DMA’s – Concorde 2, Brighton – 2nd May 2018

Photo by Ben Walker

The Australian lads in DMA’s have crafted their sound well beyond many within the indie scene today. Their latest record, For Now, preaches nothing but eccentricity, masterful variance and the kind of narratives which will really sink into the depths of your soul. Tonight, when this mysterious group step into Concorde 2, they are proving that whilst they may be half the world away from home, they still have the talent to bring forth a truly almighty sound.

Opening tonight are Planet, another Australian-bred group who could not have been more suited to DMA’s style of garage psychedelic-indie. The band’s sound excels a brilliant combination of transient tones whilst still maintaining the grittiness of grunge that this genre excels at. The shifting from bouncy riffs which uphold a great deal of crunch simultaneously shifts into a refreshing style of lazy rock and roll, which is equally as contagious and gets the room on their feet. Planet’s form of dream state guitar work made for a terrific introduction to this evening’s sound and are a band who would be welcome back to the Brighton shores.

As DMA’s enter, there is a definite electricity within the air, like a pressurised can about to be let open. The group enter under a haze of darkness, with an incredibly bold yet minimal banner with just the band’s iconic four letters on it. The first notes of ‘Feels Like 37’ are all it takes to unleash the chaos into the room and almost immediately, this crowd are bouncing, chanting and dancing along to the chilled tune.

Vocalist Matt Mason is a master of cool. His laid back style of DIY and authenticity is carried through the very mannerisms he exudes onto the room. Very little is said between songs, with the occasional “Thanks” being the extent of his speech, but few words are needed as the weight of emotion and character within his lyrics more than does the job. Likewise, the remainder of the band play to their heart’s content whilst all maintaining a similar chilled out persona. Tracks such as ‘In The Air’ and the infectious ‘Warsaw’ make early appearances and are more than welcomed by this audience, who seem to only be hungry for more.

The set’s dynamics don’t drop once and see members of the crowd clambering over each other even during some of the set’s slower tracks. A personal highlight is definitely ‘Step Up The Morphine’ which only extended the passion of this audience to terrific levels as arms can be seen flailing and boots in the air, despite the track’s melancholic themes and vibe. This is one of DMA’s specialties: their ability to create an upbeat vibe whilst speaking about some incredibly heartfelt or sobering themes is truly mesmerising. Whether it be discussing heartbreak or adolescent nostalgia, it seems that they have truly mastered their art.

As the set comes to a closure tonight, few will be coming away from tonight’s show feeling disappointed. The evening ends with a three-piece encore which allows the band one final chance to bring it all, where they more than step up to the challenge, bringing out ‘Play It Out’, ‘In The Moment’ and, of course, the simply titanic ‘Lay Down’, sending the whole room into shivers of pure anarchistic energy. The track’s summery licks have more than fulfilled audience expectation and could not have been a more perfect way to end the evening.

DMA’s are continuously proving that they have developed a sound which is truly something special. Too often do indie groups fall into monotonous tones which never really go anywhere, DMA’s music however is the perfect blend of harsh grittiness and smooth summer sailing which you can’t help but relish in. The band should be incredibly proud of their performance tonight and should take away the fact that if they can make it a literal half the world away, there is no stopping their quest for world domination.

Ben Walker