British India, Siamese, Diet @ The Gov, Adelaide 6/7/2018
British India’s Midnight Homie Tour called The Gov home last night, as it arrived in Adelaide for its final concert in a nationwide tour. After creating music for more than ten years, these Melbourne born indie-rockers have grown from strength to strength, while still retaining their infectious sound and lyrical clarity that earnt them such a widespread fan base.
Given the task of warming up the crowd on an especially chilly Adelaide evening were Diet, another group hailing from Melbourne, whose playful lyrical choices danced perfectly alongside upbeat synth and guitar. Reminiscent of a young Vampire Weekend or The Smiths, they opened with slurred words, and poppy vocals whose decadence further highlighted the band name’s contradictory use. If music be the food of pubs, play on.
Next was Siamese, the second act of the evening and the middle child to British India’s wizened older brother. Another band who found fame through Triple J Unearthed, this local group from Adelaide’s north, are a bunch who aren’t afraid to mix heavy guitar and alternative beats, revving up the gathering crowd with the gentle dexterity of a man playing operation with a boxing glove.
As the clock struck 10:30, the four members of British India donned the stage to the welcoming roar of fans that undoubtedly have been there since the band’s inception. Opening with fan favourite Precious before leading into I Thought we Knew Each Other, it became clear that it wasn’t only their hooks that would stick in your head long after the show ended, but their cutting lyrics that bordered precariously between relatable and déjà vu. Spider described the unstoppable momentum of heartbreak, Holding onto silence/ I mean nothing that I said, while I Said I’m Sorry encapsulated the moment you realise there’s no turning back in a relationship I said I’m sorry/ we could shake hands on it.
Moving into Plastic Souvenirs and My Love it became evident that there is a sense of confession in between the lyrics that are just as understandable as they were when the members of British India were boys. As men, they deliver each word with punches of hindsight, which has made their music have a twang of nostalgia that is sure to cast back the crowd to moments of teenage-longing, and conversations much rather forgotten.
With a cheeky rendition of Wonderwall to break up most of the tracks from their Thieves and Guillotine records, much to the joy of the crowd, it is evident that for British India, the joy comes from human connection. From humble beginnings in 2007, to today where they are the proud parents of five critically acclaimed studio albums, British India have proved that they are a band whom can withstand the test of time, and truly shine playing live.
Live Review by Robyn Clifford