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Review: DMA’s – 10/4/19 – O2 Academy, Newcastle

15/04/2019

Aussie Britpop trio DMA’s returned to Newcastle to play yet another sell out show on 10th April. Johnathan Ramsay went along to review the gig, struck by the band’s unflinching stage presence and slick sounds…

Since grabbing the attention of the UK’s indie scene by the scruff of the neck back in 2016 with their debut album ‘Hill’s End’, Aussie trio the DMA’s have gone from strength to strength. Their 2018 follow-up ‘For Now’ cemented the Sydney natives’ cult following in the UK, creating a buzz that’s seen the DMA’s spoke of in the same regard as iconic British bands like Oasis, Blur, Pulp and The Stone Roses.

Fans seem to have adopted Tommy, Johnny and Mason as their own, inspiring feelings of Britpop nostalgia with the older contingent and being claimed by the younger fans as the answer to their elder’s indie heroes.

Having sold out Riverside in 2017 and Northumbria Institute in 2018, the DMA’s have ascended to the top of the Newcastle venue ladder in 2019 with another sell-out show at the 02 Academy. Considering the speed of their rise, the odds are that the trio will soon be making their way to a stadium near you in the not so distant future.

The boys took to the stage to a chorus of ‘D-D-DMA’S!’ chants, with pints flying from all corners of the venue as the riotous crowd let loose to opener “For Now”. If this was your first time at a DMA’s show you might have got a shock at how much the vibe of their music differs from the atmosphere of their shows. It’s not a bad atmosphere by any means, it’s just a rowdy one. Despite the DMA’s chilled acoustic backbone, they seem to attract a section of the young wannabe football hooligan demographic.

If you can put up with the odd irrelevant football chant in your ear and ugly bucket hats then it shouldn’t hinder the live experience too much, it’s all just a bit annoying. Lad culture aside, sonically the DMA’s sounded as slick as can be. Tommy’s live vocal ability was almost identical to album quality.

With next to no chat in between songs, the band still managed to project an unflinching stage presence. They’ve got an air of unspoken cool about them that’s simply unteachable – you’ve either got it or you haven’t. The DMA’s music speaks for itself, the songwriting is catchy yet nuanced, and the riffs are melodic enough to stick in your head for weeks yet intricate enough to keep you coming back again and again.

It’s a cliche, but the sky’s the limit for DMA’s. They’ve taken over the UK indie scene at an unprecedented rate; they’re not even British and yet we adore their nostalgic sound like our own. To take themselves to the next level the DMA’s need to find a way to expand their appeal past the ‘Parka Monkey’ crowd and into the mainstream. A feat the Sydney lads are more than capable of achieving.

Johnathan Ramsay

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