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(Credit: Mclean Stephenson)

Music

Five things we learned from DMA's show at Manchester Victoria Warehouse

@josephtaysom

Two years ago, DMA’s announced what was supposed to be the biggest headline date of their career at Manchester’s Castlefield Bowl. Then, the pandemic hit, and their touring plans were shelved indefinitely. 

At first, the show was rescheduled for this summer. However, uncertainty surrounding travel restrictions from their native Australia to Britain meant they had no choice but to cancel the concert. Thankfully, this month, they finally made their return to Manchester, and at long last, it was worth the wait.

With the tour scheduled for November, DMA’s instead delivered a three-night residency at the Victoria Warehouse and brought their plans inside. It might not have been the grandiose endeavour they first pictured, but they still made sure to give fans a night to saviour, and that long-awaited evening at Castlefield surely awaits in 2022. 

Manchester was one of the first places that took the group to their hearts during their early years and now views the Aussies as one of their own. Below are five stand-out moments which confirm why they’ve achieved adopted Mancunian status.

Five things we learned from DMA’s gig in Manchester:

Arrive early

With gigs being absent from our lives for such a prolonged period, assumedly, people would be lapping up every second of live music they could consume. However, most fans would still rather save a fiver on beer, arrive as late as possible, and potentially miss out on watching their new favourite band.

The Goa Express opened up for DMA’s and put on a clinic which points to them being one of the breakthrough acts of 2022. Their set was a ball of frenetic energy, which captivated those in attendance. If you want to see the group for yourself before they graduate into the big leagues, they are currently supporting Shame across the UK until the end of the month.

They brought The Glow

DMA’s third album, The Glow, has been out for eighteen months now, but technically that’s what their current run of shows is supporting. The record handed them their first top-five in the UK, and refreshingly, there was an equal appetite for cuts from The Glow as anything else from their canon.

After their first two LPs, DMA’s had a point to prove to show they were more than just Britpop revivalists. They integrated their love of electronic music into their sound, which was a necessary step artistically and one that has added a much-needed sense of unpredictability to their shows.

Coming of age

Anyone who was there at one of the band’s earlier shows a few years ago will remember that DMA’s hardly exuded confidence or looked comfortable on-stage, but now their demeanour has completely changed.

Frontman Tommy O’Dell felt in control of proceedings and demonstrated a positive arrogance. Additionally, he was more than happy to rile the crowd up during the livelier moments rather than leaving that solely down to his bandmates Johnny Took and Matt Mason, as he previously preferred. At last, he looks at ease with DMA’s status, and perhaps the pandemic has made him reevaluate his relationship with performing.

Mass sing-a-long

For almost the entirety of the set, the crowd were there to give O’Dell a hand with vocals. There was an infectious feel-good atmosphere in the air, and it was evident that they had been agonisingly waiting two years for this moment. The buoyant energy that resounded around the Victoria Warehouse got trapped in your lungs whether you liked it or not. 

While their songs don’t proclaim to be the deepest lyrically or technically groundbreaking, they can bring thousands of souls together in a unifying way that is rare to find. After the last couple of years, surely that’s more important than ever?

A night of deserved celebration

DMA’s have earned their seat at the table the hard, old-fashioned way. They’re signed to an Australian indie and have never received significant radio play from any major British stations. Instead, they’ve toured relentlessly over the last six years, coming back several times a year and incrementally working their way up the ladder.

It’s becoming rarer for a band in the age of TikTok virality to find success through this method, and it made the show feel like a victory lap for the Australian band. DMA’s have played everywhere in Manchester, from The Deaf Institute to supporting Liam Gallagher at the AO Arena. Their three-night residency at the Victoria Warehouse confirmed their place in the hearts of those in the North West.