In his late teens, Syd began performing with his brother Pete as “The Kitchen Brothers”. His musical involvement with Pete lasted seven years during which they performed their own brand of acoustic folk music. They appeared at folk festivals around the country and were recorded as festival guests by David Marks’ SAFMA label and in their own right by the SABC’s World Service for external broadcast to North America, Europe, Japan and North Africa.
By the late 1970s Pete Kitchen had moved on to a career outside of music, and in 1978 Syd formed jazz-rock band Equinox. Then in 1979 Kitchen formed the experimental acoustic outfit “Harry was a Snake”.
In 1980 Kitchen embarked on a solo career and began working on a number of musical revues which included his own “S’No Good and the Reason Why” and two successful Bob Dylan revues. During this time he continued writing not only songs, but also his own uniquely personal poetry and prose that had already sold more than 3000 copies when published as an anthology titled “Scars That Shine” a few years earlier.
In 1982 Syd opened “Syd Kitchen’s Guitar Saloon”, a guitar shop in Durban which soon became a mecca for local musicians, serving as a venue for both concerts and clinics that featured musicians from all over the country. While Syd was working in his guitar shop he focused on honing his skills across a large array of musical styles. The rapid blooming of his guitar playing was reflected in the steady stylistic growth of his writing, as he began to feed rock, country, jazz, blues and African music into his now trademark lyrical quirks and musical detours. In the early 90’s he held personal guitar lessons in his home, in a school which he referred to as “The School of Applied Fretboard Logic”