Canberra musicians and fans will on Friday celebrate the life of popular drummer Matt Sykes, who was killed while spearfishing near Jervis Bay last week.
Mr Sykes, 27, was the drummer in Paul Greene and the Other Colours, the roots music outfit due to embark on a tour along eastern Australia on February 7, starting with a gig at The Front Gallery in Lyneham.
Paul Greene confirmed on Wednesday that the tour would still go ahead. He and bass player Neil Beaver would perform as a duo for most of the tour, with arrangements under way to find a replacement for some of the shows. "I am absolutely sure that's what Matt would have wanted,'' Mr Greene said.
Mr Sykes, who grew up in Nowra and later studied in Canberra, was also a member of the popular Canberra outfit The Andi and George Band which basically formed at The Front Gallery, according to the venue owner Paul Jamieson.
''It was like the biggest band in Canberra at the time,'' he said.
Mr Jamieson said many people in Canberra would want to pay tribute to Mr Sykes.
''He was a really talented musician. As the drummer, he was the backbone of the music,'' he said. ''He was just always the smiling, happy person at the back of the band.''
Mr Greene, meanwhile, said his friend was ''an amazing bloke'': ''Talented on the piano and kora, and one of the best drummers I know. You lived for what you loved and never let money dictate your life. You knew how to love and put all your love into whatever you did.''
Mr Sykes was hit by a boat while off Currarong about 8.40am on January 24.
He was well known in the spearfishing community and posts to an online forum suggested he was always careful in the water.
''I have never seen him without a float and flag and [he] would always check on the other divers in the water,'' one post read.
The South Coast Register reported that Bomaderry man Kevin Finlay, who was diving with Mr Sykes at the time of the accident, said he was using a yellow buoy with a dive flag when he was hit by a recreational fisherman's boat.
''There was all the ocean in the world and Matt just happened to be in that square foot of water at that time,'' Mr Finlay said.
NSW Police said a report was being prepared for the coroner.
The South Coast music community has already given an impromptu send-off to Mr Sykes, who also performed in local band Southerly Change. Music played and people danced in the streets outside a cafe in Huskisson on Saturday night as a tribute.
Mr Sykes' funeral will be held on Friday at 2.30pm at the Nowra School of Arts. The service will be followed by a jam session of local musicians.