Sidonie bangs the drums to the tune of peace and happiness.
Sidonie Hand-Halford is the drummer for Liverpool based band The Orielles. Asked to describe herself, the 21-year-old replied: “I like Kinder Buenos, sit-down showers and the works of David Lynch. I dislike loud eaters, trap music and misogyny.” It’s a LIKE from us.
Hello Sid, what are you working on at the moment?
I have just finished recording our debut album called Silver Dollar Moment. It was such a fun experience that I’ll never forget. We are all very, very excited for everyone to hear it because it’s something we’re extremely proud of. I’ve also just started a new job, which is good. Aside from band stuff, I’ve been soooo lazy since graduating from University in the summer so it feels nice to have more structure to my days again.
What has been your biggest life challenge and what did you do to overcome it?
I found it quite difficult during the first weeks of university and living away from home because I missed my sister like crazy. When I lived at home we spent every hour of the day together – even if we were both just sat in one room silently doing our own thing. I missed her presence and how she could just brighten my day so easily. I play with her in my band so as we started to get busier I would see her around once a week for gigs, which helped me overcome me missing her. We would also speak for hours on FaceTime when we didn’t see each other for a while so obviously that made things easier too.
What would constitute a ‘perfect’ day for you?
A perfect day for me would be spent behind the drums! It sounds so predictable, like: “Oh yeah, we get it, you’re a musician!” but it really does make me feel most like myself and most comfortable. Playing live is so meditative because nothing else at all is on my mind for an hour, just purely living in the moment and playing with my best mates. This day would also be spent somewhere warm and with nice food and drinks – maybe a little swim in a lake in Italy or something.
For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
I feel massively grateful for a bunch of things. Too many to mention. I probably feel most grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given and the people they have led me to meet.
Complete this sentence: “Ace mental health for me means…”
Peace of mind and happiness
What do you eat to stay healthy?
I try to eat a well-balanced diet and eat fruit and veg every day. I’m into making smoothies at the moment so I tend to have those for breakfast. My favourite combo is banana, almond milk, yogurt, peanut butter, and oats – delish!
Do you have a daily routine of exercise or do you make it up as you go along?
I don’t really do a lot of exercises but I should do really. I guess drumming is what keeps me fit. I also walk a lot.
Here at The Mind Map, we remember playing football and ‘tag’, running around the playground every day and loving it – can you share a similar memory?
In primary school, I’d do the same. I loved playing with the boys and proving to them that girls could kick a ball around too. In high school, I was less into sport and got into music instead so I’d spent most break times in the music room with my best mate and we’d just jam on the piano or guitars for an hour. The teachers were probably relieved to see us go.
Do you think the egg and spoon race should be an Olympic sport as well as running for a bus?
Oh yeah, that would be sick. I’m well good at running for buses, never missed one in my life…
Who was your best friend at school? What was the funniest thing they did?
My best friend at high school was called Katie, she was the best. We’re still in touch actually and whenever I go back to Halifax to see my parents we hang out and just shoot the breeze for hours. She made me laugh all the time; she’s an amazing wacky dancer and could make me cry with the shapes she’d pull haha.
Pumps or trainers for PE?
Name your top five best vegetables.
Aubergine, sweetcorn, peas, mushrooms, cactus (the last one sounds pretentious AF, haha but we had these cactus tacos in Canada and seriously they were soooo nice!)
Name your top five best fruits.
Mango, avocado, strawberries, green grapes and watermelon
What three songs lift your spirits?
Rock Your Baby by George McCrae
Muddy Rivers by Lightships
Get Funky by ESG
What is your favourite self-help book or motivational quote?
One of my favourite quotes is by Patti Smith: “As I passed shop windows with my mother I asked why people didn’t just kick them in…I felt instantly confined by the notion that we are born into a world where everything was mapped out by those before us”. I guess it doesn’t really fit into the ‘self-help’ bracket of the question but reading it certainly motivated me to kick down more metaphorical barriers that were in my way.
What advice do you offer to friends when they are feeling overwhelmed?
I always encourage my friends to speak up about their feelings, issues, and worries if they can. I find that keeping them bottled up inside makes it worse and sometimes just letting everything out is like a deep sigh of relief. I’m a good listener so I am always there to listen to my friends, no matter how big or small their feeling/s may be.
Another piece of advice I always give is that that feeling of being overwhelmed can disappear just as easily and as quickly as it appeared: the worst is over. It’s uphill from here.