One of the well-known perils of live music is starting a set with an unreleased – and therefore completely unknown – song. It takes either a brave or foolhardy artist to attempt it. The awkward nodding and shuffling that often ensues, as well as that one drunk guy convinced he knows the words, makes for a rather shaky start. The key exception to this rule, as lovable Sydney lads Lime Cordiale proved in Brisbane last Thursday night, is to feature a trombone. Nothing can ever be awkward when there’s a bloke on stage ripping into a trombone solo.
All this horn blowing was in aid of the band’s new single, Hanging Upside Down, which was the penultimate course in a smorgasbord of old favourites and appetising new material. Fronted by brothers Oli and Louis Leimbach, Lime Cordiale are hedonistic and endearingly brash, and an immensely fun live act.
Three songs in and Falling up the Stairs has Black Bear Lodge dancing with unashamed glee. I feel like a more complete person after seeing a trombone, trumpet and clarinet played in unison during Pretty Girl. In addition to such welcome acts of spontaneity, Lime Cordiale have a real knack for engaging with their audience. A uniquely musical kind of symbiotic relationship exists between them and their audience, with each gaining energy from the other. But perhaps the greatest compliment I can pay Lime Cordiale is that, for all their talent, presence and guile, they never appear aloof.
Sleeping at Your Door and the final song, Bullshit Aside, were the only other songs from previous EPs that featured on the night, with the remainder of the set comprising unreleased music. Like Hanging Upside Down, these new songs indicate a somewhat less capricious direction for the band. Whether this is for better or for worse, I’m undecided. But as long as the trombone stays, I’m happy.