Just 24 hours before the gates open on Byron’s 26th annual Bluesfest, director Peter Noble has announced that four-piece Melbourne pop darlings British India will take to the stage on Friday night.
Festival director Peter Noble said the Bluesfest virgins were chosen to fill the spot vacated by the Black Keys because ‘their latest and best album of their 10-year career, Nothing Touches Me is set to elevate British India into the gang of great Australian rock’n’roll groups’.
Their Bluesfest appearance will be the precursor to a full-scale tour of the album, which was launched last month.
The Black Keys are the latest in a series of high profile bands to pull out this year after ‘issues with drummer Patrick Carney’s shoulder injury less than two weeks before the festival’, Mr Noble said.
He added the lateness meant there was not time to secure another international act and organise visas for the band.
‘British India are achieving major interest right now as a result of their recent release, and they are fast becoming one of Australia’s foremost bands. We expect them to deliver a great show at Bluesfest. This major stage play will be an integral part of their rise to the top here,’ Mr Noble said.
‘British India are one of the nation’s most exciting live bands with over 600 gigs to their name, there has been plenty of accolades along the way including; AIR Award for Best New Independent Artist early in the band’s career; J Award and ARIA Award nominations; and a support slot last year for The Rolling Stones,’ he added.
Last month Lenny Kravitz cancelled his Bluesfest appearance due to ‘unforeseen scheduling issues’. Barely a week later British singer-songwriter Ben Howard pulled out, saying he needed time to work with new band members following a US tour.
Australian bands Boy & Bear, Angus & Julia Stone and Jurassic 5 have since jumped into the mix.