Updated: Apr 10, 2020
Humans love to connect, some of us travel the planet’s celestial sphere to connect to an experience, to another human or sometimes just to our own self.
If planetary travel isn’t possible, we love to meet up with our mates at our favourite joint and connect over art, music, food or a few drinks.
Today, a viral New World Order has closed the food houses, absconded the events and left us uncertain of what to do with our hands.
In juxtaposition to our current global situation, travelling muso Davy Simony’s story sounds like an alternate universe now.
“The first thing that I remember musically is Dad’s jam nights. Dad held these jam nights at his house every week since I was really young. From that I was inspired,” Davy thinks back fondly.
Davy Simony began piano lessons at 8 years old and went on to become a multi-instrumentalist.
He gained some confidence and decided to join his dads jam nights.
“I learnt a lot from jamming with experienced players. It’s like learning a language, you have to converse a language to learn it,” explains Davy.
Coyly, Davy laughs to tell me the first band he formed at 13 whilst at Cairns High was called Dubble D Infinitee.
A joke that stuck, Davy explained this was actually a play on an acronym for the band member names – Danny and Davy.
In 2008, Dubble D (as it was known in short) were surprised to win The Battle of The Bands – the guys were loving music life.
After graduating high school, Davy kinda went “f*ck it,” and moved to Melbourne to give music a red-hot go.
After one year he was making a living entirely off his music and he never looked back – he’s been there ever since.
That is, until it gets too cold.
Davy likes to follow the sun path and takes his music to wherever in the world it is warm, which could be anywhere in the world that tickles his fancy.
When I first met Davy, in Cairns in 2019, he was finishing up an Australian tour and a few days out from completion he’d decided Melbourne was just too f*cking cold.
“I’m going to Japan,” Davy told me, although he confessed he did not think he would get many, if any, gigs there.
We’ll come back to that though, before Davy’s confidence grew as big as the world, he gave everything he had to salvos and bought a van.
“I lived in my van for 7 months just touring up and down the east coast. I did like 32 gigs on the way up the first time, and yeah just went up and down a few times. I just emailed like a million venues and followed up with phone calls and emails,” Davy says nonchalantly.
Europe was next and was the beginning of so much more.
“It was exciting hey, I was solo for most of the trip. I went for 3 months and I was just like travelling with my guitar and my busking amp,” Davy tells.
“I didn’t take enough money, so I was literally busking to get to the next place. It was exciting as f*ck. I’d think ‘I need to get to Prague, how am I gonna do that!?’ – ‘I need to busk!’,” Davy laughs.
Davy played predominantly in England, with some gigs in Amsterdam and Paris.
Curious how he copes in such a nomadic lifestyle, I ask if he has ever got stuck and Davy laughs and says light-heatedly, “I just try not to look at my bank account and hope for the best, and it’s worked out so far!”.
“There was one scary moment, I was getting on a train in Paris to go busking, and I think they had two sets of doors”.
“I was just walking along taking my time, I’m a pretty chill person. So, I was like, oh yeah no worries, I’m in no rush”.
“My suitcase with all my stuff in it, and my busking amp was stuck on the other side of the doors of the train. I reefed the doors open and pulled my stuff in,” Davy’s laugh is a little more nervous remembering this one.
This didn’t stop him touring the United States of America twice in the last two years.
On the first trip, Davy was travelling with another band he formed,Chester Brix.
A trip that was pivotal for the group – they met the final band member at an airport – and the story is cooler than cool.
“We met this guy, just completely randomly at an airport. We got on the same flight, and we ended up jamming on the back of the plane over the intercom for the whole trip,” Davy starts.
Gabe Burdulis was the man they met, from Nashville, now the lead guitarist of their band that has evolved to become Park Ridge.
“It’s this great airline called South West Airlines, and they’re all about music”.
“The pilot was like ‘alright guys, we have a special show for you tonight, we’re gonna get some live music on the plane’, and they actually held the mic in between us while we just jammed out to a song or two”.
“We just clicked so well that we just got to a rehearsal studio the next day and he played the whole tour with us,”.
“Nashville is just something else hey. We got there at 11pm on a Saturday night, walked down the main street and there’s just every 10 meters there is a live band or DJ, so sick,”.
But Davy says 3 months in the U.S. is enough for him, after that it gets too cold.
“I try to just live in Summer now,” says Davy.
So, after travelling Australia’s East Coast, Europe and the United States of America, Davy took a leap once again for warmer weather and tried Japan in July 2019.
“When I went I only had about three gigs booked,” Davy tells of the uncertainty of income when he first took off for Japan.
“But the three I had were so good and after each one I just had so many offers”.
“At the first gig, as we were packing up, the sound guy said ‘hey I’m putting on a reggae festival tomorrow down on the coast, do you wanna play a set?’. I was like, ‘shit yeah!’”.
“It was actually this amazing place on the coast, it was a bar right on the beach in Wakaiama and there was great reggae”.
As Davy does, he took to a tiny little tropical island, Ishigaki, part of the Okinawa Islands, and stayed an extended period of time there.
“People there are some of the longest living people (they live to a really old age) – there was one woman there who was 140-150,” Davy says bewildered.
“I just spent my time there surfing, hanging out with locals and ended up playing heaps of shows there which was amazing”.
Davy was the only Aussie on the island, which speaks to his open and nonchalant nature.
He explains that payment was a strange concept in these places.
Gigs there are akin to busking – in Japan as artists place a collection point and rely on kindness of strangers for payment.
Unlike busking however the gigs are booked and scheduled, and the same process applies for large festivals.
Thankfully, Davy explained that whilst many gigs ended up being played without pay, kindness was returned threefold at others.
“One of them was a restaurant, I played at the front of the restaurant,” he recalls.
“You just put out your case and kind of busk essentially, and I ended up making heaps of money cause everyone was just throwing in 10000 yen notes or 1000 yen notes (10000 yen is approximately 13 Australian Dollars)”.
“I actually sold heaps of CD’s. I sold out and had to make more while I was there”.
To kickstart 2020, Park Ridge flew their Nashville member Gabe over to play an Australian Tour.
Coinciding with the release of a new single, Keeper, the band played, Melbourne, Cairns and Brisbane.
Davy laughs as he coyly tells me that he and the original band members Jayden Reid (frontman/guitarist), Danny Finkelstein (drummer) have “history” in the area of Park Ridge in Cairns.
“I’m not sure I should say what we used to get up to up there,” laughs Davy, as he explains how they got their name.
Last month, Park Ridge released an epic track, “Keeper” which was followed by an animation film.
The foursome have recently announced new music will be dropping soon, however all tours are on hold for the foreseeable future, as they are for the entire industry.
Davy isn't letting this stop him, he is currently bunkered down, quarantined and writing music every day.
Also, Davy recorded this live video to help combat our ‘Rona depression. It’s about a turtle and it’s super cute and it will make you smile.
"I think we could all take a page out of mr turtle’s book- now more than ever it’s time to slow down and stay in your shell until it’s safe🐢".
Click here for Davy Simony Music. Click here for Davy Simony Instagram. Click here for Davy Simony Facebook.
Click here for Park Ridge Music. Click here for Park Ridge Instagram. Click here for Park Ridge Facebook.