Hot on the heels of a stellar 2019, including supporting Feeder and Fun Lovin Criminals, and John Corabi along with a video of them playing a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own way” going viral, Dea Matrona kick off 2020 in the best way possible as they headline a sold out show as part of the Out To Lunch Festival in The Black Box in Belfast.
Dea Matrona are a three piece female band with a combined age that doesn’t even come close to the age of any of the individual members of the bands that have influenced them. Mollie, Orlaith, and Mamie are 20, 19 and 16 respectively, and they deliver a stage presence and sound well beyond those years.
As the time for them to take the stage approaches it was very clear to see that the Black Box was packed out. Ticket sales were 140 plus and the seats were filled with people of all ages and backgrounds as they tucked into their Irish Stew (there was also a vegetarian stew option). Its is the Out To Lunch Festival, after all.
Dea Matrona took their places dressed in a very colourful 70’s style and wasted no time kicking off the show with Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid” before going on to deliver one of their own songs “Heart”, an infectiously catchy tune that had the feel of a 70’s pop rock band, immediately giving it a comfortably familiar feel about it. On into a superb rendition of The Knack’s “My Sharona”.
Next was another original “Baby Don’t Leave”, which had such a Carpenters vibe about it you would have through they were doing another cover, it was that perfectly delivered with a tight sound and fantastic harmonies. Having played in The Cavern a number of times already, it was not unexpected for the band to give those in attendance a wonderfully rendition of The Beatles “I Feel Fine”.
On they went with more covers mixed in with their own original songs, giving everyone a reference point of familiarity to be bale to properly see how bursting with raw talent these ladies are. The Undertone’s “Teenage Kicks”, Led Zepplin’s “Whole Lotta Love”, Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B Goode”, Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way”, Cher’s “Gypsies, Tramps And Thieves”, Led Zeplin’s Black Dog”, Fleetwood Mac’s “Rhiannon”, The Everly Brother’s “All I Have To Do is Dream”, Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own way”.
Each one just kept showing off what Dea Matrona can do and how much potential to reach for the stars they have. Of particular note were the songs “Black Dog” and “Gypsies, Tramps And Thieves”, as they really tested what Mollie and Orlaith could do with their voices, both individually and collectively as they belted out the vocals. And as they sang their hearts out with these songs you would have felt the hairs on the back of your neck rise, as your gut whispered to you that you are in the presence of incredible talent.
Their own songs “Heart”, “Baby Don’t Leave”, “Siren Song”, “Nobody’s Child”, “Take My Shot”, and “Just Wanna Rock” really allowed them to show off what they can really do. The strength of visual, musical and vocal presence on stage was without doubt clear for all to see.
They were relaxed, smiling and lightly joking with the crowd. They could really work the place in a very professional way. Mollie and Orlaith swapped round bass and lead guitar from song to song keeping everyone intrigued with the absolute musicianship on display, whilst Mamie controlled the drums in a way someone more than twice her age would be jealous off as she kept time and could be seen getting into each and every song.
Dea Matrona are definitely not by the numbers musicians, they are multi-talented, professional and very down to earth delivering a musically confident sound with a beautiful flare. They deliver a vibe and sound that may clearly have influences from the 60s through to the 80’s, but is finely polished with a modern touch that just sounds divine. With the sound, styles, and lyrics of their own songs it is actually very difficult to pigeon hole Dea Matrona and for those lucky enough to have seen them at The Black Box it was plain to all that they are ploughing their own
Review by Ivor Whitten
Photography by Darren Mcveigh