Befriending inconspicuous white dudes with dreads, throwing raging house parties leaving pundits bruised and battered, lazy days at the beach and chucking on a mini-festival because bigger is better.
Welcome to the perplexingly simple – or simply perplexing – world of Lime Cordiale. (That’s ‘cordiaaale’, not ‘cordial’. Jeez.)
With their signature pop-driven intrigue that makes you wanna stick around to hear just exactly where each song will go, Lime Cordiale seem to have personified this same trait within their band identity. Kind of like staring at a lit fuse that’s scurrying towards an inevitable explosion, Lime Cordiale are on a solid trajectory to being a big-hitter in Australia’s indie-pop rock scene.
Hailing from Sydney’s Northern Beaches, brothers Oliver and Louis Leimbach have been on the circuit for some years now and have the backlog of gigs to prove it, supporting the likes of Primal Scream, Ball Park Music and now, coming towards the end of touring their own mini-festival, The Squeeze.
Days before their festival hit Sydney, Oliver Leimbach took a slice out of his afternoon to waste the last 15% of his phone battery by talking to me.
“We’re just having an awesome time. I was feeling a bit anxious about whether it would have a mini-festival vibe because we are doing The Squeeze at traditional venues, but the fact that we had multiple bands, DJs, and a comedian glued it all together and gave it that festival feel.
“After finishing our tour in Summer we thought, ‘Well, what are we going to do now?’ You kinda wanna do something a bit bigger. We wanted to do something for the music community at the same time by supporting up-and-coming bands, so we were a bit cheeky and put on a bit of a fezzy.”
It turns out this isn’t the first time they’ve held a Lime event… Well, if you count a totally unofficial mini-festival way back in 2010. Let’s hope shit doesn’t hit the fan at The Squeeze the way it did at the first attempt.
“We did this one gig at Palm Beach a while back. We made friends with this rich white dude with dreadies from England who had a holiday house there. He was a pretty cool dude – doesn’t sound cool – but he was pretty cool!
“We kind of convinced him into making this stage on his wharf, throwing a party and having us play. This was back when you had no common sense on Facebook – among other things – so of course, we made the event public.
“Like 1000 people rocked up. So I guess maybe that was our first festival.
“This girl fell down a set of stairs and had to get a whole bunch of stitches in her head and she was like 14 or 15 years old. We ended up having to shut the whole thing down mid-set. So yeah, that went off. All the mistakes that you could possibly make at a festival, we made ’em.
“We had a guy that we didn’t really know collecting $5 or $10 at the door and we never saw him again after that. He just nicked off with all our money. Yeah, it was wild.”
With more artists taking an independent approach to creating exposure for both themselves and other artists, Leimbach talks of the need for independent avenues such as artist-run events in the music scene.
“It’s important for a band like us who have been around for a fair while now. You don’t always get that traditional avenue of releasing a song that gets pumped on the radio, then getting put on the bill for all these festivals. The more opportunities you can create for younger bands the better.
“I feel a bit sorry for bands starting up now. There were limited places to play when we were first starting, but I don’t know where people play these days.”
For Leimbach, home is never too far from his mind both creatively and in terms of business. The Northern Beaches peninsula in Sydney and its trademark laidback, surf-driven lifestyle is where Lime Cordiale found its wings and where they want to bring back some of their success.
Though not without considering the obvious obstacles that come with having fun in Sydney in 2018.
“I’ve been looking around the beaches at the parks and at the footy fields for potential places to hold The Squeeze, but you’ve got to keep in mind the noise complaint problems and that sort of thing, which is just as full-on as the venues in the city closing down,” he explains.
“You see these old dogs that are always down at the beach car park going on about how they remember when David Bowie came to Whale Beach and played in the surf club and how you don’t get shit like that anymore. At the same time, these are the fucken’ old dogs making the noise complaints, so it’s pretty ironic that the same dudes complaining are part of the problem… But yeah the vision [for The Squeeze] is changing every day.”
Leimbach continues on how the beaches helped shaped the band’s creative identity.
“It’s a sick place to start playing gigs and stuff. Our whole band changed and evolved due to the audiences, we’ve been really sympathetic to our audiences whether we’ve been conscious of it or not.
“We started with acoustic guitars but then switched to electrics and pumped the amps up to compete with the noise of the drunken crowds, to get their attention and get ’em dancing… It gets pretty wild on the Northern Beaches – the audiences in the pubs are rowdy, it feels homey.
“I think it’s a really cool hub to grow things out of… the lifestyle of spending the day at the beach then having some drinks and watching some music is where we come from and where our friends come from.
“It’s a pretty beautiful and chilled way of life where you can live in the sun, a lot of creativity is born from just lying around the beach all day. So much comes out of boredom and just chilling doing absolutely nothing. I’m sure a lot of the other bands we’re friends with like The Ruminators and Ocean Alley feel the same. Just lying around with a little acoustic guitar till you come up with a little melody.”
Lime Cordiale’s lax approach to life and deep-rooted connection to their beach origins make for one loose artistic voyage. With no plans of taking a back seat when it comes to steering their own musical ship, the boys have got their eye’s wide open as they drift towards the not so distant shores of success.
27 May, The Squeeze, Brisbane