GO Live: Natalie Elms on a 'learning curve'

01:51, Aug 15 2014

Christchurch-based singer-songwriter Natalie Elms wrote You Never Gave Enough more than 10 years ago.

She wrote it after a break-up but recording the song this month has been about new beginnings.

As a music teacher at Rangi Ruru Girls' School, where she has worked for three years, Elms has been a familiar face around Christchurch venues for some time.

She started singing at high school and had her first gig at 15 years old.

''I was walking around Halswell with my friends and heard a band playing at the rugby clubrooms. I decided to go in and ask if I could sing with them. They hired me shortly after that as their singer,'' she says.

In her early to mid 20s, Elms spent five years in Asia as a singer for major hotel chains. She lived in the hotels and performed cover songs six nights a week.


With itchy feet, she moved to Melbourne and recalls playing her original songs in public for the first time.

''It was a singer-songwriter night. I remember having an amazing feeling which I don't get when I play covers gigs.''

For Elms, making the move from performing cover songs to performing her own material has been a long process.

''Most of my life I have gigged as a songwriter and a covers musician and I know some people may make a clean break but for me it's been a transition and it has taken time. It's a big learning curve. I'm getting there.''

When she performs You Never Gave Enough, the emotions she experienced 10 years ago come flooding back.

''I came out of a difficult relationship that was a really hard thing in its totality. This song, with the emotion I was feeling, was pretty intense and I was pleased the song came through as easily as it did. It was quite cathartic.''

Although the song has had a long gestation period, she believes good songs stand the test of time.

''I like to think good songs can last through the years, they are not a fad, they can stand the test of time. I like that this song has had this test.''

The strings for Natalie Elms' song were arranged by Christchurch musician Julian Hay. In today's video his wife, accomplished violinist Malia Hay also performs.

As well as being mum to a newborn boy, Malia Hay has also worked for CERA since 2012, as part of the CCDU's Development Services Unit.

GO Live! at Angels Gate, angelsgate.co.nz, is a weekly video series which aims to showcase both new and established musicians in Christchurch. Like what you hear today? Email Vicki.Anderson@press.co.nz

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