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Live Review: British India, Custom Royal

28 September 2015 | 4:42 pm | Mark Beresford

"The floor became a flurry of bodies being tossed about."

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The one and only support act for the night, Custom Royal, had a solid task on their hands.

Not only were they contending with a scarce room, but the punters who were wandering in were in post-Eagles win celebratory mode and a support act was the last thing on their mind. You can't fault the Perth ensemble though; their no bullshit approach to their sound and a sharp energetic punch to the crowd took most by surprise and the remainder get slayed by some killer riffs. The band may not currently be signed, but their tracks sound like they're already there; with elements of indie, garage and hard rock, their incredibly refined, as yet unrecorded songs sound as though they've passed through a well-schooled producer. Hide Yourself and Chinese Lanterns hit their mark and filled the room with a buzz, though a closing cover of Nirvana's iconic destruction anthem Breed felt slightly flat, lacking the danger that the track requires, and we showed them some forgiveness for botching the lyrics.

Perhaps it was the steady flow of new arrivals that changed the dynamics in the room, but after a set that should have completely prepared the crowd, British India emerged to a flat response that not even the faithful explosive duo of Black & White Radio and This Dance Is Loaded could rectify. The band didn't help themselves either — dropping the pace and with sloppy guitar work, it looked like a car crash of a set was inevitable. Thankfully as the blistering aggression of Safari hit, the band and the crowd took their shape. British India live have always been hinged on the wild energy and unpredictability in the pairing of frontman Declan Melia and guitarist Nic Wilson with the blasting pace and technical showmanship of bassist Wil Drummond and drummer Matt O'Gorman pushing the band further and further. Though it may have taken a few songs, the visual of seeing that click into place on stage, rolling into Blinded, was a welcome relief. As the fills of Tie Up My Hands rang out, the floor became a flurry of bodies being tossed about. With Thieves and Guillotine both being heavily represented, the set list was a fan's delight and it was a surprise that chants of "one more song" fired up the moment instruments were put down. After a few slugs of champagne and casting an eye over some rattled bodies in the surprisingly violent crowd, This Ain't No Fucking Disco, You Will Die And I Will Take Over and a ripping cover of Blink-182's Dammit turned the room on its head one last time.