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Interview: Lime Cordiale Talk Touring NZ and Covering Split Enz

Interview: Lime Cordiale Talk Touring NZ and Covering Split Enz

C.C. / Interview by Clark Mathews / Photo credit: Gavriel Maynard / Tuesday 1st June, 2021 12:45PM

Hard-gigging Sydney sibling duo Lime Cordiale have laid the groundwork for a loyal local fanbase with regular visits to our shores, announcing their fourth Aotearoa tour with band last week to rapt response. Touring their joyful latest album / self-help odyssey 14 Steps To A Better You, brothers Louis and Oli Leimbach's forthcoming headline event at Pōneke's Hunter Lounge sold out almost as soon as it was announced, and tickets for their following Sunday all ages gig are currently flying out the door. Roving UTR reporter and Dartz bassist Clark Mathews got right on the case, tracking down Oli Leimbach for an exclusive chat via the magic of the internet which we're stoked to present below...

UPDATE 17/08/21: Due to the uncertainty of border restrictions around the current Australian COVID outbreak and travel from NSW, Lime Cordiale have announced revised NZ tour dates...

Lime Cordiale 14 Steps To A Better You New Zealand Tour w/ Le Shiv

Friday 12th November – The Hunter Lounge, Wellington (18+, sold out)*
Saturday 13th November - The Hunter Lounge, Wellington (all ages)*
Monday 15th November – Christchurch Town Hall, Christchurch (all ages)
Tuesday 16th November - The Powerstation, Auckland (all ages)
Wednesday 17th November – The Powerstation, Auckland (all ages)

*Wellington UTR ticket holders have been contacted via email, tickets on sale HERE via UTR

General public tickets for all other dates available via — people who have already bought tickets will be automatically transferred to the new date and those that can’t make them will be able to apply for a refund at the place of ticket purchase. All tickets to the Dunedin show are valid for refunds.

Clark Mathews: Hi Oli, how are you doing today?

Oli Leimbach: Pretty good, pretty lovely today here in Sydney, can’t complain. We did just have a few big Australian festival shows for later in the year cancelled which sucks, just when it feels like it’s opening up — really just makes us even more keen to get over there to New Zealand though.

So it’s been almost a year since the album dropped — how has your relationship changed with the songs? Are there any particular songs that you’re more excited to be playing this time round?

Yeah, it’s obviously hard since there’s been so little shows. Normally the routine is to start playing a song we’ve put out, accept that the first few times it’s gonna be crap, and then hopefully it’s really good by the time a big show comes around. Without heaps of packed sweaty shows though, and most of our performances being filmed, there’s a lot of pressure to nail these songs which we sometimes don’t really feel like we’re that good at yet. We have been rehearsing way more than we normally have been though, this tour has to be good from the get-go and there’s songs from the album that we’ve never really played together as a band before. I’m excited about that, but it’s hard to know whether audiences have really connected to the new songs without much of the crowd feedback from shows to go off.

The shows in July are going to be your fourth time coming over here — looking back, you guys actually made it over and toured NZ three times in just the year and a bit before Covid hit. I wanted to ask what the motivation was there for you guys — we don’t really get a lot of Australian artists coming over quite that often —

— which is stupid, I think a lot of Australian acts find it tough touring Australia and because of that they think New Zealand is going to be even tougher. I understand it’s definitely overwhelming getting overseas and there’s a bit of cost behind that, but acts like Ocean Alley and Sticky Fingers, we’d talked to them after NZ tours and asked how it went, and they’d say that it was insane, more people coming to the shows every time. Those bands kind of blew up in New Zealand even before Australia, so they were just saying to us “you have to put the work to get over there, it’s a must”.

We left it a little bit later, but once we did get over, it’s been insane for us there. Our first show in Auckland was sold out and it went from there, you know. The NZ shows have had a really enthusiastic feeling in the audience, it seems like people really just love music in New Zealand and are that extra bit appreciative because so many UK and US musicians will go to Australia and not New Zealand, things like that. Also seems like a little more fair and diplomatic as to what artists get big over there perhaps, which is cool.

On this tour you’re playing venues and shows that are a lot bigger than when you first came here — how does your approach to shows change when you are playing those bigger shows?

You do miss those smaller shows. When we go to Europe we play smaller venues where it’s easier to do things like hang in the bar during the show for a drink, just jump on stage to play and then jump off. The Australian shows are now a bit more of a theatre, arena, kind of setting now. I do appreciate the larger New Zealand audiences though, they’re loud and everyone’s singing and dancing, but not too loose or drunk, no-one's trying to be too cool.

I heard a rumour that young Felix (Bornholt) from your live band is from these parts — has he been able to show you guys around on those previous trips here?

Yeah, he’s over there right now actually, grabbed a flight after the borders opened up. I think we are actually hoping to stay an extra week over there with him on the back end of the July trip if we can make that happen. One of our crew members is from Dunedin as well, so we got a pretty good lowdown — after our first New Zealand tour we hired campervans and spent a week touring round, that was really cool.

You guys are bringing over Le Shiv from Aus as well for these shows — could you tell us a bit about them?

We actually kind of grew up with those guys around the Northern Beaches of Sydney, playing shows with them and like Ocean Alley. They all moved over to LA, after getting a bit sick of the Australian music scene and looking for other pathways to take, and have been doing some good things over there. So over in LA we’d always hang out with them, they supported us on a few shows in LA and New York which was so good. Getting over to New Zealand early for them will be really good, they only have a few songs out but I can really see you guys latching onto them.

That’s definitely something I’ve seen happen before — I’m listening to a lot of Good Boy right now who I only originally found out about from Hockey Dad bringing them over here as a support band, and then after that you’d see a lot of the “come to New Zealand” comments on their Insta. Not as much as the “come to Brazil” comments —

— yeah, what’s with that? Does anyone have a theory behind that?

Do you guys get the "come to Brazil"?

Yeah we get so much of that… We had actually been hoping to go to Brazil, before everything happened last year [big sigh] let’s not get into that too much.

I wanted to ask about being part of the Split Enz True Colours cover compilation which came out back in February. How did you guys get involved with that and why did you choose 'Nobody Takes Me Seriously'?

I like that it’s not one of the main singles you know from Split Enz. If you did 'I Got You' or one of the other big ones, there’d probably be a lot of pressure… I hate covering songs that feel perfect as is, because you feel like you have to play it exactly the same or you’re just ruining the song.

This one resonates with us a bit as well. We took it a bit differently to how he sings it though I think, he seems very down that no-one takes him seriously but we’re revelling in the fact that no-one takes us too seriously, and that allowed us to make it a bit sillier and more fun. We just got to produce it up during Covid at home, so that was really fun as well. I actually just got given the vinyl for that and have been spinning that, those covers are all pretty great.

We were just talking actually, do we play that song when we go to New Zealand? Will a lot of young people know songs from that Split Enz catalogue?

That’s a hard one — I think it probably skews quite a bit older than the people at your shows maybe.

Might have to do it for the old dogs then.

Sick, cheers Oli for your time, looking forward to seeing you guys in July.

Yeah man, looking forward to that Wellington show. Hunter Lounge is gonna be a vibe, right there in the uni. Can’t wait!


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Sat 4th Jun 8:00pm
The Hunter Lounge, Wellington
Lime Cordiale - 14 Steps To A Better You New Zealand Tour
Sun 5th Jun 8:00pm
The Hunter Lounge, Wellington