Corner Hotel, Melbourne, June 11, 2016
I’ve wanted to see Sydney band DMA’S ever since I first heard ‘Delete’ back in 2014. I nearly saw them at St Kilda Festival last year but decided to go home and have a nap instead (that sentence makes me sound 70 but in my defence I was bloody tired from Laneway Festival the day before).
While I enjoyed those forty winks it turned out to be a mistake because it’s only 18 months later that I’m finally seeing DMA’S as they tour their debut album, Hills End.
If you haven’t heard the album, all I need to say to describe it is that I was listening to it at my parent’s house the other day when mum asked me “is that Oasis?”. Granted, mum is a Keith Urban enthusiast, but her comparison is spot-on.
They’ve also been compared to the Stone Roses and noise-rock groups like Sonic Youth, but whatever they sound like, it’s obviously working for them, because they’ve managed to sell out the Melbourne’s Corner Hotel three nights running.
By the time I arrived at the Corner Hotel, I had already missed the support acts (Ray Borner and Green Buzzard) in some lame attempt to conserve energy for an early flight to the Gold Coast the next morning.
(Side-note: I’m noticing a new trend in my life of choosing naps over doing stuff. Is this what being in your thirties is like?)
Therefore, my night begins with DMA’S taking the stage – the usual three-piece having expanded to six for their live shows and crowding out the tiny Corner Hotel stage.
They start with ‘Timeless’, which also happens to be the opening track from Hills End. The album dominates the set list, and judging by the singing going on around me, I’m not the only one who has had it on heavy rotation in recent months.
Singles ‘Too Soon’, ‘Lay Down’ and of course ‘Delete’ are all met with a raucous reception, and at times even evoke a spot of crowd surfing. Also lapped up are fan-favourites ‘Laced’ and ‘Feels Like 37’ from their earlier EP.
There isn’t a lot of talking between songs (“cheers” is about it), but there is relentless energy and a Manchester ‘wall of sound’ balanced out by by Tommy O’Dell’s sweet vocals.
Their swirling guitars and anthemic pop rock is delicious, but I have to say this – what’s going on with the clothes?!
The Kappa jackets and cigarettes tucked into lad caps make them look like a bunch of youths about to rob your nan in the shadows of an East London council estate.
It’s an oddity more than anything – they can wear what they like and it doesn’t take anything away from their shows – but it’s an interesting curousity and makes me think how strange it would be if an English band played a show in Australia wearing blue singlets, stubbies and thongs.
The set finishes with an extended instrumental outro tacked onto ‘Play it Out’. Finishing with one of their more widely known songs might have been more obvious, but like the rest of the set this works perfectly. It’s vaguely reminiscent of how the Stone Roses always finish with ‘I am the Resurrection’.
I left the Corner Hotel with both a smile on my face and disappointment on my mind – disappointment that I would be on holidays and not able to come back and see them play the next two nights as well.
Continuing the Britpop theme, let me finish this review by saying this to you, DMA’S: Cheers lads.
Feels Like 37
In the Moment
So We Know
Play it Out