Mr. Brunswick does Sydney Rd Street Party
By R. P. G. | Photos by Sarah Anderson
When it comes to the Brunswick’s Sydney Road Street Party, it’s difficult to be a part of everything. You can’t bear witness to every tiny performance and grand gig. You can’t eat at every food stall and drink at every bar and pub – well you could try, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
I arrived, with a fellow Brunswickian and his girlfriend, at one o’clock. We tore through the crowd that had already thickened and avoided what sounded like average busking. We stopped in front of Mars Madness – an artist from Potsdam, Germany – that slapped away at the pads of, what appeared to be an MPC, while accompanied by a break-dancer… they were the first entertaining performance we encountered, but I was hungry and we didn’t have a lighter.
So we continued on through the aromas of culturally respective stalls and the sounds of surrounding stages, only stopping twice. Once to talk to the heavily tattooed man that was offering patrons the opportunity to take a photo with him for a gold coin donation, and once to watch the marching band pass us by (I liked that).
We headed over to Barkly Square where I bought a burrito from Zambrero. My friend and I discussed how much Brunswick had changed from when we were kids and he explained his disdain for it. I told him that I am of the opposite opinion.
We dove back into the ocean of patrons that had grown considerably since we first arrived; ducking and weaving through mobs and stopping briefly in front of Brunswick Town Hall to watch the Music for the People Choir. It appealed to me… I guess because of my roots. And then it was time for a drink. We hit the pop-up street-bar on Dawson St. to hide away from the commotion for a little while, then headed over to the Brunswick Green to drink some more.
The Brunswick Green was relaxed… probably a little too relaxed – there was no entertainment, no bands. After a few drinks, we ventured back out into the street. My friend fancied a punt at the pokies so we headed over to the Duke of Edinburgh Hotel where we ran into my parents. We shared a drink then my friend and I shared a pizza, his girlfriend had the spaghetti then he had a punt.
Then we met up with the rest of our friends. This is the part of the evening when appreciation for our surroundings comes second priority to having a laugh.
There were twelve of us at the Penny Black, we were welcomed with the sounds of the Scrimshaw Four, a bluegrass/gypsy band, I thought they sounded great but, unfortunately, the sun demanded we hit the beergarden. After a half hour, I had forgotten all about the festival, the street party, I was basically at a bar with my mates… then Tash Sultana hit the stage. Tash Sultana fuses beat-boxing and electric guitar and she can really sing. She had my attention and I was prepared to commit to her entire set but, after downing a few more pints, my friends were ready for a change of scenery so we headed to Howler.
By the time we arrived, our party had switched it up. Some left for further thrill-seeking and the others, which had initially opted to ditch the Penny Black for the intoxication of cultural absorption that was on offer on the street, met back up with us at Howler. Our lot was ten deep as we danced along to Mighty Duke & the Lords in Howler’s back room, this crowd-awakening calypso band, had everyone in their grasp dancing like rabid rabbits. Honestly, some of the crowd was so rhythmless that they literally looked like rabbits suffering from such symptoms… I don’t really dance either, but even I couldn’t help moving around a little. Once we had tired, we ventured out into the beergarden to cool down with a few more pints.
We then decided to head back to the Penny Black. I don’t remember why but, at that point, I was rolling with the general group consensus. As we stumbled through what was once Brunswick’s Sydney Road Street Party, I noticed the dissipation of crowds and people cleaning up. The food stalls had very little left to offer and the same could be said about us. Most of our friends decided to call it a day and our group’s number dwindled down to the final five, still adamant to attain whatever was left of Sunday evening. We hit the Penny Black for a pint or two, then split up in the search for food.
And then there were two. We chose BBB (Brunswick Burger Buzz). Burgers and a ten dollar jug. It was now officially over. I walked, well stumbled, away from Brunswick’s Sydney Road Street Party. Perfectly content.
R.P.G is a Brunswick local with a passion for cartoons, comedy and culture. His drinks of preference are Balieys and whichever cider is currently cheapest. In his downtime he watches Doctor Who with his mother. He likes salads. Don’t judge him.