Hybrid Tour Entry Two: Syd-ing Around

Despite what that awful title pun suggests, it felt like we did not stop moving the entire time we were in Sydney. We arrived at our Airbnb room, thoroughly sick of dragging a heavy keyboard case around, and starving our asses off. Our lovely hosts, Kym and Phil, recommended a café that was (thankfully) a short walk away. Erin’s excitement over eating salmon with a side of bacon was met with pleasant bemusement by our waiter (who somewhat timidly posed for a “here I am, serving your breakfast” photo).

Salmon, eggs, bacon, toast, beans, salads, ALL OF THE FOODS

Salmon, eggs, bacon, toast, beans, salads, ALL OF THE FOODS

Just barely sophisticated enough for Sydney

Just barely sophisticated enough for Sydney

Erin sums up her feelings about finally getting to eat

Erin sums up her feelings about finally getting to eat

After devouring a meal that served as both breakfast and lunch, we headed back to squee some more over Kym and Phil’s bunny, Pia, and enjoyed about an hour in our room before it was time to pretty up and hit the Petersham Bowling Club for show number two (or show number one of the actual traveling portion of the tour).

It's a bunny!

It’s a bunny!

NO, seriously, you guys. IT'S A BUNNY!

NO, seriously, you guys. IT’S A BUNNY!

 

The night kicked off with some soulful guitar tunes from the very talented (and well-bearded) Direwolf; the vibe was established and the crowd was nicely warmed. We jumped up, our assortment of instruments in hand (or on stand, in the case of the keyboard), and began our set. It’s always strange for us to play without our D&B extraordinaires backing us up. (Don’t tell them that we miss them; it just inflates their already-enormous egos.) The interesting thing about the duo setup, though, is that we can hear ourselves (!!), and that we get a chance to prove our musicianship in a different format. And speaking of musicianship, holy Button Collective, Batman! Those three dapper gentlemen (minus their equally dapper percussionist, a fellow Brissie girl) absolutely worked the room, eliciting both stunned silence and raucous applause (and sing-alongs).

Our sound guy, Richard, working the stage

Our sound guy, Richard, working the stage

Direwolf howling at the moon (sorry--but also, Winter Is Coming)

Direwolf howling at the moon (sorry–but also, Winter Is Coming)

The Button Collective doing their exceptionally good thing

The Button Collective doing their exceptionally good thing

The spirit of adventure told us that we should kick on and celebrate a great show. The spirit of “holy shit, I’m tired”, along with our sense of how damn heavy that stupid keyboard is, told us to go home and try again tomorrow.

And try again we did. We bravely boarded the light rail, and headed where no man has gone before (or, like, Leichhardt) for a quick catch up with our favourite producer (genuine unpaid endorsement), Michael Carpenter. We were delighted to find that small, non-bodily fluid-related pieces of Elm remained at the studios (see below). Mostly, though, we were just glad to be able to hand over a shiny new EP to the man who helped us make it happen. (We were also happy to eat chips.)

There's a big tree in Leichhardt

There’s a big tree in Leichhardt

FUGRO lives!

FUGRO lives!

After a day of shopping—and easily a couple of extra kilos in each of our suitcases—we scrubbed up again, and headed to Newtown to hit some small bars, as recommended by some locals. Despite a promise to ourselves that we would not have a late night, we had a late night. Call it tour madness. Call it YOLO. (Actually, don’t. Ugh.) We woke up the next day feeling less than amazing, but our Sydney bud, Dan The Spectacular, whisked us away to a hangover-busting breakfast, and we said our farewells to Sydney.

A well-deserved girls' night out

A well-deserved girls’ night out

"When I told the waiter I wanted to be the little spoon, this is not what I meant"

“When I told the waiter I wanted to be the little spoon, this is not what I meant”

Dan the Incredible (he's the one who is usually behind the camera)

Dan the Incredible (he’s the one who is usually behind the camera)

 

Thanks for having us again, Sydney. You’re alright. Here’s a picture of Erin being a rock star at your airport. You’re welcome.

Peace out, Sydney

Peace out, Sydney

Stayed tuned for an Adelaide update, and a self-review of our show at The Exeter. (Spoiler: We were great.)

 

Elm Crew xx

Hybrid Tour Entry One: Home-Town Hybrid

The home-town show is always pretty nerve-wracking. It’s a different kind of pressure from the interstate shows. People you know will probably be there (well, they had damn well better be), and you’re more likely to have spent the day at work, only to fly frantically to the gig venue, smashing down a snack and trying to make yourself look less “4pm meeting” and more “godly rockstar”.

I think we did OK.

I think we did OK.

We spent the day of the show exchanging last-minute texts, and posting goofy pre-gig photos to AAA Backstage’s Instagram as part of their ‘A Day in the Life…’ project. (Hint: If you want pictures of shoes and hotdogs, you want us running your Instagram.)

If you play a good show, you deserve a hotdog

If you play a good show, you deserve a hotdog

Smooth lads Dane Adamo and the Hunted were first to grace the kick-ass big stage (as opposed to the modest-ass foyer stage) at the New Globe Theatre. We listened thoughtfully, sipping sophisticated drinks (probably beer), and pretending like it was no big deal that it was our turn next. The crowd swelled, the set finished, and then we were up.

Game view: Rockstar

Game view: Rockstar

IMG_20141003_000558

Vintage Jimmy

 

This gig marked the official launch of our Hybrid EP, and its first hard-copy appearance in public. In fact, we have such a limited number of this EP that we are selling them exclusively at shows until the end of our tour. So, you won’t be able to nab a sneaky copy from your favourite band member until the end of October (if there are even any left). I guess what I’m saying is: get your buns to a show!

IMG_20141002_205604

The Elm collection

Mmm, buns. But I digress…

The Brisbane show was exciting and important for another reason, too. Our good friends (and the other band in our bitter custody dispute for Jimmy and Lordy), The Ride, came out of musical hibernation to headline the show and totally blow everyone’s freaking minds. Although they refused my request to play a certain song whose themes centre around a dalliance with a male parent, I have to admit that their set was tighter than your mum’s skirt. (Boom!)

You’ll hear from us (well, two of us—the pretty ones) again after our Sydney show tonight. If you’re in town, you should absolutely come to the Petersham Bowling Club from 7pm for Porch Light Sessions with The Button Collective, us, and Direwolf. We play at 8:30pm. I hear there is booze and pizza.

If you can’t make it to the show, you should grab a digital copy of Hybrid here 😉

 

Elm Crew xx

Picture-Heavy Post: Oxford Art Factory photos by Daniel Eaton

PICS! PICS! PICS!

Do you often click links to our blog page, only to find yourself bombarded with stupid, stupid words? Do you think, as you read large chunks of text, “Just get to the good bit already”? (Well, you’ve really offended me, but I can’t argue with your appraisal.)

Well, aren’t you in for a treat? Prepare for picture after picture, with no words in between! I won’t even caption them! (Maybe some of them.) That’s less reading than your average children’s picture book requires!

Enjoy the photos, snapped at our June 12 Oxford Art Factory show and painstakingly edited (Lucy is actually a man in real life), by the always-amazing Daniel Eaton. Check out the original pics, and Dan’s other work, at http://www.staticlifephotography.com/.

(Please note: Some images have been uploaded at lower resolutions than originally supplied, due to file upload limits. I guess we can’t complain about the free blog platform…)

Little Hart

Little Hart

Huckleberry Hastings

Huckleberry Hastings

DAN_3610-mod DAN_3594-mod DAN_3514-mod DAN_3679 DAN_3625 DAN_3518 DAN_3483

DAN_3770-mod DAN_3759-mod DAN_3611-mod

Crystal Ball Tour Entry Two: An expected journey

FINAL TOUR GIGS: Miss Elm at the New Globe Theatre and Miss Elm at The Loft

The last few days of the tour were epic for us. Three more gigs, multiple sleep-ins (and late nights), and a truly remarkable quest: To find and watch Lord of the Rings (The Fellowship). We’d settled for The Desolation of Smaug days before, but our hunger for LOTR could not be sated by mere Hobbit. To cut an excellent story short, we found it at Big W. Truly the party never stops for this band of misfits.

 

Newcastle

After some time to ourselves, it was back to the gigging circuit. (That was the reason for the trip, after all.) We awoke to a rainy Newcastle morning, and collectively groaned as we remembered that the day’s show was to be on an outdoor lawn area. The gods of rock were watching over us, however, and the skies held while we unloaded, played, and then packed our gear. As you can probably imagine, the crowd were not super keen on coming out onto the grass to watch, but our tunes were pumped through the PA at the uni bar, so they had no choice but to listen. After a very relaxed set, we headed inside to play trivia (spoiler: we didn’t win) and eat yet another lunch special. By that point, we were so sick of road food that we vowed to cook a proper steak dinner, accompanied by an absolute butt-ton of vegetables. After a walk down to the (windy and cold) beach, and some awkwardly-posed cliche seaside pics, we hit the shops to stock up for our dream meal. Needless to say, it was freaking awesome, and the good times (by which I mean our insides) were well and truly rolling. A viewing of LOTR was the capstone on our last night in Newy, and ensured the next three days were punctuated by shrieks of “GANDALF!” and badly-hummed theme music.

Next band promo shot

Next band promo shot

Just call him Jimmy P

Just call him Jimmy P

Our stage at U of Newcastle

Our stage at U of Newcastle, feat. JP on the double middle fingers

WUT?

WUT?

Standard Newcastle pic

Standard Newcastle pic

 

Sydney

The next morning, it was time to check out and ship steel to Sydney for our last two shows. Erin stuck to her promise not to wake up the boys, and was very smug when Jimmy rolled out of bed cursing at 9:40am. The blessing and curse of staying in the same place for a few days is taking a lax attitude to the organisation of your suitcase: brilliant not to have to pack every morning, but painful after three days of “I’ll pick that up later”. Through some miracle of spatial manipulation, we crammed all of our stuff into Peggy and hit the road. Despite assuring everyone that he could just “follow the signs to Sydney”, Lordy managed to take us up the Hunter Highway for what might have been an impromptu winery tour. Some blame-heaping later, we were back on track, and excited to stay in a real apartment for a few nights. After some settling in that included asking strangers on the street for dollar coins to do the washing, some precision parking in a spot that was not designed with a Land Cruiser in mind, and much squee-ing about the amount of space in the unit, we hit Sydney town to catch up with some of the boys’ mates and practice our best hipster faces in secret whiskey bars. With a hangover being the only natural outcome of said activities, the boys spent the next day feeling sorry for themselves, while the girls visited Erin’s fabulous aunty Julie for lunch. We reconvened for a top show at Oxford Art Factory with Sydney studs Huckleberry Hastings and Little Hart. A night out on Oxford St was probably the rock star thing to do, but the general consensus was SLEEP OH GOD PLEASE SLEEP, so we headed home to drink tea in our pyjamas.

The girls were determined to spend the last day in Sydney doing some damage to their bank accounts, so we headed to Paddington to explore the fashion offerings. A short stretch of excellent shops later, we had all we had come for and more (mostly boots). Our final show at Eastern Lounge with first-timer Katie Duckworth and serious badass Zoe Elliot was bittersweet. Bitter because we knew we had to drive for fourteen hours the next day, and sweet because seriously man we are totally freaking sweet. Badly-worded self-promotion aside, the gig was a great performance to a really appreciative crowd, and we couldn’t have found a better way to end the Sydney portion of the tour.

Four hours of sleep and fourteen hours of driving brought us safely home to Brisbane (and one step closer to complete mental breakdown).  After push-starting Jimmy’s car, we shared a final group hug and went our separate ways, each breathing a deep gulp of air that, for the first time in a week, did not include each other’s exhalations.

The result of squeezing three adults into the freaking tiniest photobooth in the world

The result of squeezing three adults into the freaking tiniest photobooth in the world

A big shopping trip needs a big meal

A big shopping trip needs a big meal

Carrying this gear was the best part of the tour

Carrying this gear was the best part of the tour

Our friend Huck

Our friend Huck

"You should rename this place Shoe Heaven" - Erin to bemused shoe store owner

“You should rename this place Shoe Heaven” – Erin to bemused shoe store owner

Catch ya later, Sydney!

Catch ya later, Sydney!

 

The End?

No!

The Crystal Ball Tour is not over yet! It’s Brisbane’s turn to catch our only hometown show on Wednesday 18 June at the New Globe Theatre. Gold Coasters can get some Elm up them at The Loft on Saturday 21 June.

We want to see you there. Forget the State of Origin (or, you know, stream it on your phone or something—we won’t be offended). Oh, and stay tuned for our next EP. Release details, including what we’re gonna call the thing, will be revealed very soon.

And now to catch up on all that lost sleep…

 

Elm Crew xx

Crystal Ball Tour Entry One: Three days, two shows, 1000+ kms

“Goin’ down the road feelin’ baaaad.”

Now that we’ve hit Californee, and the internet is free-flowing, it’s time for mass tour updates.

THE CRYSTAL BALL TOUR HAS BEGUN! https://www.facebook.com/events/217372851794902/

 

Bellingen

After some epic car Tetris, Peggy-Sue was ready to ease on down the road. We set out from Brisbane with adrenaline in our veins and ‘90s tunes on our lips. After some serious, but not very noteworthy, driving, we arrived in Bellingen ready to explore. We checked into our room above a pub, and tried to shake off the six-hours-of-driving blues. Lucky for us, central Bellingen is one street, about 50 metres long. Everything we needed was within easy walking distance. Even in heels.

A rest, a sound-check, and some free beer/wine later, we were ready to kick off our first show of the tour. It was a line-up we were more than proud to be a part of. If you’re going to be the meat in a musical sandwich, you’ll find no better bread than blues man Jimi Beavis, and reggae dudes Kingfisha. A bunch of charming locals made our Bellingen debut feel all the more successful. We toasted ourselves with some celebratory (and pilfered) wine, sipped from hotel room teacups, and promised to always be the bestest of friends.

On the road again...

On the road again…

Jimmy takes the wheel

Jimmy takes the wheel

This idiot...

This idiot…

The egg

The egg

Front seat selfies

Front seat selfies

Pre-show at the Diggers Tavern, Bellingen

Pre-show at the Diggers Tavern, Bellingen

 

Armidale

There’s no rest for the wicked, and even less rest for the wickedly hungover. When the booze is free and it’s a band member’s birthday, you have no other choice. So it was back on the road (after a nice greasy breakfast), and on to Armidale. We’d heard from about ten different people that the drive between Bellingen and the ‘Dale was riddled with natural beauty; we weren’t disappointed. The cramped, farty interior of the car was nicely broken up with fresh air and excellent views. There was even talk of a swim, but the lads piked when they realised what we’d known since we left Bellingen: It was cold as shit.

We’d been warned about the temperature in Armidale, but someone really should have said, “No seriously, dude. We’re not messing around. You will freeze your damn balls off.” Some serious layering (and a roaring fire at the venue) prevented us from dying of hypothermia, and the absolute gems at the Armidale Club made sure we were fed and watered before our show. A last-minute support act ushered in our super chilled set, and we enjoyed another super warm reception from an appreciative local crowd. Sorry, Brisbane, but we might just not come back to you and your aloof hipster ways. (We totally will though. This place is freaking freezing, Mr Bigglesworth.)

Stretching our legs at Dangar Falls

Stretching our legs at Dangar Falls

Check out that beautiful scenery. The waterfall looks pretty nice, too ;)

Check out that beautiful scenery. The waterfall looks pretty nice, too 😉

If you go in that water, you're going to have a bad time

If you go in that water, you’re going to have a bad time

Lapping up Ebor Falls

Lapping up Ebor Falls

Chilling at the Armidale Club, scoffing burgers

Chilling at the Armidale Club, scoffing burgers

Working the merch table

Working the merch table

 

Newcastle

Another day, another town. As we edge closer to Sydney, and actual civilisation (no offence, regional NSW), we’re enjoying a bit more down time, and some improved accommodation. There’ll be no more running through public hallways wrapped in a towel, and no awful pub music drifting into our windows (accompanied by the mating call of the intoxicated male: “You’re a c—t!”). We slept well past 10am check-out time, just because we could, and in the absence of our beloved Wii, we tried actual bowling, with Horg reigning supreme. It’s back to the show circuit tomorrow, when we hit Newcastle University for a lunchtime gig. For now, though, it’s time for a spa, a movie, and another night’s sleep in a decent bed.

Stopping to check out all the nothing

Stopping to check out all the nothing

"Pull over, you guys. I feel sick" *lights a cigarette*

“Pull over, you guys. I feel sick” *lights a cigarette*

Peggy dominating the road

Peggy dominating the road

The only place we could get food in Gloucester: Chicken Takeaway

The only place we could get food in Gloucester: Chicken Takeaway

Proper athletes in the Bowl-a-drome

Proper athletes in the Bowl-a-drome

Eggy getting loose on 2L of cocktail in a wanky jar

Eggy getting loose on 2L of cocktail in a wanky jar

Stay tuned for regular updates, brought to you by the availability of the internet!

Check out the remaining shows on the East Coast:

Newcastle University, 10 June

Oxford Art Factory Gallery Bar, 12 June https://www.facebook.com/events/453423558124068/

Eastern Lounge Roseville, 13 June https://www.facebook.com/events/257542871095815/

New Globe Theatre Brisbane, 18 June https://www.facebook.com/events/291061627736891/

The Loft Gold Coast, 21 June https://www.facebook.com/events/1562768453949080/

Elm Crew xx

EP Recording at Love Hz: Day Four

Like sand through the hourglass, these are the days of our lives.

Well, our studio lives.

Unfortunately this hourglass is way low on sand, and we’re as tired as this analogy.

But our final day at Love Hz was by no means less banging than the three preceding days. Friday was all about polishing what we’d done, and laying down our final (bonus) track for the EP. It’s safe to say that we’re pretty sick of the sight, sound, and smell of one another, but we’ve loved our time together. Plus, we only get six days at home before we jump in Peggy-Sue the Land Cruiser and mosey on down the east coast. It’s band love month.

All five of our tracks are sounding even better than we knew they could, thanks to the genius of Michael Carpenter. Now it’s on to mixing, pouring into a CD case, and baking at 180C for 25 minutes. (Note: Miss Elm are not responsible for any damage caused by following this method.) The hardest part now is waiting to release these new songs on the unsuspecting public. We’ll be a little quiet on the music-release front for the next few months, but rest assured that we will not be piping down in general.

It’s on to tour, mass promotion, and hype building. Can you feel the hype?

E + MC = super sick vocal tracks

E + MC = super sick vocal tracks

Erin getting happy in the booth of love

Erin getting happy in the booth of love

Lordy practising his Pensive Musician face

Lordy practising his Pensive Musician face

Jimmy P on the kit

Jimmy P on the kit

The famous Wall o' Tambourines

The famous Wall o’ Tambourines

Post-studio celebratory Thai-namic dinner

Post-studio celebratory Thai-namic dinner

Until next time, Love Hz...

Until next time, Love Hz…

That’s it for this round of studio diaries. We’ll see you, faithful reader, during our tour. Check out the tour poster below for all the dates. Get your body to a show for the only chance to get a sneaky peek at our new music. Can you dig it? CAN YOU?

Miss Elm Crystal Ball Tour PORTRAIT

Elm Crew x

EP Recording at Love Hz: Day Three

Well, the boys pulled us a solid, and stayed late on Wednesday night to lay down some drums for our next track. After a big breakfast (well, two), we headed into our adopted home feeling a little pleased with ourselves. We were right on schedule, and ready to rock and/or roll. We were more pleased with the fierce determination of demi-god Michael Carpenter, who rolled up with an extra couple of hours’ work under his belt, having stayed in the studio until 1am after the lads left. When you’re in the zone, you’re in the zone.

The keyboard-centric tracks are done and (somewhat) dusted, and the ukulele is finally having its moment. Things mellowed out in the evening, with sweet ukey twangs and mass harmonies. We’re starting to see the shape of this EP, and it’s looking curvaceous and sexy. If this EP were a person, you’d want them in your room, possibly whispering into your ear and feeding you Cheetos.

Tomorrow is our last day here, and we’re all a little sad to be leaving. Saying goodbye to Slurp, horg, FUGRO, and new friend, MurF, is enough to make the most stoic person weep bitter tears. But, dear reader, things are not over yet.

Watching it all come together

Watching it all come together

Wut

Wut

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Ol’ Sydney town

WE ARE LIKE SO EXCITED OMG YOU GUYZ

WE ARE LIKE SO EXCITED OMG YOU GUYZ

Playing the big-girl melodica (Hammond 44)

Playing the big-girl melodica (Hammond 44)

Sammich time is serious business

Sammich time is serious business

Bopf in the booth

Bopf in the booth 

All melodica, all the time

All melodica, all the time 

Nothing like a four-way... Wii battle

Nothing like a four-way… Wii battle

Keep your eye out for one more day, and one more (excellently written) blog entry. It’ll be all shenanigans, all the time. No pants; extra groove.

Elm Crew x

EP Recording at Love Hz: Day Two

“Keep spending most our lives, living in the gangsta’s paradise.”
– Coolio

The Love Hz studios are quickly becoming home to us. Bags of food litter the floor, and, between takes, high-stakes Wii Sports tournaments are fought in the common area (Slurp vs Horg: The Ultimate Showdown). The smell of microwave meals fills the air, and we’ve lost count of how many cups of tea have been brewed. We’re also creating some excellent music. We spent the morning of day two finishing up our first track (which has already been positively reviewed by Michael’s daughter – you read it here first), and jumped straight into track numero dos.

The overarching theme of the trip seems to be drums, and lots of them. If you’re used to a nice bright Elm sound, though, fear not: all the sweet melodies you love have just been mashed together with some serious beats.  After months of perfecting these songs, it feels good to finally give our music over to someone else. What we’re hearing so far is pretty exciting. (We’re really not up ourselves, we swear, but this shiz is the business.)

A little bit of MC magic

A little bit of MC magic

Everybody Hz

Everybody Hz

Settling in on the comfy couch

Settling in on the comfy couch

Nothing like a bass face

Nothing like a bass face

Welcome to day two

Welcome to day two

Pub dinner, NOT watching the Origin

Pub dinner, NOT watching the Origin

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Erin laying down the vocal sleaze

Slurp vs Horg: The Ultimate Showdown

Slurp vs Horg: The Ultimate Showdown

Two down; two to go.

Elm Crew x

EP Recording at Love Hz: Day One

There’s nothing quite like waking up on a folding bed to the sound of Erin jumping on Jimmy, urging him to get up. The sound of birdsong fills the crisp morning air, punctuated by F-bombs and loud protests of, “Get off me! It’s like quarter to seven!” People think that it’s all about the studio time, the actual “recording an EP” thing. It’s not. It’s about sharing a hotel room (of questionable quality) with three people who, under different circumstances, could easily be your siblings.

I kid, though. It’s totally about the studio time. We arrived here in Sydney on Monday night, bringing Brisbane’s warmth with us (something about entropy). After some catch-up time with our favourite producer, Michael Carpenter, we jumped into doing some actual musics. We’ve brought four solid tracks to work on, and we’re totally ready to rock and/or roll. The Elm sound is undergoing some transformation. We’re probably in our musical puberty (albeit with fewer awkward boners). Things are still fun and floating, but there’s some darkness creeping in, like a beautiful poem that tells you to kindly go fuck yourself.

We’ll be posting all manner of informative, cryptic, and pointless updates over the next four days. As the days wear on, so will the madness increase.

And now, for your viewing pleasure, some in-studio pics of varying photographic quality:

PSX_20140526_192548

The Jim

The Jim

Lordy the Pimp

Lordy the Pimp

Eggy-Sue

Eggy-Sue

The BopfDawg

The BopfDawg

Post-studio Japanese feeds in Glebe

Post-studio Japanese feeds in Glebe

This is where the magic (and the awful comedy) happens

This is where the magic (and the awful comedy) happens

 

Stay tuned (logged on?) for daily updates.

 

Elm Crew x