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Live: DMA’S // O2 Forum Kentish Town, London

Sydney’s trio DMA’S celebrate their second album, For Now, with a massive show at London’s O2 Forum.

I’ve had a pleasure of seeing DMA’S live on numerous occasions. Whether they played an intimate acoustic set or a huge festival stage, or their own headliner, the Aussie trio always delivered an outstanding performance. I even remember saying: “The best band out there” after my first DMA’S show about three years ago. Well, I could definitely use a new category now because they’ve already topped that. Big time.

Fresh off the release of their fantastic sophomore album, For Now, the band made a stop at O2 Forum Kentish Town last week. Over the last few years they have been successfully winning hearts all over the world, building up quite a substantial fan base. Judging on the behaviour of the restless crowd that night, with drinks flying above our heads, we all were ready for the big celebration.

After a great support set from their local mates PLANET, it was time for DMA’S to shake things up a bit. Kicking off with some proper old school vibes, the band opened with the thriving track Feels Like 37. As they proceeded with gripping melodies, rich in upbeat and infectious rhythms, Melbourne and Timeless brought along a deep sense of familiarity.

The mix of jangly acoustics and precise guitar work, with a bit of electronic setting, is what we’ve learnt to love when it comes to these guys. DMA’S easily apply nostalgia to the modern sonics, translating it into live format in a truly remarkable manner. To complement their Britpop references they add in a brisk tonality and a lyrical depth, something that effortlessly resonates with the crowds.

Their new material follows that vibrant musical pattern, yet shows a more refined sensibility with a bolder creative vision. The title track For Now alongside Time And Money throw in some giant riffs, whilst the soothing In The Air reveals the band’s gentle side. The emotional wave followed as we were being presented to the fantastic Warsaw, the track that captures the quintessence of DMA’S.

But the crowd of course was waiting for all their favourites. Step Up The Morphine created a beautiful sing-along moment before falling into the magnetic instrumentation of the absolute hit, Delete. Tommy O’Dell’s warm vocals yet again charmed the entire audience. With the anthemic Dawning and the compelling Emily Whyte rounding the main set off, the encore was naturally in high demand.

Extracting the remaining energy from the crowd, DMA’S took it back to the beginning with the sparkling tunes Play It Out and In The Moment. And as I was watching people dancing and singing back every word of Lay Down, it hit me once more that what they have going on with their audience is truly special. It’s like catching up with old friends and learning something new about them at the same time.

“Britpop revivalists”, that’s what you hear first about DMA’S. Well, there’s a good reason for that of course, and no it’s not because of the fact that they’ve been openly championed by Liam Gallagher himself. With their signature sentimental hooks and an unmistakable swagger DMA’S easily remodel 90’s classics, and by doing so they give listeners the perfect balance of melancholy and real joy. But I think it’s about time we stopped looking at them as Oasis’ spin-off. With two brilliant studio albums in their catalogue, they’ve already cemented their place on music scene. What’s more, they’re about to rise even higher.

Photos: Kasia Osowiecka