If you’ve ever been to a Mac DeMarco show, you’ll know they can be a weird and wonderful, but sometimes oddly confusing beast. The Italian-Canadian king of indie has slowly built up an adoring legion of fans and, playing the second of two sold-out nights at London’s Brixton Academy – the band’s biggest UK shows to date – the un-withering fascination of his fans is clear. Long before he even reaches the stage, the halls of Brixton are packed and chants of ‘Corbyn’ echo excitedly off the walls.
As the lights fade, and the shadow of Mac DeMarco appears, the chants are quickly replaced with cheers for the long-awaited frontman. With introductions swiftly delivered, the band launch straight into Salad Days, sung word for word back at them by the London crowd.
Breezing through No Other Heart, The Stars Keep on Calling My Name and For the First Time, Mac is clearly at home. Backed by his merry band of ragtag musicians and a group of friends and family sat at the aptly named ‘Bistro Table’ just to the side of the stage, DeMarco and his band finally reach the title track of his latest album My Old Dog once again launching an air of excitement into the Brixton crowd.
As the band shuffle through This Old Man, Kieran, a friend of the band is removed from the Bistro Table, and offered up to the crowd “from us, to you” for one song, as he is catapulted from the stage into the waiting arms of the Brixton faithful.
Flowing through the rest of the set, playing hits old and new, the band finally reach a jam session of sorts, which sees Mac pick up the drums, before finally seating himself at the Bistro Table for a brief chat. As the jam reaches its end though, Mac rejoins the band for a final number. Closing off with Still Together, there is one thing left for the Canadian to do: join the crowd for a final crowd-surf.
As Mac DeMarco finishes his victory lap of the venue, it’s easy to sense why his fandom is so adoring. With his energetic and intensely personable demeanour making the cavernous halls of Brixton feel like an intimate club venue, one thing’s for sure: DeMarco is a future headliner in the making.
Words by Patrick Gunning