Bri­tish In­dia’s mu­si­cal jour­ney has them search­ing for some­thing al­most in­tan­gi­ble, and this could be the band’s main driv­ing force

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - LIVE & LOUD - KANE YOUNG Bri­tish In­dia play Coolan­gatta Ho­tel on Satur­day night

Adecade into their dec­o­rated ca­reer, Mel­bourne in­die rock­ers Bri­tish In­dia are still go­ing strong, search­ing for some­thing that re­mains just be­yond their grasp.

But maybe it would be bet­ter for the band, and their fans, if they never quite found it.

“This will sound strange, but I at­tribute our longevity to our lack of suc­cess,” front­man De­clan Melia says.

“We’ve had an awe­some run, but we’ve never had a No.1 record and we’ve never played mas­sive venues ... we’re al­ways striv­ing for some­thing that seems just out of reach.

“Bri­tish In­dia have al­ways had some­thing to say and I don’t think we’ve said it quite the way we want to yet.”

Melia says Bri­tish In­dia “were in a pretty bad way, suf­fer­ing from shock­ing writer’s block” when try­ing to make their fourth al­bum, 2013’s Con­troller.

The band de­cided to change things up a bit and ex­pand their mu­si­cal bound­aries, and Con­troller – which fea­tured the pop­u­lar sin­gles Plas­tic Sou­venirs, Sum­mer For­give Me and I Can Make You Love Me – even­tu­ally be­came their most suc­cess­ful al­bum to date.

The ex­per­i­men­ta­tion flowed on to new al­bum Noth­ing Touches Me, which de­buted at No.5 on the ARIA al­bum chart ear­lier this year.

“Writ­ing and record­ing this record felt like a real vic­tory lap,” Melia says.

“Af­ter Con­troller came out, we re­ally felt val­i­dated that our au­di­ence was will­ing to let us change. I think we had been a lit­tle scared of that.”

Noth­ing Touches Me is Bri­tish In­dia’s fifth al­bum in just eight years and they have also played more than 600 live shows in that time.

They could, per­haps, lay claim to the ti­tle of “Aus­tralia’s hard­est-work­ing band”.

“If you saw what we do on a day-to-day ba­sis, I don’t think you’d say we work hard,” Melia says with a laugh.

“Hav­ing said that, play­ing live is some­thing I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of.

“When a show works, it’s in­cred­i­bly grat­i­fy­ing and very ad­dic­tive.”

Bri­tish In­dia haven’t quite found main­stream suc­cess, not that it both­ers them.

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