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Gig Review: The DMA's @ Tuning Fork, Auckland - 20/10/2017

21 Oct 2017 // A review by Paul Goddard
This is my first time at Tuning fork and the smallish room is filling up nicely as we arrive early to catch local band Yukon Era before Aussie headliners The DMA's.

I had heard good things about Yukon Era but wasn't sure what to expect. The band ambled on stage and the opening song shows some potential with some nice rhythms and a vocalist/guitarist with an interesting droney vocal style.

Then everything changed.

The energy increased and rather than being just another average "cool" Alt band, Yukon Era showed an eclectic schizophrenic mix of influences.

Usually, when you see or hear a band for the first time it can all sound a bit samey but each song here was a surprise. It's rare to see a band where you don't know what to expect next but that is what you get with Yukon Era. The music was tight, the drummer was insanely good especially as apparently, he was just standing in for these shows.

Check them out and prepare to be entertained and slightly blown away.

The first time I saw The DMA's was at Laneway Festival and I immediately went out and bought their album and EP so this was never going to be a negative review. They are from Sydney and formed originally as a side project to do some writing and recording. The result was the single Delete and then everything kind of exploded and they have been touring the world ever since. The success of debut album Hills End has seen them play festivals around the world and even Coachella in the USA. This is their first short headline tour of NZ and they are about to head back to the UK again for more dates then back home for some summer Aussie festivals.

So after a wait, we get the three main members of The DMA's onstage to an enthusiastic welcome. Immediately Tommy O'Dell's voice fills the room. It is amazing as he sings so effortlessly but there is a real soul and colour to his vocal. Originally a drummer, he hadn't heard himself sing until they recorded songs for the debut EP.

Much has been made of the Brit-pop look and sound of the band and yeah Tommy looks like a smaller less gobby version of Kasabian's Tom Meighan but to just say DMA's are a bunch of Oasis wannabes is missing the point.It could be argued that The DMA's are a band out of place but that they are from Australia has also influenced their sound and attitude.

The three are then joined by the rest of the touring band which includes NZ's Joel Flyger (Popstrangers) and the multiple guitars meld into a sound not too dissimilar to My Bloody Valentine.

There are no words spoken to the crowd in between songs (but plenty of beer is drunk) and that is fine because DMA's are a band who can let the songs do all the talking. There is so much melody that you simply can't ignore them. You will want to sing and you will want to dance. The main musical influences are clear, hence the Brit-Pop comparisons but listen closely, strip back the layers and there is a lot more going on. Visually, Tommy and guitarist Matt Mason are the focal point, the latter having perfected a thousand yard stare throughout most of the set. The way the guitars fit around Tommy's vocal and melody is seamless and that chemistry lifts DMA's above most of their contemporaries.

We are treated to virtually every track from Hills End plus a couple of new songs. Standouts are the obvious Delete and also the upbeat angst of Timeless. After a short encore, we are treated to a new song which is an indication that there is plenty more to come from DMA's so watch this space and let's hope it's not too long until they get back over to NZ again.


Review written by Paul Goddard.
 

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