British India's latest album Avalanche is released next week, just in time for their performance at Groovin the Moo in Townsville.
British India's latest album Avalanche is released next week, just in time for their performance at Groovin the Moo in Townsville. Elaine Reyes

British India will bring their raw, frenetic energy to region

WHEN it comes to touring, few bands match the schedule of Melbourne rock 'n' rollers British India.

But for their frontman, Declan Melia, it's all part of the game for a band that is passionate about their music.

Coming onto the scene in 2005, British India offered that raw frenetic energy that had been missing from the Australian soundscape, which at the time had been populated by bands with a fixation on 80s dance nostalgia.

But Declan insisted the distinctive British India sound was the product of mistake, rather than design.

"We've always just tried to play like our favourite bands like Blur, Oasis and At the Drive-In," Declan explained.

"It's just that we've never been that good at sounding like them, so this is just what came out. It really wasn't a statement on our behalf."

Regardless of intent, their music caught the attention of national youth radio station Triple J, which lead to a steady, but growing success with each release.

The band are currently working on their fourth, as yet untitled album.

Fans of the band will know that with each of these releases, the band's sound has shifted slightly as they explore a more textured and dynamic approach to their music.

Perhaps the most notable example of this change can be heard in the difference between the riotous punk frenzy of first single Black and White Radio, to the latest single I Can Make You Love Me, which is a far more sombre and emotionally-captivating listen.

"It's all a natural progression for us.

"I mean we love hip-hop and electronica, so I can't see there being a reason why some of those elements can't make it into a British India song. We're still the same band, with those three same influences, but why not develop on that?

"The challenge for us now is just getting it right in the studio, which we are only just getting the hang of."

But perhaps the one consistent in British India's career has been their rigorous touring schedule, which has seen them play well over a hundred gigs in the country each year since 2006, all the while touring overseas and writing and recording new material.

"We just love playing. We always have ... It's just what we do. If it were up to me we wouldn't record and be a bunch of nomads, playing shows all the time," he said.

British India are also one of the few bands that dedicate a lot of time to the regional circuit, but Declan insisted that regional shows have always been a good experience for them, despite them often being smaller shows than they may play in other cities.

"Every show is different for us, and that's not dependant on where we are playing.

"We can play great shows in Sydney one night and then the next night we can get a more reserved audience," he said.

"But we can go to Rockhampton and Mackay and have an absolutely ecstatic audience that is really letting it all out. You never know what to expect, and that's what keeps it exciting for us.

"A good live show is one of those opportunities people have to ... just forget about their job or relationship problems and just let go for a while.

"We're definitely aware of that and that's what we try to offer people every night we play."



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