British India’s return to Adelaide saw them performing at the UniBar for what will surely be the last time.  Their continued success, particularly on the back of new album ‘Controller’ has seen their fan base grow drastically, as was evidenced by their April show at The Gov.  This show thus became a thank you to the fans who have given them such strong success and they didn’t disappoint.

Local boys Horror My Friend kicked the night off with a rocking set.  Playing with a very similar sound and energy to British India, they proved what a great choice they were.  It was also great to see a band having fun on stage.  Clearly revelling in the larger crowd and at one point in the free beer from a front row punter, this was a group loving the moment and the crowd was enjoying themselves too.  Raw, unpolished and energetic, the atmosphere inside the dark confines of UniBar was charged from the moment Nic Wilson’s guitar rang out its first note.

This intensity was unfortunately lost somewhat when they were followed by the other local act on the bill, City Riots.  A great band in their own right, unfortunately being sandwiched between the energy of Horror My Friend and the inevitable steamroller that was British India, left them feeling underwhelming.  Musically strong, unfortunately on this lineup it wasn’t enough.

One group that never disappoints is British India and this night was no exception.  Lead singer Declan Melia was in strong voice and the tightness of the rest of the group was clear from start to finish.  Tearing through a rip-roaring set, the crowd made the most of the cramped conditions, quickly transforming the front of stage into a writhing mass of bodies and sweat.  You could have predicted the crowd favourites from the outset and yet it still felt spontaneous as the crowd tried their best to drown out Melia’s vocals on ‘I Said I’m Sorry’ and ‘I Can Make You Love Me’.  The tracks from their latest album ‘Controller’ were the most well received but there were certainly enough old fans to keep the energy up during old favourites from ‘Thieves’ and ‘Guillotine’.

Having not been that long since British India last played in Adelaide (at The Gov), the venue’s effect on their shows was obvious: Nothing.  Absolutely nothing was diminished by the smaller venue.  Playing as though it was to a crowd ten times the size, the group tore up the stage as they ploughed through a crowd-pleasing set with reckless abandon.  They are still obviously a bit surprised by their success and a little uncomfortable speaking to the crowd but when your music makes its point this emphatically, what needs to be said? A slightly shorter set than usual, this was nonetheless a gig that couldn’t leave anyone feeling disappointed.  Indeed the only disappointment left will be for those people who missed what will most surely be their last chance to see this great Aussie band so up close and personal before they step up to the next level.

Live Marks 9 out of 10