Sydney’s DMA’s descended on Newcastle’s Quayside on Friday with their vintage shirts, battered baseball caps and anthems that could have easily emerged from a Manchester council estate in the mid-90s.
The Australian group walk on stage right on time to a deafening roar from the sold-out crowd in Newcastle’s intimate Riverside venue. Frontman Tommy O’Dell’s eyes survey the room as guitarist Matt Mason begins the riff for ‘Play It Out’ which initiates a singalong that wouldn’t let up until they left the stage at the end of the show.
It was clear that the DMA’s had the crowd by the throat from minute one, with ‘Feels Like 37’ from their self-titled EP being an early highlight that sent the audiences energy levels through the roof.
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They continued with songs from their debut album ‘Hills End’, a record full of masterfully crafted choruses and sounds that satisfy the nostalgic sense of longing held by fans of indie music for a band that resemble the genre’s greats. They deliver a dynamic set, with guitar heavy tracks such as ‘Too Soon’ and the mammoth ‘In the Moment’ followed by their exceptional acoustic moment ‘Step up the Morphine’.
One of the most appealing things about this band is their stage presence. Tommy O’Dell is a frontman who has the rare ability to command a crowd whilst remaining mostly static, and his cool demeanour could soon rival that of icons such as Ian Brown and Liam Gallagher. With the crowd at his mercy, O’Dell frequently sends the room into a frenzy as he raises his can of Guinness in the air, inviting the audience to bounce in unison. Mason and fellow guitarist Johnny Took make frequent trips to the edge of the stage, holding their guitars up to the audience without missing a single note.
Midway through the night the band announces they will play a new song entitled ‘Dawning’ which was received just as well as the fan favourites from their debut. After their new track the crowd continued their chanting of “DMA’s” in between songs which left huge smiles on the band’s faces, who could clearly see that something big was happening for them here in the UK.
After leaving the stage briefly, the band returned for two more tracks that close out the night perfectly. O’Dell’s incredible vocals shine brightest during ‘Delete’ which is met by the crowds loudest singing of the night. They follow with one of their biggest tracks, the insanely infectious ‘Lay Down’ which brings the set to a storming conclusion.
DMA’s delivered an outstanding performance that captivated the sold-out Riverside from the first note, only intensifying their fan’s anticipation for their next album. They are a band tipped for big things, and their incredible song writing, musicianship and effortless swagger prove that there’s no limit on how far they can go.