From Lithuania with Love – See ELLE G this Weekend
By John Perye . September 4, 2015
Astoundingly beautiful may be the best way to describe Elle G. Take one listen and you might also be captured by the sweet sounds of these talented women. Throwback, yes, but there is something strangely comforting in hearing vintage voices swimming around today. So why not spend a September summer’s night with Elle G?
With an electronic message during their short German jaunt, Elle G took BLY down memory lane and into the now:
Where and when did Elle G start?
Elle: We both love music so, so much! That’s why many years ago, we met at music school in Vilnius, which is the capital of Lithuania. I used to play accordion; G used to train her opera voice. After finishing music school, we went separate ways. Seems like the future prepared a huge surprise for us, and so we met again.
G: So it all started in 2012, when I came back from my summer in France. I had had quite a hard, but interesting time there, working in the gallery of art in Bretagne, which is almost the edge of the world… I missed music so much, so when I came back to Vilnius, I was sure I wanted to form a band. Elena was the first person I met and told about my idea. Shortly after, she bought a ukulele, and we started to play some cover songs of the artists we both loved. We used to play everywhere for fun till we met our future manager. Then it started to get more and more serious… Nevertheless, we are still those naive and curious girls, collecting experiences and exploring the world.
Elle: Not as naive as we used to be (laughing).
How would you describe your sound for those who have yet to hear it?
G: At the beginning we called ourselves swinging ladies, playing songs from the 1920s to the 1970s. Now, we write more and more of our own songs, and they sound completely different. We do not relate “Elle G” with swing music so much. The past decades inspired our songs. To give you an idea, some keywords would be ‘’vinyl’’, ‘’Hawaiian’’, and ‘’nostalgia’’. The last time I was asked to describe us, I called us a soulful vintage trio with a modern twist.
You’ve lived in Berlin for two months. When and how did that come about?
Elle: The story starts 2 months before our real trip to Berlin. At that time (it was almost the end of the summer) we were traveling in the Balkans. During that trip we wondered whether it was a good idea to change everything, stop my studies at Vilnius University, pack our things and move to Berlin. Well, when we finally made our decision, there was nothing to do but gas up. We exceeded the speed limit all the way back home from the Balkans. It was such an intuitive, naive, and hasty decision.
Any BERLIN LOVES YOU moments from your time in Berlin?
Elle: We just fell in love with Berlin. For us – it’s a magical city that never sleeps. Moreover it’s almost like the capital of Europe.
G: Firstly, here’s a few I LOVE BERLIN moments: freshly made falafels at 3 a.m., night rides with the crazy weekend crowd, long, long queues near the night club entrance in freezing November night, our concerts that start at 1 a.m., lindy-hop parties, where this guy your grandpa’s age invites you for a dance and much more… A real BERLIN LOVES YOU moment was when the producer team from the movie “Swing Stories” discovered us at one of the swing parties in Clärchens Ballhaus, and we ended up taking a part in their documentary. It’s still occasionally shown on ARTE TV!
Are you down with the famous ukulele star Tiny Tim?
G: The only ukulele man I knew before we started to play was that big Hawaiian guy from Youtube playing his hit cover “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.” But Tiny Tim…wow !
Elle: I can’t believe that Tiny Tim was such a huge star and even more- I can’t believe that I’ve never heard about him before! The only tiny thing about him is his small ukulele. He’s just wunderbar!
In return we would like to dedicate this song for you Tiny Tim: “Paslaptinga Sala Vandenyne” or in English, “Mysterious Island.”
You can catch Elle G here:
September 4th, Friday, 10pm at Kugelbahn
Wedding – Grüntaler Str. 51
September 6th, Sunday, 8pm at Prachtwerk
Ganghoferstr. 2, 12043 Berlin
(Photos by Neringa Rekasiute)