Packed to the rafters, football chants in full swing and the biggest collection of bucket hats this side of Manchester is what welcomed three Aussie lads hell bent on bringing back the jubilant heydays of British rock. For over a year now, DMA’s have been slowly but surely building a fevered fanbase of disenfranchised dreamers looking for that unifying force of brash personas, unrelenting hooks and the confidence to take on the world. Enticing and embracing an entirely new section of fans with each and every visit, their next step tonight follows the release of their acclaimed and passionate debut LP ‘Hill’s End’ a bold yet vulnerable collection of modern day anthems that has systematically enlightened a huge array of Brits to their melodic indie dominance. Within the intimate confines of The Garage, the boy’s London stop is an effortless display of their sheer power and potential.
Walking on stage to heady chants, opener ‘Timeless’ is full-throttle and in your face, instantly connecting with the crowd and openly displays the effect their music has had on those gathered. Far beyond a simple gig, tonight feels like a coming together for an entire generation longing for a sound that defines them, and in such a search have found the prowess of DMA’s. Frontman Tommy O’Dell is an enigmatic presence, motionless and commanding, the reactions of those around him seemingly doing little to alter his intentions. Faultless throughout the night, ‘Lay Down’ proves his iconic potential, erupting singalongs that vibrate from the front of the venue to the back. His static presence makes him seem like the rightful successor to Gallagher and Ashcroft.
One of the highlights of ‘Hill’s End’, ‘So We Know’, is another great live number, prompting fans on each others shoulders and a drowned response to the soulful refrains. For all their boisterous and confident nature, they truly shine within their vulnerable and toned down moments, capturing something pure and natural about the state of the world they live in. Lead single ‘Delete’ is as captivating live as it is on record, a tale for love-loaned youth that any band would be proud to write, with the band effortlessly drowned out on stage by the devoted following in front of them. ‘Play It Out’ rounds off an emphatic evening with cascading guitars piling into a blending conclusion, as waves of pogoing form around the venue and an undeniable mark is left on all those present, with the sense that they may have just witnessed the birth of something special.
Without a current power figure in British rock, DMA’s prove themselves to be a vital to an entire generation of young Brits. With a sound that revels in its nostalgic bliss yet sounds as invigorating and potent as ever, they’ve managed to seize upon a belief and desire that has long been lacking through indie-rock; that confident and pure dedication to passionate storytelling. As fans plead for the night’s setlist, it’s an amazing site that three lads from Australia have resonated and re-introduced a movement and sound so distinctively British. The start of something huge, those T chants are only set to grow.
This DMA’s article was written by Jamie Muir, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Zoe Anderson. Header image by Lindsay Melbourne.