Live Review: DMA’s @ Norwich Waterfront – 31/07/17


On Monday night, Aussie three-piece DMA’s delivered a flawless, powerful set to a small, yet excitable Norwich crowd.

The gig opened with an impressive, confident performance from support act Redfaces. The Sheffield youngsters entertained the crowd with some energetic tracks full of Northern charm. On first impression, the four-piece bears resemblance to early 00s Arctic Monkeys. Current form suggests it is clear that Redfaces are not far off a headline tour themselves.

DMA’s came out in modest fashion, hardly making an entrance at all. Yet once they erupted into the opening bars of ‘Play it Out’, it became apparent they were there to make a statement. It was noticeable right from the off that their songs pack so much more ‘oomph’ in their live performances, than the studio recordings.

The atmosphere that DMA’s brought was enthralling, and really encouraged the fans to let themselves go more and more as the gig went on. Even though the venue is intimate, this worked in the band’s favour, propelling the pulsating noise of the bass and drums though the crowd, right to the back of the room.

A small collection of the crowd were bouncing with their arms in the air from the opening song, but towards the end the floor was alive with fans, young and older, dancing and singing.

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The buzz in the room rocketed during ‘Timeless’, as O’Dell called to the fans to sing back to him through gestures and body movements.

Arguably one of the more well-known from the album is ‘Step up the Morphine’. Acoustic guitarist, Johnny Took, joined Tommy up the edge of the stage, playing on the intimacy of the show. The band performed their slow numbers with a touch of grace; their maturity shined through, as if they had been touring and performing live for years longer than the reality.

Following on from ‘Step up the Morphine’, frontman Tommy O’Dell announced “we’re going to play a new song now.” before the band erupted into a pacey number, not dissimilar from the DMA’s we know from their debut album, however the tempo gave off a vibe more like ‘Lay Down’ than ‘Delete’.

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My highlight of the night was their stripped back version of the already touching ‘So We Know’. O’Dell’s dreamy vocals filled the room, creating a magical atmosphere much more pacifying than the fiery buzz that came from their more upbeat tracks.

DMA’s exited the stage the same way they came on – modest, humble. Almost as if they hadn’t just blown Norwich away with an incredible performance. They soon returned to perform ‘Laced’ and ‘Lay Down’ as their encore. With one final push, the crowd gave it their all, belting out the lyrics to ‘Lay Down’ with passion and love for the Australians on the stage.

For a young band who originally weren’t planning on performing live at all, the consistency they maintained in their show was admirable. Though audience engagement was kept to a minimum, DMA’s let the music do the talking for them. The connection between the band and the crowd was strong, and each song was received in accordance to the energy it brought. With live sets like that, DMA’s will be quick to reach new heights in years to come – imprinting themselves as a hugely underrated band that have nailed the intimate gig setting so expertly.


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