LIVE REVIEW: Mac DeMarco @ O2 Academy (29.8.17) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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For a man once described as ‘Jack Johnson for hipsters’, Mac DeMarco is quite the dynamo of manic energy. Call me crazy, but given the psych-tinged haziness of his slacker-friendly sonics, I was honestly half expecting to be treated to a mellow yet spirited display of slick guitar chops.

Instead, watching the self-styled ‘Pepperoni Playboy’ repeatedly dip into his seemingly bottomless reserve of puerile antics in between songs, I’m reminded of the sheer blinding chaos that ensues whenever my two-year-old has a little too much sugar.

It’s not until he’s sashaying through the slinky groove of One Another that the penny drops – these shenanigans are an integral part of DeMarco‘s aberrant yet oddly alluring mystique. Watching him effortlessly balance waggish roguery with heart-warmingly awkward sensuality on My Kind of Woman, it suddenly makes sense why, although he neither looks nor acts like your typical pop star, this clown prince of lo-fi bedroom rock walked onstage to a near-rapturous reception.

This sublime balance of sweet and silly is, perhaps, the most striking thing about DeMarco. He’s got an innately uncanny ability to convey arresting vulnerability – as he displays, with considerable aplomb, on One More Love Song – whilst, simultaneously, maintaining his veneer of oddball charm. Overall, DeMarco delivers a solid (though singularly paced) set, which, thanks to his consistent nonconformity, manages to be both satisfyingly predictable and thrillingly surprising.

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