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British India

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Playing tough, garage-influenced rock & roll with abundant energy and charisma, Declan Melia (guitar, vocals), Nic Wilson (guitar), Matt O'Gorman (drums), and Will Drummond (bass) were all teenagers when they formed British India; they often told journalists they named themselves after a B-side by vintage psychedelic rock band Strawberry Alarm Clock, but in 2013 they admitted that story was fiction. They started with acoustic covers of Blur and Bob Dylan before moving to droning electric dirges and violently energetic stage jams. The group's stage presence and powerful live shows briefly made them darlings of the street press while they shuttled back and forth between gigs in Melbourne and Sydney. Eventually they came to the attention of Harry Vanda, former guitarist with '60s rock icons the Easybeats, who was helping independent acts record in his private studio, Flashpoint Music. With Vanda, British India recorded an EP called Counter Culture. Released on Shock Records, it was a dry run for the album they would record next with Vanda. Unable to close a deal with a label they were satisfied with, British India's debut album, Guillotine, also became the first release for Flashpoint -- Vanda creating the label solely for the band. It didn't disappoint, charting in the Top Five and having its single "Tie Up My Hands" make the JJJ Hottest 100 in 2007. The follow-up album, Thieves, which they had worked on while trying to find a way to release Guillotine, came out in 2008. Vanda had shut down Flashpoint when the band was ready to record its third album, so they struck a deal with Shock Records, which released Avalanche in 2010. Another round of heavy touring followed, and the band took a break to regroup and recharge before signing a new record deal with the noted indie label Liberation Music. In March 2013, British India released their Liberation debut, Controller, their most stylistically eclectic effort to date, which debuted at number ten on the ARIA charts. The meticulously crafted and critically acclaimed Nothing Touches Me, the band's fifth studio long-player, followed in 2015. ~ Jody Macgregor

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