On a cold and rainy Friday night, people are out enjoying themselves in the Melbourne CBD. Meanwhile at 170 Russell Mentone based band British India with six albums into their career, are due to play in front of an eager young crowd that slowly files in the venue.
Those that arrived early on, were welcomed by Social on the Veranda, a recently formed band that showcases big talent with a mature and deep melodic sound. A group of their more committed fans grab a spot in the front row and they are ready to listen to the favourite sounds from the band’s debut EP Caught In The Chaos. Opening with Think Too Much and followed by a well-received Momentum, Conor Bermingham thanks the crowd as we listen to the sirens that lead the way into Run Around. The band finishes their set with the muted chords and deep guitar sounds of You Ought to Know.
As the place warms up, Diet takes on the stage and immediately grab the attention of the punters. Images from popular 90’s cartoons embrace the band as they are played in the big screen behind them. We see full episodes of Hey Arnold!, Ren & Stimpy and Johnny Bravo. The animated characters blend really well with the band’s songs. They open their set with Your House as we hear the crowd cheering them up while singer Ben O’Loughlin has his right hand on the keyboard, his left hand on the guitar and his voice placed in the mic. Danny Boy is introduced as the band jokes around about the character that inspires the song. We hear the tunes of Clothes off, VB and Forget About It. The band finishes their set by kindly asking the crowd to get f*cking nuts as they do not hesitate to comply.
Screams erupted as we see British India enter the stage. Some ladies in the crowd display their finest dance moves to the notes of Precious, they continue to be treated with Safari and the recently released I want to go where I Can See The Ocean. The band moved in and out of their newest Forgetting The Future album alternating with a good variety of songs from their previous albums
“We’ll play this one if you cheer for us”, says Declan Melia as they play the first chords of Plastic Souvenirs. So much audience interaction in between songs from the band’s singer as he shares memories to create the perfect band-audience bond.
Midway through the concert the band interprets a cover of The Mighty Mighty Bosstones’, The Impression That I Get, the crowd sing along with gusto as the song is carefully blended into the band’s very own Suddenly.
Will Drummond on the bass guitar worked the stage incessantly, guitarist Nic Wilson played emotional solos bending his strings and Matt O’Gorman couldn’t wipe the smile off his face throughout his energetic performance. Hit after hit were played, Spider Chords, My love, Vanilla and Funeral For A Friend just to name a few. The band provides with a flawless sound that is as good as the one they achieve on their records.
The night was coming to an end but they were saving the best for last with I Can Make You Love Me and Summer Forgive Me providing the young audience with exhilaration. British India delivered an exceptional night that left everyone completely satisfied. Declan said goodbye by thanking the audience one last time as he said, “We’ve been playing for many years and you guys keep coming back!”. What a testament to live music being alive and well in Melbourne, there is no better place to be, come rain, hail or shine.
Review Contributed by Jose Sanchez