Hybrid Tour Entry Three: Ade-ladies

It had been more than two years since Adelaide had received a dose of Elm, so we were well overdue for a visit. We felt kind of sleazy about the whole thing, since the last time we were there we’d wined and dined Adelaide, written it a song, and then disappeared into the ether, without so much as a phone call. Luckily, Adelaide is an easy-going kind of town, and it welcomed us back like old friends (especially when we told it that ‘Adelaide’ had been nominated for a Queensland Music Award).

How can you stay mad at those faces?

How can you stay mad at those faces?

We rolled into town, bringing the Sydney sunshine with us, and promptly passed out for a short spell before our show. Lucy’s excellent family set us up with beds and snacks, and became our Adelaide tour guides and chauffers. We dressed, matching floral headbands in place, and headed into The Exeter.

Ready to rock and/or roll

Ready to rock and/or roll

It seemed that while we flew, the apocalypse had begun quietly, on Rundle Street, of all places. The undead roamed freely, moaning excitedly about brains and dragging their rotting, bloodied bodies into various entertainment establishments. The Exeter was not immune. We loaded our gear in, dodging nightmarish dolls and cheerful cadavers. Unfazed by the impending doom, we enjoyed a pre-gig tea, and celebrated another tour reaching the halfway point (and the fact that our brains were intact).

Well, it was nice knowing her...

Well, it was nice knowing her…

If you pour it before the hourglass runs out, you're going to have a bad time

If you pour it before the hourglass runs out, you’re going to have a bad time

 

Our stripped-back duo set was once again met with an appreciative crowd and generous applause. (It was so good, in fact, that we might even ditch the boys altogether.*) Local indie-folksters, Life in Letters, took the stage next, and treated The Exeter to a sweet and ambient full band set. Their room-filling sound drew in even more onlookers, both alive and undead. We saw some familiar Adelaide faces, plus plenty of new ones (some of them with spectacular beards).

We spent our last couple of days exploring the Botanical Gardens, hanging out in little cafes, and doing more even op shopping, because shut up I can’t hear you bank account. We headed out to see the mind-boggling Adam Page perform his multi-instrument, loop-tastic show, and even met a new toy: the harmony flute. The last stop on our musical adventure was WOW FM, where we played some live tunes and chatted about all things Hybrid with our new friend (and fan) Steven.

Lucy plays the harmony flute (badly)

Lucy plays the harmony flute (badly)

We packed our bags—lighter from the CDs we’d sold, and heavier from the shopping we’d done—and said our farewells to Adelaide once again. We will call, Adelaide. We promise.

Could this be the composition of Adelaide 2?

Could this be the composition of Adelaide 2?

The sun sets on our trip (ow, right in the feels)

The sun sets on our trip (ow, right in the feels)

The jet-setting has finished, but the Hybrid Tour continues! Our last tour show, at the Currumbin Creek Tavern, with Scott Dalton, Holly Terrens, and Liam Ward, is on Saturday 25 October. The full band reunites. There will be hugging. Don’t miss it.

 

Elm Crew xx

 

*Unless they’re reading this, in which case, I’M KIDDING!^

^I’m not kidding.

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 Three: The final countdown

After some puzzlement over why Erin was telling us that she’d “see [us] on Wednesday”, we remembered that the tour was not all the way over. How could we forget our local shows?! (Sleep deprivation, the sweet relief of being out of a car, possible hangovers. All likely suspects.)

 

Brisbane

Playing at the (New) Globe kind of brings Miss Elm full circle. The very first gig that Erin and Lucy ever did as a ‘band’ (with the delightful Ainsley Wynne) was in that very venue, albeit on a different stage. Technically speaking, we weren’t Miss Elm then anyway, but shhhhh, nostalgia. Despite our lack of research into the date—it was only STATE OF ORIGIN—we pulled a decent little crowd to our only Brisbane show of the tour (with many thanks to Matthew Graham and Josh McCartney for their crowd-magnet skills). When you’re up to your sixth show in a week and a half, stage fright becomes a distant, stupid memory. “This performing thing? In my damn sleep.” It was great to be home and more rested, and even better not to have spent the entire day together pre-gig (no offence, you guys). To be honest, I missed the giddiness that comes of sub-optimal levels of sleep and long hours of car. Heading to a gig after work isn’t quite the same as hauling ass there from another city. Alas, the rock star life must be funded, and so the Brisbane show proceeded post-adult-obligations.

Squeezing lots of music onto the stage at the New Globe Theatre

Squeezing lots of music onto the stage at the New Globe Theatre

Meeeeemoriessss

Meeeeemoriessss

Gold Coast

Sometimes the thought of driving for an hour can be daunting. Luckily for us, a week of much more than an hour of driving prepared us well. In fact, I was surprised when we pulled up to our destination so quickly. “Surely I have to spend more time in this metal tomb before I’m allowed out, right?” Not so, dear reader. We were on the Gold Coast in a (non-literal) jiffy, and ready to smash out our last show of the tour. If show number six was a piece of cake, then show number seven was a three-tiered torte (if that even works). It was a damn good show, is what I’m saying. We kicked back to listen to Maple (musically gifted in both English and Chinese), Holly Terrens (fresh from a tour to Japan), and Alexandra (back to rocking the gigging scene after a hiatus). We were privileged to play our final tour show to a thoroughly warmed-up audience, and ended our month of musical madness with a bang (and an encore).

Elms are always welcome at the Loft ;)

Elms are always welcome at the Loft 😉

Erin getting spiritual

Erin getting spiritual

Lucy contemplates life/the melodica

Lucy contemplates life/the melodica

Don't be sad, Erin! It's our last show, but we'll be back soon :D

Don’t be sad, Erin! It’s our last show, but we’ll be back soon 😀

Holly Terrens (and her merry band) lighting up the stage -- I didn't get pics of anyone else (too busy enjoying their music, no doubt)

Holly Terrens (and her merry band) lighting up the stage — Sadly, I didn’t get pics of anyone else (too busy enjoying their music, no doubt)

Did you miss us during this tour? Kicking yourself that you couldn’t make it to a show? Wishing you’d known that Queensland was going to lose so you could have skipped the game to come and see us? Fret not. We will be back with a special early evening appearance at the Seed Project, Friday July 18 at QPAC (Brisbane). Look out for the Facebook event, coming soon.

Plus, the fruit of our hard studio labour is coming together into a shiny release for you. I’m talking, of course, about our next EP. Details, including the title and release date of the EP, are also coming very soon. All good things take time, as they say (whoever ‘they’ are).

 

Elm Crew xx

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