Basing the bands acronym on the phrase ‘Doesn’t Mean Anything’, Sydney based outfit the DMAs are certainly making moves to contradict this modest title. Embarking on their first arena tour supporting The Kooks, we got chance to catch up with frontman Tommy O’Dell before their Nottingham gig.

“If you put it on, turn it up loud and it gives you a vibe, it’s good to go” proclaims O’Dell sipping on his pint of Guinness, “you can overcook it, overthink it and add too many layers but I’m not one to do that”. Not overcooking and overthinking seems to be working well for O’Dell and Co. with their debut album ‘Hills End’ last year landing just outside of iTunes Top 10, a single reaching Gold in Australia and creating an internet sensation with their cover of Cher song ‘Believe’.

It is clear that the DMAs are a band on a skyward trajectory. Having just played their headline sold-out London show, headlining another sold-out gig in Motherwell and off the back of recording for their much anticipated second album, these are exciting times for the Aussie trio (also made up of Johnny Took and Matt Mason). O’Dell points towards the bands knack for playing all corners of the UK “it’s important to take the music fuckin’ wherever you can”. He then reminisces about the last time the band were in Nottingham two years ago, playing an intimate gig at a pub just up the road to a handful of lucky punters. “The sound quality on stage these days is a bit better than then” jokes O’Dell. The fact that the DMAs are now tasked with preparing for an arena show epitomises just how far they have come in such short time. The conversation then drifts to O’Dell fondly recalling a night out in Hull following a gig on their previous UK tour, declaring “we’re just normal guys man”. This is the essence of the DMA euphoria that is sweeping the UK and the essence that allows comparisons to be drawn to the likes of Oasis; normal lads pouring relatable feelings into songs jam-packed with punchy guitar riffs.

O’Dell, Mason and Took burst onto the stage to a busy Motorpoint Arena (accompanied by their three live members) and immediately flood the crowd with a deluge of guitar melodies in ‘Play it Out’. Took patrols the stage with hood up and guitar in hand, looking straight out of the 90s era to which they so often draw comparisons. With members of the crowd quickly clambering onto the nearest pair of shoulders, it is clear from the onset that this isn’t a show sold purely on the name of its headliner. Energetic renditions of ‘Feels Like 37’ (taken from their self-titled 2014 EP) and ‘Melbourne’ similarly follow to the delight of the lively crowd. Nottingham is then treated to the bands latest release ‘Dawning’, giving a taste of what to expect of the forthcoming album which is lined up for early 2018. O’Dell suggests that the focus of this new music is more “beats-driven” than their debut piece and offers a different insight into the band.

The unique, raw grittiness of O’Dells vocals then becomes apparent through renditions of ‘In the Moment’ and ‘Step up the Morphine’, the latter of which the frontman alludes to been his favourite from ‘Hills End’. The biggest singalong of the set comes with the bands eminent acoustically hooked single, ‘Delete’. This forces further shoulders to bear the weight of followers completely enthralled with this Britpop revival. The ultimate crescendo to the eight song set is provided by the spiralling electric guitar interludes of ‘Lay Down’. When asked if he is surprised about the size of the crowds congregating for their support performances O’Dell jokingly implies that this is purely due to the English being “tight-arses”, trying to get their moneys-worth out of a ticket. Speak to any member of that Nottingham congregation however (tight-arses or not) and they will argue that the chance to see a band on such an exponential rise is indeed in itself, priceless.

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