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‘It’s Just Been a Progressive Thing’: Lime Cordiale’s Oli and Louis Leimbach on the Band’s Continued Ascent

Rolling Stone Australia caught up with Lime Cordiale members Oli and Louis Leimbach on the eve of their ‘Facts of Life’ regional tour.

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If you’re looking for evidence of Lime Cordiale and their rise to the upper ranks of contemporary indie-pop music, the last few years have offered up a bounty of industry accolades (such as an ARIA Gold record), famous co-signs (including an invitation to Post Malone’s Utah ranch) and fan-voted honours (including twelve placements in triple j’s Hottest 100). 

The trend continues in 2022. The Sydney band, formed by brothers Oli and Louis Leimbach, started the year by releasing Cordi-Elba, a collaborative EP with British actor, rapper and DJ, Idris Elba. Cordi-Elba’s two lead singles, “Apple Crumble” and “What’s Not to Like,” both charted in triple j’s Hottest 100 of 2021 (at #14 and #41 respectively). A couple of days after the countdown, The Wiggles released a cover of “Apple Crumble,” keeping the original’s NSFW lyrics intact.

More recently, Lime Cordiale were one of the major draw-cards on the 2022 Groovin the Moo festival tour. Lime Cordiale simultaneously tied a bow on their 14 Steps to A Better You headline tour—originally slated for 2020—and launched a regional tour behind their latest single, “Facts of Life”. 

It’s been a bit of a jumble, but the Leimbachs are grateful to be performing for full-capacity crowds again. “We’re still pinching ourselves when there’s ten-thousand people at Groovin the Moo. It’s pretty incredible,” says Oli, who’s speaking to Rolling Stone Australia on the eve of the “Facts of Life” tour.

The regional tour continues until mid-May, after which the band will shut the gate on their Northern Beaches home studio and relocate to the other side of the world. Lime Cordiale have dozens of UK and European tour dates booked between June and November, and the Leimbachs are rounding up their band members and moving to Clapham, South London. 

In anticipation of the European tour, the band wrote on Instagram, “I hope we don’t die of beer bellies or O.D. on cheese.” “That’s sort of what happened last time,” says Louis, who joins his older brother on Zoom. “Looking at some photos from the end of our trip last time, we definitely had put on a couple of kilos.”

On the face of it, it’s not a particularly grave fear—lest we neglect the millennial musicians who indulge in too much lager and bread—but even rockstar hedonism has its downsides. “It’s so hard in Europe because you travel for two hours and you’re in a completely different culture,” says Oli. “Like, you get to Dublin and you want to drink a Guinness with everyone. You get to France and you want to be eating pastries.”

Oli and Louis know it’s ludicrous to complain about these things—“It’s like, ‘Oh, it’s so tough, there’s just an endless fridge of beer,’” says Oli—but the fun-at-all-costs lifestyle can easily spiral out of control.

“You’re around a party atmosphere every night,” says Oli. “And the thing is, we might be doing this every night, but the audience is there for a unique experience. It does get tricky—you have to stay pretty disciplined to be healthy.” 

Lime Cordiale is an independent operation. The band’s management, Chugg Music, doubles as their label. Oli and Louis work closely with Chugg Entertainment founder, Michael Chugg, and Andrew Stone, head of Chugg Music and City Pop Records.

On the road, Oli and Louis are joined by drummer James Jennings, keyboardist Felix Bornholdt, and guitarist and trombone player Nick Polovineo. They’re a tight-knit crew and staying motivated is never a struggle, says Louis: “I think because there is such a big group of us going through the same thing.”

The band’s ballooning fanbase also contributes to Oli and Louis’ customary enthusiasm. The 14 Steps to A Better You tour—named after the band’s second album, released amid the dark COVID winter of 2020—wrapped up with three sold-out gigs at Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion and performances at Melbourne’s Sidney Myer Music Bowl and Brisbane’s Riverstage. 

Lime Cordiale’s overseas profile is beginning to ramp up—for instance, they’ve booked two shows at London’s Electric Ballroom in September, one of which is already sold out. The upcoming tour is Lime Cordiale’s second European tour, following an ad hoc run in 2019 that laid the foundations for what’s to come.

“There were people there last time thanks to other bands that have paved the way,” says Louis. “People were like, ‘Oh, I came because of Ocean Alley and Tash Sultana. I just know you’re Australian; that’s why I’m coming out tonight to see you.’ Which is pretty amazing.”

At this stage, Oli and Louis fancy they’ll be in London for two years. Lime Cordiale have a string of North American dates booked for July 2022. They promise to be back in Australia for intermittent shows, but they’re committed to organically growing their overseas following.

“The way that we built things here was old school—we just played gig after gig,” says Oli. “It wasn’t an online thing or a song didn’t absolutely go bonkers on radio or anything like that. It’s just been a progressive thing. So, if that’s the way that it works for us, we want to do the same thing in Europe.”

Catch Lime Cordiale before they relocate to Europe on this month’s Facts of Life tour, as well as New Zealand’s 14 Steps to A Better You tour. Lime Cordiale are also appearing at Lismore’s One From the Heart benefit gig. “Facts of Life” is out now via Chugg Music.

Lime Cordiale’s Facts Of Life Tour

Remaining Dates

Thursday, May 12th
Odeon Theatre, Hobart, TAS
Tickets: OzTix

Friday, May 13th
Thebarton Theatre, Torrensville, SA
Tickets: Ticketmaster

Saturday, May 14th
The Hoey Moey, Coffs Harbour, NSW
Tickets: OzTix

Lime Cordiale 14 Steps To A Better You Tour

Saturday, June 4th
The Hunter Lounge, Wellington, New Zealand
Tickets: Under The Radar

Sunday, June 5th
The Hunter Lounge, Wellington, New Zealand
Tickets: Under The Radar

Tuesday, June 7th
Christchurch Town Hall, Christchurch, New Zealand
Tickets: Ticketek

Wednesday, June 8th
Powerstation, Auckland, New Zealand
Tickets: Ticketmaster

Thursday, June 9th
Powerstation, Auckland, New Zealand
Tickets: Ticketmaster