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Live Review: British India, Dead Owls, Stillwater Giants

9 August 2013 | 11:02 am | Sean McKenna

Allow me to clarify that when I say the crowd was energetic and vibrant, I mean there were bodies hurtling, fists flying, t-shirts ripping (and a suit), crowd surfing, stage diving (and rushing) and much more; not entirely what one would expect.

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If you've ever wondered where British India have been since 2007's J Award nominated Guillotine release, which saw the Melbourne quartet win an ARIA for Best New Independent Artist, well, they've banged out three more albums as recently as March this year and have gone about getting an epic and cohesive live show down pact. To mark the occasion of their latest release, Controller, featuring the hit single Plastic Souvenirs, the boys have launched into a national tour, playing a bunch of shows across the country. Last Friday they treated a rowdy Amplifier audience to this mastered live set, showcasing an exposé of their massively underrated catalogue to great adoration. 

Local duo Jordan Tjhung and Sam Maher aka Dead Owls kicked the night off with a fun, backyard jam. Frontman Tjhung brought serious intensity to the mic, creating a lazy garage sound not entirely different to that of Band Of Skulls frontman Russell Marsden. The triple j Unearthed recruits showcased their brand of progressive rock, full of chunky hooks and vibrant rifts. 

They were shortly followed by Margaret River legends, Stillwater Giants. In true Margaret River style, the quartet dished out a predominantly barefoot set dedicating tracks to Australian cricketers and paying each other out constantly. It was drummer Angus Watkins' last show with the group which meant bottles of dark liquor were being generously swigged behind the camouflage of cymbals and tom-toms. Time and time again the boys combined on vocals to great effect with More Ways Than One a crowd favourite. Fly Under The Radar was yet another pleaser with head bopping aplenty before lead guitarist Tom Godden found himself perched on top of Watkins' bass drum for Ingredients. Not Like The Others too inspired some unexpected head banging in the front row before the set came to a crashing end.

The Melbourne four-piece waltzed into Amps as the Stillwater Giants were about to go onstage with a very cool vibe. Although frontman Declan Melia – who might just be the dorkiest looking frontman ever – maintained this Bond-like coolness throughout the set (even with groupies kissing his cheeks and bodies being hurled from the mosh) what the boys put down was nothing short of incredible. They may have flown under the radar in the past few years but they certainly know how to whip a crowd into a frenzy. I Said I'm Sorry got things under way and after a couple of minor adjustments The Dance Is Loaded really got the crowd started with March Into The Ocean only carrying the momentum.

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Allow me to clarify that when I say the crowd was energetic and vibrant, I mean there were bodies hurtling, fists flying, t-shirts ripping (and a suit), crowd surfing, stage diving (and rushing) and much more; not entirely what one would expect. Having said this, the boys seemed to relish the atmosphere and gave back as much as they took with guitarist Nic Wilson leading the charge with some epic head banging. Ain't No Fucking Disco provided the perfect closing anthem for a night of serious entertainment.