Review: DMA’s @ Liverpool M&S Bank Arena 30/10/21

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After spending an extensive period of this year in strict lockdown over in their native Australia, unable to travel further than 5km from their own homes, DMA’s were finally able to return to the UK this month to kick off their long-awaited tour. The night after one of their biggest career shows to date at London’s Alexandra Palace, it was time for the band to visit the home of frontman Tommy O’Dell‘s family, Liverpool, for a night at the M&S Bank Arena.

DMA’s know the importance of support artists, after touring with the Courteeners helped gain the band a cult following across the north in their earlier days, and it was a fitting nod to local bands, RATS and The Night Cafe, who impressed as openers for one of the biggest names in indie.

The opening sound of the band’s latest acclaimed album, ‘The Glow’ played as O’Dell, Johnny Took and Matt Mason arrived on stage to an electric reception. The opening track, ‘Never Before’, which has more than a hint of the Madchester era, warmed the crowd up before launching into upbeat singalong title track, ‘The Glow’, the passionate Liverpool crowd now really getting going.

Delving into previous albums ‘For Now’ and ‘Hills End’, fans sung every word to ‘Dawning’ and ‘In the Moment’, before the band’s stand-out single from ‘The Glow’ created an emotional and powerful ‘you had to be there’ moment, as the Aussie’s wasted no more time before launching into the brilliant ‘Silver’.

The strength of ‘The Glow’ was clear to see, with the crowd reaction to ‘Life is a Game of Changing’ and ‘Criminals’, both taken from the 2020 record, relative to what you’d expect from the more established hits. Fan favourite ‘Emily Whyte’ preceded an even newer track, ‘We Are Midnight’, taken from the band’s recent EP, ‘I Love You Unconditionally, Sure Am Going to Miss You’, O’Dell’s flawless vocals seemingly getting stronger as the gig went on.

‘Tape Deck Sick’ and ‘In the Air’ preceded one of the surprise live gems in the set, with ‘Hello Girlfriend’ bringing guitarist Matt Mason to the vocal forefront to close the track with the repeated line ‘such a funny thing for me to try to explain’, the boisterous crowd in the palm of his hand. This interchange, allowing Mason to flourish, was one of many signs that this tight-knit band are in it for each other. Whether it was Johnny Took taking a backwards step to push the live band members to the forefront, or Tommy pacing around the stage to share an on-stage moment with each musician, the unity within the DMA’s camp was clear for all to see.

Arguably DMA’s biggest track followed, with ‘Delete’ creating another Silver-esque special moment between the band and crowd. Up next was latest single ‘Junk Truck Head Fuck’, a catchy acoustic ballad which accentuated O’Dell’s vocal prowess once more, before the band left the stage after closing on one of their springboard hits, ‘Play it Out’, O’Dell leaving stage a few minutes before to allow the guitarists an instrumental jam in the spotlight.

Of course, they would return for an encore, this time with lifelong Everton fan Tommy O’Dell giving a nod to his football club by entering stage wearing a blue jacket for ‘Appointment’. There were two big hitters left for the crowd to enjoy, with ‘Lay Down’ and ‘Feels Like 37’ putting the finishing touches to what was a triumphant night for the band.

For a group that lives so far away from the UK, there couldn’t be a stronger sense that this is their second home, their loyal fanbase truly make it feel like DMA’s are one of our own. As the songs and shows continue to get bigger, it’s undeniable that DMA’s are leading the way in modern indie music, with a live show to back up their infectious records.

You can read our interview with Mason from DMA’s or listen / watch the podcast version here – Website, Spotify, Apple & YouTube. More ways to listen here.

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