarship at Ballarat Grammar, where he completed years 11 and 12.

He then studied a Bachelor of Music at Monash University in Melbourne, majoring in classical clarinet, and completed his Masters of Secondary Music Teaching.

During this time he was travelling back to teach at Deniliquin High School for the practical components of his degree in 2017.

“I got really lucky in my ability to explore opportunities elsewhere which followed into studying at Melbourne and Ballarat,” Mr Jacobs said.

“Taking up these chances were not always voluntarily as I had vigilant parents, but I thank them now for that.”

Mr Jacobs still finds any excuse to catch up with friend and family between his busy schedule, including visiting his grandparents Lindsay and Jan Renwick and sister Mathilda Jacobs in Deni last week.

And he's happy to share his experiences in music with other Deniliquin youth who may be looking at it as a career.

“In Deni, music and arts are probably not as big as sports but that is actually pretty similar to the rest of Australia,” he said.

“On average, there are less opportunities to perform, so seek opportunities and keep asking how you can improve to get better at performing.

“Set yourself up now by building an online presence and a reputation for your live performances as well as making connections. It always helps to have original music on hand too.

“I wouldn't do it if I didn't think it was fun, so you do need to have a passion and a drive for it.

“But, regardless of anything else, make sure you are making art you are happy with and think is good. Have fun with it and give it a crack.”

Sunnyside formed four years ago and consists of Mr Jacobs on saxophone, Sam O'Neil on guitar, Gordon Li on Bass, Mackenzie Randall on percussion, Callum Humphrys on Drums and Matt Hall on keys and vocals.

The six-piece collective call themselves the "jamming journeymen", and while it's a step sideways from his classical start in music Mr Jacobs said it was the best decision he made.

"I figured I didn't want to play in an orchestra for the rest of my life; I wanted to play original music that I had control over, and so did the other guys in my band,” he said.

"So, we started jamming in Melbourne together and now we are Sunnyside.”

“We were fortunate enough to play in Japan on tour recently, as a follow up to playing at Japan's largest outdoor festival Fuji Rock.

“It was pretty cool for us as we are just a small time funk band who basically have no international experience. The whole experience was insane.

“I honestly can't see myself doing anything else and I really love what we do as a band, so check out our music and don't forget to support your local musicians, you never know how far they could go.”

Sunnyside featured in Japan alongside King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, another Melbourne band with Deni connections through Eric Moore and Michael Cavanagh.