When I was recently taking the Tube (Metro) in London, U.K., I noticed a large advertising of Hills End, the first album from the DMA’s. I first saw DMA’s for a pre-Osheaga show at Divan Orange with barely 20 people in the room. Since that night, I will often play their music to friends who will express their surprise at how good they are. For me, the DMA’s is a band I like to share with others so they can discover them, like I did. I describe them as a cross between Oasis and The Stone Roses (maybe the Stone Oasis).
We settled into the Petit Campus a little early, again, there was barely 20 people in the room, a good portion of them were from Adam Strangler. That soon changed, as people started filling up the room for both bands.
Adam Strangler started us off, at first with chaotic noise, which turned into “Astronomy” from their album titled Ideas of Order. Adam Strangler is described as a psych-pop band whom they said hail from Coaticook. The crowd really seemed to enjoy the performance, and I personally was surprised by it as well.
They played “Exposition” which is getting some traction on CHOM as well as most of the other songs on their album. Adam is a funny guy, introducing a song as a Kung Fu style of music, called Kung Fusion. In reality, it was “Confusion”.
To highlight how great it was to have this band open up the show…they had the crowd shouting for an encore. Yes…an encore from the opening band!
The DMA’s came on strong with “Timeless” from their new full length album, followed by another high energy song “Too Soon”. The voice of Tommy O’Dell of course reminds you of so many other British bands, but with Johnny Took and Matt Mason help give them a character of their own. Their songs are simply irresistible, you instantly become happy and want to sing along. The whole evening was filled songs that are each different, but have this power to hook you in. Tommy would sometimes shy away from the center stage to hang near the drums during the solos, a place where he should feel comfortable. You see, Tommy used to be the drummer, but impressed Johnny and Matt so much with his vocals that they pushed him to the front instead.
Many of the songs on the initial EP (the one I bought right after seeing them the first time) were played tonight. “Laced” being one of my favorites along with “Feels Like 37” and the ultimate sing-along song “Delete” which we all shared in belting out that line “Let it all out, just let it all out”. Yes, we all let it out and enjoyed every second of that song as a group experience.
The set ended with “Play it Out” with it’s lyrics “You’re stuck inside of me” which is how I feel about their songs. They simply stick with you, you hear them and remember the shows, the good feelings.
The DMA’s have been hard at work, touring Canada, the US and Europe. They’ve had some interesting adventures along the way, such as being one of the last bands to play Lollapalooza before the guests were evacuated because of a severe storm. Chilling at the Hilton, they enjoyed the downtime with some refreshments, only to be told they would play another set later that same day, a little buzzed.
Because they are playing smaller venues here in Canada, it’s great to see them perform up close and personal. The boys are always happy to chat with the guests after the show, it feels like you are speaking to a couple of your mates. If you have a craving for British sounding tunes, don’t miss the DMA’s on their next visit and get ready to sing along to some of the catchiest songs released lately.
Review & photos – Randal Wark