_We spoke to brand boss Jimmy Galvin before their sunset cruise this Saturday with the talented Francesca Lombardo. _
RR: Jimmy! Good to chat - we’re hyped for the Francesca Lombardo boat party this weekend. What do you think we can expect from her set?
Jimmy: Thanks for having me. I think you can expect her to put a tasteful and professional show on. Anyone that’s ever watched and listened to Francesca play walks away from her sets feeling fulfilled and appreciative. In terms of her selections? I really can’t say, she’s such a versatile deejay - which makes this Saturday’s cruise so exciting.
RR: You’re the founder of By Your Side, one of Sydney’s top house & techno brands. Tell us how it started and the ethos behind it.
Jimmy: BYS started with throwing events in cool intimate wine-bars around the northern suburbs of Sydney. Something different... in ‘hole in the wall’ sort of establishments. We’d bring Mia Lucci and a host of gun deejays down at the time, out into the sleepy suburbs of Turramurra for a Sunday Session which would absolutely crank. We gained notoriety with our annual ANZAC Day event Two Up & Techno at The Chippo Hotel. It’ll be our 4th year throwing this - we’re lucky to work so closely with Brett Strauss and his team at The Chippo Hotel to nail down a balanced curation of music over 2 levels and 12 hours in a great, character-filled venue. But in black & white - we throw parties, but not too often. We like to keep them intimate, we support our residents and go on tours interstate or overseas and play our music to varied crowds. Our ethos is very simple: to grow musically, support those who support you, bounce endless ideas & enjoy your time on the dancefloor or behind the decks.
RR: Nice. Your roster includes some highly respected veteran selectors like Robbie Lowe as well as talented up-and-comers. How does that dynamic work between the residents?
Jimmy: Observing that dynamic is the reason I wake up in the morning – it’s hilarious, inspiring and reassuring. Being able to see a guy like Robbie Lowe supporting some of our young up & comers like Rory Vevers is awesome. The group is so diverse, not only in age or nationality but also in musical tastes and techniques, which has led to some really cool collaborations and conversations. We have dudes such as Harrison Morris and Dan Baartz who are truly respected as world-class producers, and we as a group are really lucky to have their insight on musical direction & their advice.
RR: Ok... of all the parties you’ve put on, which has been your favourite?
Jimmy: Very tough question! We did a hand-puppet party with HNQO once, which was fucking weird, but so much fun. But I would have to say a night we did with Carlo Lio has been my favourite we’ve thrown. The best gig I’ve ever been to was John Digweed at The Greenwood Hotel in 2012. It was absolutely skitz, as was every AGWA Yacht Club I went to with Finely Tuned.
RR: Erm, hand puppets?? Sounds mad haha. You’ve been in the game a while, how would you say Sydney’s house & techno scene has changed over the years?
Jimmy: The obvious is the lockout laws in early 2014. As a consequence of the laws being slammed on to venues and punters, promoters have had to adapt. Guys like Dave Cooper are committed to the afterhours at Club 77, plus Kerry Wallace and the SASH guys started their Day sessions at Greenwood - as they’ve seen opportunities and have adapted to the legalities that have been taken directly out of our control. I’m certainly not a supporter of the laws, but I am one of those who pursue innovative ideas for music and Sydney venues.
RR: And what have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Jimmy: Being patient is always a challenge. You want your brand to be recognized, inviting and respected by music lovers – but you cannot expect that to happen overnight, which is something we try to enforce on ourselves. Also just juggling my time is always tough - I’ve got a full time job whilst running BYS so there’s a lot of stupidly late nights, which is all part of it. I’m very lucky to have worked with Sean Condell, Tanu Tams & Al Kay in recent years who have been immense in their efforts in supporting BYS, and growing us as a brand. A special mention and thanks to my girlfriend Jessie for being woken up with a lot of music and shenanigans at odd hours, and for her support with every challenge big or small that BYS has had along the way.
RR: As a DJ, you’ve played all over the shop and supported some world class acts. What would you say has been the most memorable set you’ve played?
Jimmy: In October last year I played for Dragonfruit at a club called Capulet in Brisbane... I still smile now thinking of that set, everyone was certainly on the same page that night. It was also really special to warm up for HNQO for all his sets in Australia & Bali when he toured out here. He’s a good friend and one of the most talented guys I know, so that was pretty cool. I’m also massively pumped to play just before Francesca Lombardo this weekend on our cruise, I’ve adored her music for years & years.
RR: We really liked your guest mix on FBI radio, what was the creative process for it?
Jimmy: Thanks! That guest mix was really important to me, I’m glad you liked it.
When I was younger my friend ‘Feeder’ Newbrun and I would crank Sunset every single weekday in his Jeep. We would never miss it – so I did a lot of prep with nostalgic tracks that meant a lot to me – but that would also fit well for Simon Caldwell’s Monday show. It ended up starting quite slow & moody; leading into some more soulful sounds at the back end.
RR: Now if you could bring any DJ to a By Your Side event, who would it be?
Jimmy: Ooooft wow. If I’m allowed one, it’d have to be Stimming. There’s nobody on this planet like that man. If I could get him for a live show I’d be hitting the highest possible levels of ‘stoke’.
RR: Haha yep, maximum stokage. Finally, what’s next for you and for By Your Side?
Jimmy: We have our 2018 edition of Two-Up & Techno coming up, which I can quite easily say is the best local-line up I’ve ever seen for a techno event - we’ll be announcing next week. We’re in some exciting talks with a range of international acts to play under our banner over the course of the year, and just as exciting discussions with unique venue owners across Sydney. We also of course hold our monthly residency, on the first Friday of the month at SLYFOX in Enmore, which we started last October and is going from strength to strength.
RR: Good stuff. Thank you Jimmy.
Photo by Camila Torres Photography 📷