It has been a long road for Melbourne based band British India, releasing six albums over the past eleven years and countless tours through the country. Yet, the lead in to the weekend was the end of an era as one of the band’s leading members and creator Nic Wilson performed his final shows with the band.
The celebration of Nic’s career began with friend’s of British India, Social On The Veranda playing a slightly delayed set and even though the energy in the room was a touch anxious Social On The Veranda allayed it with a roaring set, seething with raw potential and a thrilling atmosphere. Their set was full of unknown tracks, highlighted by their recent debut single “Breathe”. Social On The Veranda’s sound was one which emphasised the mood of Australian indie rock, sporting a similar sound as British India with the focus on driving guitar lines and the vocal’s taking a centre-point.
British India’s performance was one of mixed emotions, the band a Melbourne staple on the touring circuit in many ways called potential time on their band with the departure of ‘Nic the poet’, but at the very least fans of the band were left with performances deserving of such long-standing fans.
British India’s set wasn’t one that was set in stone, it was fluid; so much so that at some stage Declan happily reached out to the crowd asking for any requests that the band would “happily play for them”. British India was still happy to play the well-known numbers from over their long career opening swiftly with fan favourites “Black and White Radio”, “Precious” and “I Thought We Knew Each Other” before giving their brief hello to the mammoth standing room crowd.
While Nic himself didn’t say a word up on the stage, he didn’t have to his guitar did the talking for him, pointing to his years as a guitarist pulling out some breathtaking and scintillating guitar solos to follow alongside the band’s on-stage presence. His guitar roared through the band’s list of “My Love”, an old favourite of their lead “Plastic Souvenirs”,I Can Make You Love Me” and a fiery rendition of “Wrong Direction”, with all of the classics coming from the band’s long discography.
While British India engaged in a spirited yet, planned encore it was clear that the Melbourne crowd had them eager to return either way. The band came out and immediately engaged the crowd in a stirring cover of Green Day’s 1997 classic “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” re-energising the room and focusing the band’s final few moments. The group closed out their night on “Summer Forgive Me”, it was a thoughtful and powerful finish as a monument to the band’s legacy and their love of guitarist Nic.
FOUR STARS (OUT OF FIVE)