The dulcet tones of Boy in a Box were a welcoming commencement with the power of “Moon Comes Up” setting the tone for another evening of live music at the institution that is the Corner Hotel.
The intensity of Tobias Priddle’s vocals presented a sexy resonance, with an almost-Kaiser Chiefs nod which will no doubt win over hipster ladies in waves.
The head bopping, foot tapping crowd left a roar in the air after Boy in a Box let loose with a cover of The Black Keys” Lonely Boy”. The excessive guitar outros were greeted by and enthusiastically accepted as the cover drew to a successful close.
The headliners for the evening took to the stage with all the confidence of a band with their performance experience. The lonely bottle of brown spirits sat near the bass drum throughout the set once again confirming that while the British India boys may personify nerdy awkwardness, they still know how to rock out.
The Melbourne-bred band emerged in 2007 with their debut album Guillotine and five years on these the quartet of Declan Melia, Nic Wilson, Will Drummond and Matt O’Gorman continue to show why they are Triple J favourites and ARIA award winners with their brooding intensity and nervous approach.
During the set it seemed as if the band were genuinely having some fun and while sometimes it felt a little contrived, their enthusiasm for garage rock was clearly evident. Having emerged from the furtile underbelly of Melbourne’s independent music scene, they still play with an intense quality.
As their songs ‘Black & White Radio’, ‘Tie Up My Hands’ and ‘Russian Roulette’ became arm-raising, air-punching anthems of the night, it is clear that British India developed their reputation for explosive live shows from hard work.
By far the greatest goosebump moment came from “Run The Red Light”, uniting all present for its anthemic chorus. “Said I’m Sorry” equally bringing the crowd to a frenzy state where they could “shake hands on it”.
Letting loose in the encore with a cover of the Presidents of the United States of America classic, “Lump” was an unexpected surprise. Band members of Boy in a Box jumped on stage to help out, joined by random inebriated punters who clambered onstage too. (All together now, “She’s lump/she’s lump/she’s in my head”)
Needless to say, that lonely bottle was eventually picked up by a swaying music lover and whisked off into the night.
– Belynda Reid