Guest Blog Post

TOUR DIARY: Syvia’s BK Sound is Euro Bound

Syvia exists where the Northern Lights meet the skyscrapers of New York City. Their emotive guitar riffs intertwine with atmospheric synths and pulsing drums to create a brand of dark, brooding electro-rock sure to entrance listeners. The band recently took their electrifying live show on a Brooklyn Brewery sponsored tour of the Nordic world. The following a post is a recollection of that tour.

By: Ruth Mirsky

DAY 1

We arrived in Helsinki, Finland! This is the first time both the guitarist, Frank, and the drummer, Rich, have ever visited Europe, so it is a pretty exciting moment. It was also the first time anyone from our group had been to Finland. The airport didn’t feel very different from home considering it had a Starbucks and a Burger King on hand, but the white coating of snow everywhere definitely wasn’t like the 50 degree weather we left behind in NYC.
Oh and they sell bear meat in a can!

Syvia Pic 1

Exhausted. Time for a power nap while we wait for our bassist, Sheldon, to arrive.

Local record store had a poster for the Bar Loose show up!

Local record store had a poster for the Bar Loose show up!

For dinner, we were treated to a meal an “authentic” American restaurant. They had horse steaks on the menu. Pretty sure we couldn’t get that in the USA…

DAY 2

We headed out for an interview in the morning at Basso Radio followed by another one at Radio Helsinki. Both were a ton of fun — full of Snapchat lessons and hilarious attempts to make funny station IDs.

Ruth getting a much-needed lesson in Snapchatting from the Basso Radio hosts and Rich.

Ruth getting a much-needed lesson in Snapchatting from the Basso Radio hosts and Rich.

Frank and Sheldon sharing the mic at Basso Radio. Helsinki, Finland

Frank and Sheldon sharing the mic at Basso Radio. Helsinki, Finland

Syvia posing with a sign we can’t read in front of Radio Helsinki. We hope it says something about Helsinki...

Syvia posing with a sign we can’t read in front of Radio Helsinki. We hope it says something about Helsinki…

Before our show, we headed to the U.S. Embassy for a special celebration of the Brooklyn Sound Tour sponsored by Brooklyn Brewery. Ambassador Adams was gracious enough to take Syvia on a special trip up to the terrace with a gorgeous view of the Sea of Finland. Apparently you can see Estonia on a really clear day!

 

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Syvia with Ambassador Adams at the U.S. Embassy. Helsinki, Finland

View from U.S. Embassy, Helsinki

View from U.S. Embassy, Helsinki

Our first show at Bar Loose was packed full of people on a Tuesday night! What a great start to the tour! We had line-up of Finnish Bands including Iisa Duo, Cats of Transnistria, Kaleidobolt, and Teksti TV-666 split between two floors.

Syvia at Bar Loose. Helsinki, Finland.

Syvia at Bar Loose. Helsinki, Finland.

Unfortunately, we stayed out a bit late and only had three hours to sleep post-show before our flight to Stockholm. The touring adventure begins!

DAY 3

We were all pretty giddy with sleeplessness on the way to the airport in Helsinki for our early flight to Stockholm. Our flight departed at 7:45am and we arrived at 7:45am because…well…magic. At least, we think it was magic. Some of us rallied to head to Nya Carnegiebryggeriet — Brooklyn Brewery’s Swedish brewery — for lunch and a tour. It was capped off with an intimate show at Debaser with Sevdaliza.

Syvia at Debaser. Stockholm, Sweden

Syvia at Debaser. Stockholm, Sweden

After the show, we even managed to sneak in a delicious traditional Swedish dinner (cue the Swedish meatballs, herring and aquavit!) at Pelikan.

Frank discovers his next calling behind the hotel decks in Stockholm before we left for the airport.

Frank discovers his next calling behind the hotel decks in Stockholm before we left for the airport.

DAY 4

Hello Gothenberg! Super psyched to play our third show of the tour at Pustervik. Now that we have had a night of decent sleep and the jet lag is starting to wear off, we are all feeling a bit more normal.

Syvia at Pustervik. Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Rebecka Bjurmell)

Syvia at Pustervik. Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Rebecka Bjurmell)

It was an epic show at Pustervik with Pale Honey and Niki & the Dove, where we played to over 400-500 people — it was our biggest show yet! The bands were all really friendly and we had a great time hanging out with them backstage.

Reviewing the evidence of previous night’s adventures. Meanwhile, Frank is listening to his new favorite band, Pale Honey. Gothenburg, Sweden.

Reviewing the evidence of previous night’s adventures. Meanwhile, Frank is listening to his new favorite band, Pale Honey. Gothenburg, Sweden.

DAY 5

Ready for take-off in our propeller plane. Looking forward to Oslo, Norway — Ruth’s home away from home. We went in search of first-rate coffee (which Norway has a lot of) and kanelboller (“cinnamon rolls”) as soon as we arrived. Then, we had a special event planned — an event at the U.S. Ambassador’s residence co-sponsored by Brooklyn Brewery and the X- Games with beers and brunch. Not too shabby!

Hanging with Chargé d'Affaires Jim DeHart, our killer tour manager Mike Bell (dressed “music business casual”), and Brooklyn Brewery’s badass international export manager Claire Moyle at U.S. Ambassador’s Residence

Hanging with Chargé d’Affaires Jim DeHart, our killer tour manager Mike Bell (dressed “music business casual”), and Brooklyn Brewery’s badass international export manager Claire Moyle at U.S. Ambassador’s Residence

We couldn’t stay too long because we had to run to sound check. Our show at Uhørt sounded fantastic and we were thrilled to have Dråpe and Stereopol joining the bill. Only one more show left!!

Syvia at Uhørt. Oslo, Norway

Syvia at Uhørt. Oslo, Norway

DAY 6

We can’t believe the tour is almost over. We headed to Bergen around midday, which gave us time to sleep in and recharge. Everyone kept warning us about the weather, but it was sunny and almost warm when we arrived. (It did, however, start to sleet a bit around midnight, so we got a taste of “typical” Bergen weather.)

Frank sightseeing in Bergen, Norway

Frank sightseeing in Bergen, Norway

The venue we played that night with Divisjionen and Dråpe was a bar that also had ping pong tables called Vaskeriet, so it had a fun, Brooklyn house-party vibe that made us feel right at home.

Syvia at Vaskeriet. Bergen, Norway

Syvia at Vaskeriet. Bergen, Norway

Frank embodying Iron Maiden at Apollon. Bergen, Norway

Frank embodying Iron Maiden at Apollon. Bergen, Norway

Post-show we headed off to celebrate the end of tour at a really cool spot called Apollon, which was a record store/bar and then onto to another bar/restaurant called Lysverket owned by our tour-manager’s friend from Datarock to keep the party going.

Syvia and friends celebrating the end of the tour at Lysverket. Bergen, Norway

Syvia and friends celebrating the end of the tour at Lysverket. Bergen, Norway

We took the train back to Oslo from Bergen. It was seven hours of stunning scenery along the route. We even stopped in a town called Finse, which is where the opening scene to Empire Strikes Back was filmed. Look out for Wompas!!

View from the train window on journey back to Oslo from Bergen

View from the train window on journey back to Oslo from Bergen

It was the perfect end to our first international tour! Big thanks to Brooklyn Brewery, all the venues, bands, and everyone who made this tour possible. It was a dream come true for us and we look forward to coming back!


Syvia is led by Ruth Mirsky, a dual American-Norwegian citizen born and bred in NYC’s Chinatown. Mirsky is joined by Frank Banisi (guitar), Sheldon Chow (bass) and Rich Moyle (drums) to complete Syvia’s lineup. For more on the group visit their Facebook page here.

 

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