Review: Dea Matrona – The Joiners, Southampton

Review: Dea Matrona – The Joiners, Southampton

By Vicky Greer.

A few years ago, Dublin was the centre of the Irish music scene. These days, the North is rapidly catching up, with bands like Problem Patterns, Cherym and KNEECAP making waves in the music industry and putting the cities of Belfast and Derry on the map. The latest stars to come out of the region are Dea Matrona, the County Down duo who, after working their way up from busking on the streets of Belfast to playing some of the city’s biggest stages, are moving further afield to showcase their retro brand of bluesy rock n roll. On a rare sunny day in Southampton, Dea Matrona play The Joiners, one week after the release of their debut album For Your Sins. 

The evening begins with local band Ginkgos who, unbelievably, are playing only their second gig ever after debuting at Heartbreakers last month. They’ve quickly taken to being on stage, though, with their distinctive style of upbeat indie rock paired with powerful, almost theatrical vocals. They’ve already got an EP out, and they’ll surely be spreading their joy on stage across Southampton and beyond in the very near future. 

Dea Matrona take to the stage ready to share the fruits of their debut album, beginning with ‘Stamp On It’ and ‘Get My Mind Off’ before moving on to fan favourite earworm ‘Stuck On You.’ Comparable in sound to legendary bands like Fleetwood Mac and The Cranberries, their years of experience busking and gigging has allowed them to hone their signature style: laid-back, old-school rock embellished with duo’s trademark heavenly vocal harmonies. Their songs brim with charm and attitude, particularly the cutting ‘Did Nobody Ever Love You,’ which they describe as their ‘diss track.’ 

Their set at The Joiners is peppered with classic covers: Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Oh Well,’ Prince’s ‘Kiss’ and the highly-requested ‘Murder On The Dancefloor’ by the recently viral Sophie Ellis-Bextor. These covers help to introduce newcomers to exactly who Dea Matrona are, the artists who have influenced them throughout their journey and the unique spin they put on the classics. 

Their set continues to impress with what they explain is their “f*ck it, let’s go country” song, ‘Dead Man’s Heart’, during which they don cowboy hats as they fully embrace the country twang that can be felt subtly throughout their debut album. A more intimate moment follows when they send their touring band members off stage to perform a stripped-back version of ‘Glory, Glory (I Am Free)’, a hymn-like acoustic number that shows the full range of their artistry. 

Dea Matrona deliver a relaxed yet technically slick performance of their debut album at The Joiners tonight. The special something evident from the get-go on For Your Sins is even more obvious in their live shows. A young band full of promise, Dea Matrona are key players in the wealth of genre-spanning talent emerging from Belfast at the moment and are certainly a band to watch. 

  • Look out for our interview with Dea Matrona, coming soon


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