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Live / stage review

DMA's at the Academy

With cap on, camo jacket zipped up and tambourine in hand, Tommy O’Dell and co whisk Sheffield through a discography-spanning setlist, recently elevated to new heights.

7 November 2021,
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Jacob Flannery.

Raucous chants of “D-D-DMA’s!” welcome the Aussie trio onstage as the lights dim and they pick up where they left off with opener ‘Never Before’ from 2020’s The Glow, their third studio album. It’s a record that sees the band delve into new creative territories, accompanied by the addition of a further three members onstage blasting out emphatic and ambitious sounds.

Rapidly smashing their way through tune after tune, ‘In The Moment’ is their first ode to the larger swirling antics of 2016 album Hills End. ‘Silver’ sparks singalongs and allows Tommy O’Dell’s emotive vocals to take the lead, supported by an equally bellowing and progressively explosive chorus, while the opening twangs of ‘Delete’ raise the hairs on the back of the neck. The crowd reception and vocal echoes that fill the Academy almost rival the volume of O’Dell himself, as phones glow and sway to the swooning tune.

A three song encore features ‘Appointment’, ‘Lay Down’ and ‘Feels Like 37’, the latter a nostalgic throwback to where it all began. With its jangly hook and sharp acoustic strums, the riotous crowd bounce and scream the lyrics: “And I don’t feel where you’re coming from / And I don’t need what you need.”

It's often said that DMA’s have drawn on Britpop influences with their energy and swager, yet their prominent vocals and an expansive sound prove that they’re more than just a soundtrack for pint hurlers. They certainly know how to send their endlessly loyal UK following wild.

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