British India, The Zoo
Driving up to The Zoo in Brisbane the other night, I had British India’s latest album Controller blasting as lightning illuminated the highway; and I thought I was well prepared for the Blinded single launch.
Arriving to a rainy Fortitude Valley we slipped into The Zoo and grabbed a drink, just in time for the first act Fox & Fowl. A five-piece Canberra band that has recently relocated, it was a shame that the audience was dribbling in during their set as they were great! Perfectly suited to open for an indie-rock band, their indie-pop washed over the venue and got bodies moving. The song Pilot off their upcoming EP Neon Colours showcased drummer Matt Small’s rhythmic talent, while lead singer Lachlan Smart welcomed a new bassist to the band. While the venue hadn’t yet filled up, the pool tables lay unoccupied as every person at the Zoo got caught up in the music.
It’s always a pleasant surprise when opening acts manage to get you liking their Facebook page, but Fox & Fowl took it a step further. Interacting well with the crowd and making jokes, they were personable and most importantly they had a refined talent that made them head-boppingly good!
Unfortunately the same could not be said for the second band. Recent winners of Triple J’s Unearthed High the most enjoyable part of their set for me was the lead singers Marge Simpson shirt. Now that’s not to say they didn’t have their fans, or that I make a habit of shredding growing bands, however for me it felt like someone had attempted to merge The Kooks with Nirvana.
Unfortunately for me the continuous feedback sound was actually part of the music, which confirms that The Zoo has a great sound engineer because he managed to make sure it never actually split my skull. The lyrics were simple, which is usually preferable, but lacked depth … to me, it just felt like they were slightly out of place in this line up. But soon after, and with a few ‘excuse me’s’ we were front and centre and ready for British India. Or so we thought.
The guys took to the stage, fairly unassuming and relaxed, as they passed around a bottle of champagne. Then it happened, I fell in love. As the lights flashed and they launched into a song from their debut album Guillotine every body in the crowd surged up, jumping and screaming, and the band did the same. The energy was electric as lead signer Declan Melia led the band through a great discography from Guillotine, Theives, Avalanche and Controller. When the band covered Blink 182’s Dammit the masses went mad, screaming and shoving to be that little bit closer to the band.
Overall the night was mind blowing, with this particular music lover officially converted to fandom for British India. The Zoo is now one of my favourite venues, and as summer rolls in I know Summer Forgive Me will be blasting as I head to the beach.