British India – Corner Hotel, 26th of March

I am not an architect. And I certainly realise that in order for a venue to be structurally sound it needs support in certain places or patrons will end up pancaked before the first note is even played. But the stage at The Corner Hotel is, and I say this with no professional eye; oddly positioned.I spent most of the British India gig a couple of nights ago watching the lead singer, Declan Melia, play a disappear/reappear act behind a roof support and although I know that the support itself is essential I do feel that because of this fact the stage could have been placed a little differently. However all was forgotten when the band hit their pinnacle mid-set and played crowd favourite “Vanilla”. Starting the song by saying that playing to their home crowd is by far their favourite set on tour seemed to be a wise decision because as soon as Nic, the bands metal-haired guitarist, struck his first power chord a hundred fists were in the air and a lanky fellow in the front was passed around the tops of peoples’ heads like a trophy with a Cheshire grin plastered across his lanky face. The set consisted of mainly old tracks to assure that people would sing along, or, as the young man behind me interpreted, scream mono-tonally in my ear. The energy in the room was thick with enthusiasm, especially when they threw in a grungy cover of The Offsprings’ “Self Esteem”. A friend later told me she heard two women post-gig saying “I have no idea who the Offspring is… am I old?”. So it was good to see that British India doesn’t draw a single demographic, the crowd itself ranging from those who seemed surprised they got let in all the way to grey haired rock veteran surprised that they were still standing. From the moment they approached the stage, to the ironically mainstream Kanye West, these Melbourne indie kids had the crowd frenzied from the moshers to the front right to the shoe-shufflers at the back and the only moment I saw the crowd slow down to a stop was when the band exited the stage after a frenetic eight minute finale and the lights were thrown on to remind us all that were in fact in a small bar in Richmond and not Festival Hall. A true testament to the fact that the boys from British India could play a backyard BBQ or a beach-side festival and still put on a show that people spend the journey home buzzing about. – Jonty Thompson.


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