Flares and indie tunes light up The DMA’s at O2 Academy – Live Review

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By Jack


When someone ignites a distress flare, spraying sparks over nearby revellers and engulfing the side of stage in billowing blue smoke, it feels like an inevitability.

The festival atmosphere was palpable from the off: there were girls riding on shoulders before the first song had even been played. Not that we condone using distress flares indoors. Be safe kids.

The DMA’s approach to indie rock is to play it fast and play it loud. They’ve perfected rock-as-battering-ram, and their set hits pretty hard. For Now, released earlier this year, is explored in depth, with the opening track kicking off the gig explosively. ‘Lay Down’ is turbo-charged to enormous proportions, even ‘Step Up The Morphine’ is ratcheted up.

However the band have success with the mellower material too – ‘In The Air’ is blissful, whereas the blocky breakbeat of ‘Do I Need You Now?’ makes for a hands aloft singalong. This goes on for a little too long however, and there’s a sag in the middle of the set where the slower material accumulates. Anthemic ‘The End’ suffers from a fairly cack-handed piano solo. However as the setlist nears a conclusion, the band find their sense of direction.

The encore is sweaty and chaotic; drinks get flung (some of which are shamelessly bought purely for the purpose), strobes blaze and the crowd are whipped into a furore. Taken on their recorded work the DMA’s are fairly orderly, but their live incarnation is blunt and bruising.

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