Australian Oasis-imitators and Britpop Revivalists, DMA’s, support The Kooks on their homecoming Saturday night show at the Brighton Centre.
Having only ever heard them on record, when DMA’s took the stage – I was quite taken back by their style, mixing what looked like early UK rave scene (Kevin and Perry go Large, springs to mind) and brash Britpop aesthetic.
Hailing from Sydney, DMA’s formed out of and from other groups in the city’s scene. Sonically their debut album ‘Hills End’ transposes far more energetic and thrilling live, than on record. The Aussie trio – joined by three additional live members – make a wall of sound, lead by guitar-chord heavy riffs and sub-stadium anthemic performances.
However, I can’t help to be reminded of the self-proclaimed ‘grit-pop’ band Viva Brother, perhaps one of the most car-crash-music industry stories in the last decade. Intilliay hailed as one of the leaders in the British Brit Pop revival, after a few awful interviews and releasing their debut album that lacked any original content; the band was shunned and disappeared as quickly as they blew up.
Overall sceptical of bands that wear their influences proudly on their sleeves, or tap into the nostalgia of the former glory days, I surprisingly found myself caught up in the moment, won over by their laddish charm and sing along melodies – mind you, it could have also been the beer.
Cleary a band well-suited to a packed out festival tent, full of drunkards and wearing sunglasses when it’s not sunny, I’m sure DMA’s loyal fan base will continue to grow, but the same can’t be said for Brit Pop’s worldwide appeal.
The Kooks, similarly tapped into former glory, winning over the crowd with songs from their phenomenal debut ‘Inside In / Inside Out.’ A hometown headline show with a capped out venue – you could feel the energy in the band as they walked on stage to The Clash’ Rock The Casbah. Ticking off all the classic, The Kooks went into full throttle playing ‘You Don’t Love Me’, ‘Sofa Song’ and ‘She Moves in Her Own Way’ – all in the first quarter. A standout moment was a solo rendition of ‘Seaside’, with a single spotlight on an alone and vulnerable Pritchard, singing with the same conviction from over a decade ago.
Returning from a blistering encore, the crowd was treated to ‘Naive.’ Perhaps the bands best work, and with no questions the most effective crowd pleaser, the gig would have been worth attending on the final five minutes alone.
I took a trip down my memory lane myself that night – remembering where and when I was when I first heard ‘Naive’, and the broader body of work, and the impact it had on my life at that time. Luke Pritchard had previously confessed that a lot of songs were inspired and written about memories and moments in Brighton, something that is powerfully conveyed in his emotive but straightforward songwriting.
As I leave the gig, I am left with an overwhelming feeling of youthfulness, surprising optimism and slight sadness.
Ah nostalgia, what a powerful sentiment.