Lime Cordiale To Crank Up The Wine Machine

Lime Cordiale have had a massive 2022 touring the UK, Europe, USA and finishing off the year back in Australia with Wine Machine and headlining the Friday night after concert at the Adelaide 500. To top that off they have released the Cordi Elba EP and a couple of new singles as well. Oli Leimbach talks to Hi Fi Way from Berlin about their European tour, returning home to play festivals and their new album.

How did the European tour go?
Really good. We’re in Berlin right now. We’re actually at the end of the tour. We still have seven shows left or something and we’ve been over here since June. It feels like we’re right at the end, which is a really strange feeling and I’m surprised we’re all still alive, we all still like each other and still like playing music. Yeah, it’s going well.

Do you get homesick or is the tour buzz still alive and well?
I think we all get a bit homesick, we love everything about Australia and Australia’s our home. I also know that as soon as we get home we’ll be like, damn! I was just in Berlin or I was just in Barcelona, I want to go back there. I think you have to appreciate every moment and you’re in these cities that you wouldn’t necessarily go to if you were just doing a European trip. Sometimes you just have to look around and think this is awesome. It’s awesome that I’ve managed to be here for work.

Does it blow your mind when you see all the stamps in your passport with all the countries you have been to?
Yeah, totally. Absolutely. It’s nice, we’ve been driving around on a bus, and it is so much nicer not flying. You see so much more and we sleep on the bus during the night and it just drives us to the next location so you suddenly wake up and you’re in Berlin or you’re in Madrid, or you’re in Paris or whatever, you just look out the window, you go oh cool and you go exploring. It’s pretty special.

Do you think you’re starting to make some serious inroads into Europe now? Each tour seems to be getting bigger.
It is! This is our second big tour over here and we’ve been over here for a five and a bit months. It’s interesting in Europe because every territory is different and as an Australian you think that the music industry is like that all over the world. Um, but it’s so different in each territory. For instance, Germany, where I’m at right now, it’s the third biggest music market in the world. They have such an amazing live festival scene all through summer. Every single town has a festival every weekend. The German bands here, um, and we did support one German band called Leoniden, and over a summer, they’ll play like eighty festivals just in Germany. It’s like, what! I mean, I feel like in Australia, you could list off all the festivals in Australia as there’s not that that many really. There’s a lot of small ones, but just comparatively, we’ll do a festival that we think is some small festival and it’s almost the size of Splendour In the Grass, it’s incredible.

How do you keep up the energy, enthusiasm and intensity for five months?
It’s been a bit different on this tour than on other tours knowing that we’re away for so long, you’re not just going on a quick holiday trip where you can get really, really loose and then detox when you get home. This is like a serious six months. I guess just mentally we’ve all been pretty impressive with the health and the fitness, making sure we’re walking by ten thousand or twenty thousand steps around a city and staying positive. I think sometimes if you are doing just a four week trip, our last Europe tour was six weeks in 2019 and it was a different story. We were driving in a small little van and we were drinking more and we all put on a bit of weight. This time it’s like, all right, this is our life. We need to be pretty sensible, not that we don’t let our hair down every now and then, but you need the sustainability, the longevity of touring.

Are there any other sort of the creature comforts of home that you’re kind of missing being away for such an extended period?
We’re in Berlin right now and it’s like one of the greatest cities in the world, but then it’s like, if you want to go for a swim, which Australians all crave you, there’s nowhere to do that. We’re so spoiled having the coastlines that we do in Australia. I just love the flora and fauna and things like that. It’s hard to explain, but it’s almost just like the smell of Australia that you sometimes miss. I remember being eighteen and going traveling after high school, that’s when you really realise how beautiful Australia is. You can jump in the water in Sydney Harbour and it’s often crystal clear and the beaches all along the coastline are magical, that’s when you really miss home.

There’s plenty of love in South Australia for Lime Cordiale and it must be looking forward to playing Wine Machine here?
It’s kind of humbling coming over to Europe because we play smaller shows and it’s actually quite refreshing because there’s an intimacy that we don’t necessarily have in Australia anymore, but we do definitely miss playing really large festivals, which we’ve had a few of over here. We just know that wine machine is just going to be a huge audience and everyone in Australia always goes wild. I miss the Australian audiences and everyone up on shoulders and that sort of thing. So really looking forward to that.

Any hints on the set list for the SA shows coming up?
There’s always a bit of a back and forth before the show about what to play. It is a good problem to have working out the set list. We have songs that were singles and then we have old songs that we want to play that people might not know as well. At the end of the day you’ve only got forty five minutes or whatever you have to play and you need to cut a whole bunch of songs. It always feels like you’re choosing one of your babies.

Have you been able to write any new songs on tour or are there too many distractions?
It’s definitely hard because you don’t quite have the space a lot of the time, especially on a bus. We’re doing a little bit and definitely tinkering away. Louis is doing a lot of art on the bus, he does all of our artwork on posters and merchandise and all that sort of thing. He’s drawing and painting and his main medium is lino cutting, he cuts out lino at the back of the bus and he’s got this mini press that he can like be stamping the piece of lino onto paper and then he’s got them all drying out on the dashboard of the bus. That’s pretty great. I think the main thing with touring is that you got to keep the artistic muscle going and keep it ticking over. You don’t necessarily need to be writing the greatest song, but it’s just like tinker away on the guitar and sing something or keep painting whatever, that’s the main thing. So when you’ve got two weeks to write songs, you’re not just like, ooh, I’ve forgotten how to do this.

Beyond these festival dates what’s next for Lime Cordiale? Do you get to have some down time and take a break?
It still feels like we’re making up for some lost time with not playing shows for two years during Covid, so it keeps going. In Australia it’s a bit different the touring because you can’t really play from Monday to Wednesday or Monday to Thursday. So you do get those breaks in between touring. There’s not necessarily festivals every weekend. We’ll be in Australia until the European next summer and then we’ll come back over here again, and hit America again. I think as Australian musicians, the one thing that you really strive for is to make a bit of a mark overseas, get off the island for a little bit. Our main aim is to keep going with Europe and America but at the same time we’ve got to finish our third album, which is has remained at the eighty to ninety percent completion for a while now. That’s priority number one.

Sonically, are you going to push it a different direction?
I think it’s like a natural progression and with new influences comes a new sound. We have these strange influences we’re weirdly influenced by country, American country, not like the cringy pop country. We call it the country twang album. Then there’s our natural influences of hip hop and old nineties R&B and things like that. Maybe more fusion, maybe more strange!

Interview By Rob Lyon

Catch Lime Cordiale at Wine Machine on the following dates, tickets HERE...

And at the Valo Adelaide 500 on Friday December 2 with The Presets, Baker Boy and Teenage Joans, tickets HERE

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