SPEAK to anyone who's attended a gig at the Cambridge Hotel in the past month and you’ll hear universal praise for the renovations to the old Glasshouse.
However, British India frontman Declan Melia is a superstitious soul. The Newcastle venue is one of the Melbourne band’s favourite haunts and he hopes the new room maintains its magic.
“It has remained consistent for us,” Melia said. “It’s the perfect size and without fail, we play a good show there. You get superstitious when you’re in a band when you start to play the same venues and you get weird pseudo superstitious vibes from places.”
The Cambridge Hotel show on Friday kicks off British India’s tour to promote their latest single I Thought We Knew Each Other, about the breakdown of a long-term friendship. The track is the first taste of what will eventually become the band’s sixth album, slated for release next year.
“[Guitarist] Nic’s [Wilson] been writing on a fender, rather than an SG, so it’s kind of funkier, which sounds like a crime,” Melia said. “It’s really just faster. We want to write a really fast record, as it’s something we haven’t done in a while.”
Since bursting onto the scene in 2007 with the singles Tie Up My Hands and Run The Red Light, British India have remained an unapologetic rock band in the face of electro and dance music dominating indie trends. A consistent output of albums, including last year’s Nothing Touches Me, and a loyal fan base has maintained their trajectory, while contemporaries like Jet and The Vines crashed.
There no scaling back in mind for Melia. He remains hungry and ambitious. His goals of headlining a festival, recording a No.1 single and winning an ARIA award are unfulfilled.
“I’m a huge British India fan, as arrogant as it might sound, I still don’t think we’ve gotten where we deserve to be,” he said. “I don’t want to become a legacy act that just goes out and plays the greatest hits. I have a lot more to say and I feel our best work is still in front of us.”
British India play the Cambridge Hotel on Friday.