The Engine Shed is usually quiet during the summer months; being part of the student union at the University of Lincoln, most of its events are held whilst the student population is around. Us locals were in for a spectacular treat the other night when DMA’S stopped off in the city as part of their 2017 club tour. Similarly, to the likes of The Sherlocks and Blossoms, DMA’S were used to playing in front of just a handful of people in the UK. A year on from when they first emerged in this country, they have sold out numerous places on their current tour, and recently played in front of thousands of people on the Big Gin Stage at Y Not.
DMA’S are Australian natives but make a distinctively British sound. They are made up Tommy O’Dell (the group’s main vocalist), and Matt Mason & Johnny Took on guitars. ‘Delete’, originally released three years ago, is their most popular track (having racked up over a million views on YouTube). A slice of delicate mellow alt-rock, the track is a gem; other songs the band has released include ‘Lay Down’, and ‘Step Up The Morphine’.
Joining DMA’S on a selection of their dates on the road are South Yorkshire rockers RedFaces; I already knew the band would bring it, as last month I watched them open Community Festival. They put on a commanding, assured performance on the Main Stage, and upped it another gear in Lincoln. Harry, Isaac, Ryan, and Charlie electrified the crowd, and definitely won over the audience by the end of their set, receiving a well-deserved response. They fabricated an energetic, exciting set, with the inclusion of their catchy singles ‘Kerosene’ and ‘Wise Up’. Harry is a superb vocalist and you could hear all lyrics crystal clear throughout the venue. The young band has been backed by a major label, and in a couple of years, I can picture them coming back to Lincoln as part of their own tour.
RedFaces in action.
Did the trio live up to their Oasis comparisons when playing live? Before I even knew these comparisons had been made, I felt Tommy’s stance & posture on stage and his vocal delivery echoed that of the great Gallaghers. It is magical watching the band live – they encompass the spirit and passion of Britpop and prove an old dog does have new tricks, even if the genre first burst onto the scene over twenty years ago now. I am not trying to say they are a replacement or a replica of Oasis or other bands from that era, but there is something comforting witnessing a band with the essence of what Oasis had when the chances of the Manchester group reforming are slim to none.
The majority of alternative rock bands produce turbulent, high-octane performances through their sets as if they are preempting mosh pits and crowd surfing to every song. Following in line with Britpop bands again, DMA’S have a well-balanced mixture of upbeat and chilled tracks. Whilst I thoroughly enjoy non-stop dynamic performances and getting in the thick of pits, it was pleasant to go to a concert and have the opportunity to take in all aspects of the live performance for once. The crowd was also one of the dedicated and pleasant I’ve had the pleasure of being part of. Sometimes when you are jumping around constantly, you miss the finer details of a performance. Aside from new tracks, every single person knew the lyrics off by heart to their tracks. Although the band still have a relatively small underground following, they have some of the most dedicated fans out there, which created a pulsating, electric atmosphere. You felt as if you were watching a band on the cusp of success; the air of anticipation which follows them tells you their massive break is imminent.
DMA’S are not a band who do too much of the whole audience – stage interaction; impressive guitar solos and Tommy’s raspy, alluring vocals do all the talking you need. Punctuality is a strong point of the group; they took to the stage near enough 9pm on the dot, and left a smidge over 10pm, ensuring them maximum time on the stage. Their set may have only run for an hour, but because it was jam-packed with numbers from their fantastic debut album Hills End, I felt satisfied with all I had heard and seen. ‘Straight Dimensions’ and ‘Too Soon’ were two songs from the set-list brand new to me, but I adore both tracks now after hearing them live. However, my personal highlight was when they played ‘Step Up The Morphine’; they conveyed the emotion the studio recording of the track has into their performance. The whole set list of the gig can be found below:
DMA’S Engine Shed setlist.
DMA’S still have a number of dates left on their current tour and will be supporting The Kooks on their autumn arena string of dates.