Dea Matrona – The Limelight, Belfast* – Metal Planet Music
Review by Paul Monkhouse for MPM
From the streets of their hometown of Belfast to their current European tour, it seems Dea Matrona was born to bring music to as many audiences as possible.
Given their relatively tender ages, to think that the dual vocal, bass and guitar backbones of Mollie McGinn and Orlaith Forsythe are now four-year-old veterans and still barely in their twenties speaks to their talents and drive.
Impossible to see the trio, completed by Evan Walsh on drums, and not fall under the spell, their rise seeming destined for the stars.
With their debut album still under construction, the set was a mix of originals and offbeat covers, which has become one of their trademarks. While the latter are obvious crowd pleasers, going back to their genesis, it’s the self-penned numbers that really impress.
Opener “Just Wanna Rock” was high-energy blues but with a country twist in its soul, with McGinn and Forsythe throwing shapes and running all over the stage as they performed, their Ying and Yang clothing choices adding to the mix. carefully and intelligently designed show.
The fact that the two exchange not only vocals, but also guitar and bass throughout the night also adds another impressive visual layer.
Switching immediately to a cover for the second song, Fleetwood Mac’s “Oh Well” received special treatment, retaining the loose punch of its source recording but adding a touch of sweetness to the mix like a honeyed bourbon.
The fuzzy bass and bounce of ‘Stamp On It’ had the audience jumping and clapping, the band with wide smiles, before the tumultuous blues boogie of Rory Gallagher’s ‘Cradle Rock’ saw McGinn and Forsythe on their knees, the arched back, coming to an end.
The bright, swampy explosion and anthemic chorus of “Wilderness” gave way to the stuttering riff of “Walk This Way,” with the band capturing more of the earthy, vibrant spirit of Aerosmith’s 1975 plan before the polish of the Run DMC socket is known.
With a funky bass drive while the guitar wailed, there was no choice but to dance, the girls’ ability to work with a crowd honed over the years to attract the attention of pedestrians who were passing.
Back to their own material, ‘So Damn Dangerous’ is made for huge festivals like Glastonbury and with its slinky feel and power of seduction, as well as its perfect structuring, you can definitely see Dea Matrona winning over the masses during the summers. foggy.
‘Cross Road Blues’ relied more on Eric Clapton’s new version than Robert Johnson’s original and ‘Feelings They Grow’ was another Dea Matrona winner, all glam rock with a modern swing, all completely ecstatic. THAT riff heralded a spacious and refreshingly different take on “Whole Lotta Love,” the Led Zeppelin classic feeling much looser and less pompous.
The pungent early ’80s sensation of “Heart” also provided a throwback, but this time to the band’s budding writing career, a sparkling pop gem that showed that no matter how grown up, a good song will be
always be recognized as such and therefore have its place in the decor.
With their second nod to the city’s rich musical heritage, Them’s tireless “Gloria” is reclaimed for a new generation and the flimsy, bluesier version of “Purple Haze” adds a touch of wonder to the chef- of Hendrix’s work. Sandwiched between these, “Show Me” is all stuttering, strutting funk, with drums from Walsh, who replaced McGinn’s younger sister Mamie, leading the groove.
Ending with high kicks that were pure ’70s rock moves, “Make You My Star” is another blues rock tune, the audience swept up in passion and pure adrenaline.
With the band called back for an inevitable encore, the marching beat of ‘It’s Only Music’ brought gritty blues that were steeped in bubbly pop harmonies, a massive indoor confetti cannon filling the club with thousands of falling shreds of paper. like multicolored rain on all present.
The perfect way to celebrate a triumphant homecoming party, Dea Matrona showed they have the music and the moves to make some really big waves.
Photograph by Darren Mcveigh by MPM