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Photo Credit: George Phillips

LIVE: Dea Matrona – Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff, 11/05/2024

Dea Matrona‘s first visit to Cardiff did not disappoint. On one of the hottest nights of the year so far, a sweaty Clwb Ifor Bach crowd were treated to a blistering show by the effortlessly cool rock duo.

In Celtic mythology, Dea Matrona translates to ‘divine mother goddess’. They lived up to this name, entrancing the audience with an energetic, powerful and confident performance. The band hail from Belfast and consist of Orláith Forsythe and Mollie McGinn. The pair began busking together as teenagers and formed Dea Matrona in 2018. They both sing and play multiple instruments, swapping throughout the gig. They each took on lead and bass guitar roles and were supported by their drummer and rhythm guitarist.

Their current headline tour is promoting debut album For Your Sins, with a majority of their setlist coming from the record. ‘Stamp on It’ was the opener, setting the tone for the show. ‘Get My Mind Off’ and ‘Stuck on You’ followed. Funk-inspired bass and bluesy lead guitar powered these tracks, showing off the band’s vintage and retro feel. They cite Fleetwood Mac, Led Zeppelin, and The Beatles as influences, with the pair looking like they could’ve just stepped out of the 1970s.

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Photo Credit: George Phillips

‘Did Nobody Ever Love You?’ was introduced as a song written when Mollie was “p*ssed off at a certain individual”, a feeling that translated through into their performance. The guitars were ramped up on ‘Wilderness’, with Orláith switching to Irish to count the band in. Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Oh Well’ was covered before ‘Black Rain’, where Orláith and Mollie again swapped instruments.

The show took a more folk and country inspired turn with ‘Glory, Glory (I am Free)’. The band’s drummer and rhythm guitarist took a break to allow for a stripped back and personal, acoustic song – one that was popular with the crowd. A real crowd pleaser followed as a rockier cover of Sophie Ellis-Bextor‘s ‘Murder on the Dancefloor’ was played. With its darker lyrics and driving guitars, ‘Red Button’ was a closing track that left the audience wanting more.

Dea Matrona put on a brilliantly self-assured show, showing the qualities of a band way beyond their years. They oozed cool and confidence, the only downside being the show’s one hour length. This feels like the tip of the iceberg for Dea Matrona, who will no doubt be playing bigger venues in no time. They are just getting started and will go right to the very top.

Dea Matrona’s debut album For Your Sins is out now and remaining tour dates can be found here.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.