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9th November 2022

DMA’s return to Manchester, and it is like they never left

New South Wales’ DMA’s hit Manchester Academy on their three-date mini tour of the UK
DMA’s return to Manchester, and it is like they never left
Photo: DMA’s – Alex Cooper @ The Mancunion

Shortly after Manchester United completed a 1-0 win over West Ham across town, a different away end descended on Manchester Academy, this time for Australian three-piece DMA’s. The band come to Manchester on a three-date tour, before their extensive UK road trip after their upcoming album How Many Dreams? is released.

DMA’s could easily be mistaken for a Manchester band. Drawing influence from the lyricism of Noel Gallagher and raspy vocals of Liam Gallagher, DMA’s perhaps wish they grew up in Burnage rather than New South Wales. However, their commanding live presence in the UK and legions of returning fans suggest that they have been fully adopted by the UK, with their hugely successful live album recorded at Brixton Academy and their high billing at festivals. Just last year the band completed a three show residency at Manchester’s Victoria Warehouse, so the turn around for another sold out show is very impressive.

Main support came from fellow New South Welshmen Pacific Avenue. Up-tempo and jangly like compatriots Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, soaring Declan McKenna style choruses complimented their catchy instrumentals. Pacific Avenue delivered nuts-and-bolts indie, while dressed in glam-rock style matching trousers of different colours. It was a suitable warmup for the naturally late Sunday crowd, the highlight being the finale of the band’s most popular song ‘Something Good’.

Relentless chants greeted DMA’s synthy intro, and they jumped straight into ‘Timeless’ off their much loved first album Hills End. The band filled the Academy’s wide stage, with a pleasing symmetry of the two guitarists at each end and lead vocalist Tommy O’Dell front and centre, leading the immediately manic crowd with nonchalance and pure ease. The opening run of songs consolidated their commanding position; the irresistible hooks of ‘The Glow’ and ‘Silver’ almost brought a primitive response from Manchester Academy. Even new single of three weeks, ‘Everybody’s Saying Thursday’s The Weekend’, is met with the same energy of fan favourites.

The DMA’s live show is a very democratic experience; the three core members all had their moments in the spotlight, and the touring members kept the show on the straight and narrow. Lead vocalist Tommy O’Dell rarely drew attention to himself, save for a few galvanizations of the already rabid crowd. Guitarist Johnny Took led most of the in-between chat, reiterating how much the UK means to them as a band. Matt Mason took the limelight in the outro of ‘Hello Girlfriend’, repeating the refrain of “such a funny thing for me try to explain”, doubling the length of the record and prompting jubilation from the crowd. There is a lot of love for this band.

The set carried on in much the same fashion: DMA’s played the opening chords of a song, and the crowd took it forward. The majority of the crowd lived and breathed DMA’s’ music, and it is testament to their ability to write and perform anthems and produce that much euphoria for a mass audience. Finishing the main set on the aptly named ‘Play It Out’, chants of the band’s name reverberated around the room.

Photo: DMA’s – Alex Cooper @ The Mancunion

Like all great sets, the encore played was wall-to-wall bangers. The band know the drill by now; save your biggest songs until last. The back to back of ‘Feels Like 37’ and ‘Lay Down’ has to be one of the best in this genre of live music; O’Dell’s raspy vocals sprawled all over the clattering instrumentals and sound even sweeter than the record. The band were fully obscured by the amount of people on shoulders, ending somewhat surprisingly with a cover of Cher’s ‘Believe’. It was a little bit of climb down from the pure joy of ‘Lay Down’, but still a fun singalong to round off a great and energetic set.

DMA’s do what they do best with effortlessness. The expansion of their sound to a synth driven direction is still a work in progress, but the guitar driven bangers of their first three albums work as well in a live environment as you’d expect them to. DMA’s are here to stay, and there is a very firm place for them in the UK scene – at the moment, there is not many that do it better.


DMA’s return to Manchester on April 20 2023 at O2 Apollo, and you can buy tickets here.


Alex Cooper

Alex Cooper

Head Music Editor and Writer for the Mancunion. Once walked past Nick Cave in Zagreb. Enquiries: [email protected]

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