I think every Aussie in London was lost last night because we found their meeting place; O2 Forum Kentish Town, where Lime Cordiale concluded their UK tour, but do not fret, they’ll be back in exactly the same place again on 1st Sept.
All the way up to the venue I promised myself that I wouldn’t drink, but the sun had other plans. We had a swift one in Assembly House beforehand and got chatting to some fans. It wasn’t many of their first rodeo’s.
The kebab shop nextdoor had an unanticipated queue outside for 7pm. It turns out the venue wasn’t allowing any backpacks in, so they did a pivot on their business model and became a bag drop; much to the bewilderment of the local in there actually ordering a 7pm kebab.
Inside, the friendly chatter continued when I was taunted into ordering a megapint out of fear of being called a loser by the mullet sporting drunkard…her boyfriend pointed at the two-pinter as well. Tequila shots were being served like grain in a cows trough up and down the bar, the crowd were here for a good time.
Kicking things off, the band moved at half pace and with a limited range of motion. More of an exaggerated pendulum at the hips with stationary feet and head; babies first dance kinda vibes, but it goes with the slow, bouncy beat of Money.
“I’m lost for words, let’s just play another song.”
The puppet-like movements continued into their first few songs with more of their injected energy coming from the guitar, trumpet and trombone solos to blow on the embers of the simmering crowd.
Fans of The Growlers will notice an acquired similarity in mannerisms and vocals throughout their show and they’d be forgiven for mixing the two up.
Now, hear me out on my observation here. There was some tension on stage between brothers Oli and Louis Leimbach. A sibling rivalry that might have reached a peak towards the end of their tour. I don’t even think it’s anything they’d necessarily admit, here’s why.
Louis Leimbach, the younger brother, is somewhat in the shadow of his immediately charismatic brother. Despite Louis being the lead vocals for many of the tracks, it was Oli who rallied the crowd, who teased the crowd with his dancing and even climbed in at one point.
There is no way on Earth that some form envy wouldn’t creep into your emotions when you’ve just belted out the most fantastic “yyeaaaahhhhhh” during Risky Love and your brother gets the same appreciation for doing a flippant groove behind you.
They’re good at masking it, though, and in reality I think it adds to the overall appeal of the band. They never make eye contact, they each try in their own subtle way to grab the crown for king of the peoples hearts.
Teetering on the edge of a brotherly brawl on stage, they delivered a captivating show that I said I hadn’t witnessed in a long time- and not because I was secretly wanting turmoil to break out.
If you have two ambitious brothers that have performed together since formation in 2009 and still haven’t reached fisticufs, you wind up with something beautiful.
On stage it transports them to their most primitive emotions. One of contained competitiveness, like two children putting on a show to win their parents approval and becoming ever more creative and witty in the process. Outcompeting each other yet remaining cordial.
This was evident through the ever-escalating show. Oftentimes, shows will lull towards the middle which is fair enough, bands will naturally sound the same over time so your mind will drift until they play the heavy artillery at the end.
Not this time though. I felt the tension created a spiralling battle to the front. Heck, even Louis who at first said nothing and moved very little, was spinning his mic around and slowly undressing.
It connected to the crowd on a level that elevates the heart as if watching a sport, but was likely unrecognisable to most.
It led to constant screaming along to the lyrics of each song and questionable grooves breaking out in the audience. We were subconsciously in the battle with them and enjoying every second of it.
Lime Cordiale are a seriously impressive unit. A wholly captivating band that sit just as nicely on stage as they do on your car sound system on a long sunny drive. The Aussies flocked to their home comfort band for a reason.