Lime Cordiale are quickly becoming Australian music juggernauts

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Lime Cordiale are quickly becoming Australian music juggernauts

Lime Cordiale at Sidney Myer Music Bowl - photo by David Harris
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Words by James Robertson
Pics by David Harris

Playing their biggest show yet, Lime Cordiale delivered a triumphant performance at Sidney Myer Music Bowl. 

Lime Cordiale’s recent headline show at the Sydney Myer Music Bowl has been a long time coming. After ten plus years of relentless gigging from the pubs of Sydney’s northern beaches to a successful European tour, this packed out gig felt like the culmination of all of their hard work.

Lockdown had not treated Lime Cordiale especially well, with their new sophomore album landing to a quarantined country in July last year. But Australia was listening more than ever, with five of their songs ranking in the triple j Hottest 100 for 2020; beating out their record of four the previous year. Not to mention the fact that, as their tech informed them halfway through the show, Lime Cordiale have never had a headline show as big as this one; at least in terms of the lighting setup.

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The booming outfit gave a very good reason to rock up early with their fabulous support acts. 18-year-old newcomer Budjerah eased in with a set of sultry, acoustic tunes which let his passionate voice shine over homegrown lyrics. Then it was time for local rock regulars Teenage Dads to electrify the crowd with their blend of head-banging rock and on-stage idiosyncrasy. Frontman Jordan Finlay even had the crowd singing “bang, bang, bang” halfway through their set, he himself wielding enthusiastic finger guns.

Sufficiently warmed up, fans were eager for the headline act. Entering to rapturous cheer, Lime Cordiale got immediately stuck into slow jam ‘No Plan to Make Plans’, a quirky piano tune that saw guitarist Oliver Leimbach pick up the clarinet, while brother Louis brought the song to a close with a toot on the melodica. But it was when they burst into last year’s single ‘Screw Loose’ that the audience went mad. The ska-inflected track had the crowd booming the chorus back to the band louder than they could hope to achieve.


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Standing out from the beginning was Nick Polovineo, sometimes guitarist but more notably the trombonist of the band who’s signature sound not only left a bold punctuation mark on each song he played on, but also sent the crowd wild. Talk about being prepared, as Oliver Leimbach even joked that Polovineo was primed for every circumstance, even practising the trombone with a mask on.

The rest of the evening was an absolute party. Fan favourite songs like ‘Money’, ‘Dirt Cheap’ and ‘Addicted to the Sunshine’ gave off an air of infectious joy, leaving not a single seat occupied. The standout extra track from the Relapse edition to their recent album, titled ‘Reality Check Please’, carried a highly appropriate message, acting as a guide to keep a level-head in these crazy times.

The Sydney Myer Music Bowl now offers socially distant pods instead of the bare, grass hill to sit on, and it felt like a storm approaching before the encore as everyone stamped their feet on their metal platforms, unable to restrain their enthusiasm for what was to come. The band returned to cap the night off with the pop bliss of ‘Robbery’, followed by ‘Inappropriate Behaviour’ – a suitable singalong to send fans home with a cosy feeling of elation.

Like their aptly titled recent album, 14 Steps To A Better You, Lime Cordiale’s return to Melbourne felt like a therapeutic musical extravaganza guaranteed to cure those post lockdown hangovers.

Highlight: I just couldn’t stop dancing the whole night.

Lowlight: Some fan favourite deep cuts were left out.

Crowd favourite: Their bombastic cover of Divinyls’ ‘I Touch Myself’.