Live Review: DMA’S // Electric Ballroom – 24.10.16

Sydney’s ice-cool upcoming indie rockers, DMA’S, graced London town in swaggering and confident fashion on Monday 24th November. The outfit performed a triumphant set to adoring fans in the iconic setting of Camden’s Electric Ballroom.

The show began with an enjoyable set from support act Splashh. Thumping bass-lines drove their unique indie rock songs, but their meanderings through changes in tempo and synth-elements were somewhat reminiscent of the shoegaze sub-genre. Splashh’s varied but complimentary influences became most evident when they performed their new single, ‘Rings,’ perhaps their strongest song of the set. The five-piece played a well-polished set that saw the energy and engagement of the crowd increase.

However, it was not until the final minutes before DMA’S took to the stage that the crowd began to frenzy with excitement. Beer began to rain down from all angles as their devoted fan base chanted with reverence. The atmosphere that DMA’S had induced in the Ballroom before they had even set foot on stage is a true testimony to the power of their music to attract such faithful and enthusiastic fans. From the very first moment of the show to the very last, DMA’S performed passionately and energetically and their fans responded accordingly.

Due to their significant musical and stylistic influence on DMA’S, it is impossible not to draw some comparison between Oasis (and other Manchester bands) and the Australian outfit. Even the cool, cocky stage presence of Liam Gallagher is reflected through Tommy O’Dell, the band’s excellent front-man and primary vocalist. His strong, unpredictable on-stage character intensified the frantic nature of the performance. However, it would be wrong to strip DMA’S of their individuality as a band: despite the strong influence of Mancunian bands on them, it became clear that they have a distinct personality of their own throughout the show through their on-stage antics and thickly layered songs that live shows reveal to be far more complex than they may seem on the album.

If there is one thing DMA’S appear to specialise in, it is delivering emphatic renditions of their already massive choruses in their live shows. Songs such as ‘Play It Out,’ ‘Too Soon,’ and the encore closing ‘Lay Down’ produced elation amongst the crowd through their singalong quality and incitement of rowdy dancing all-round. In support of this anthemic atmosphere, the band provided a visual spectacle to match the wall of sound produced in the climactic points of their songs. This visual performance was perhaps most exemplified through the actions of lead guitarist, Matt Mason, who often darted to the front of the stage in order to stand over his keen audience and play a powerful solo. This created a dynamic and enjoyable show.

The highlight of the set arguably came when the band was stripped back to its three original members: Johnny Took, Tommy O’Dell and Matt Mason, and the trio performed a heartfelt and appreciated rendition of the single that made DMA’S the band they are today: ‘Delete.’ The song’s emotive chord progression and catchy lyrics made for a special moment that appeared to gracefully acknowledge their rapid rise to fame whilst also communicating their developing maturity as a band.

The Australian indie rockers had a rather successful evening in Camden; one on a tour that arguably separates them from the hype bands they have often been cast off as.

Words by Harry Kite

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