Prima Queen and Shanghai Baby show the excitement is justified at SON Estrella Galicia and Paper Dress Vintage’s London cultural exchange

Two exciting new bands, both absolute winners.

Words: Jamie Muir.
Photos: Abigail Shii.

Becoming an anticipated staple of London’s gig-filled diary, SON Estrella Galicia + Paper Dress Vintage nights combine music, beer, gastronomy, and positive impact for a fine evening in East London. Turning the famed vintage store/venue into a bubbling home of culture, a real sense of community flows through every single edition. Whether it’s sampling beers at a nearby record shop, tucking into trays and trays of moreish food served up by a local Hackney restaurant or getting wrapped up in its mix of thrilling new music making waves in the UK and Spain, it’s an effortless blend that has cemented itself as an essential event. Tonight, with Prima Queen and Shanghai Baby, confirms that and more.

With a storied trip across stages around the world already in the bag as a part of Hinds, Ade Martin’s Shanghai Baby take to Paper Dress Vintage with a hunger that points to a very exciting next chapter indeed. Jumping between shoegazy dream-pop and razor-sharp indie licks that call to mind the best of early-00s indie, it’s a focused statement of intent that doesn’t just play to the standard rules but celebrates in the feverish fun Ade is determined to create. ‘Is This The Right Time’ captures that eruptive potential front and centre, while unreleased tracks signal a future of catchy hooks and broad smiles that prove impossible to resist. In what is the very first Shanghai Baby show in London, Ade immediately makes herself at home. Get to a Shanghai Baby show as soon as possible.

When a band have it, you just know. That’s the vibe when Prima Queen take to the stage, immediately wrapping Paper Dress Vintage into an all-encompassing ball of feel-good emotions. Swooning harmonies sit at the core of everything they do, effortlessly bouncing off each other and firmly in the driving seat from the very first note. Early cuts like ’Chew My Cheeks’ and ‘Back Row’ grab attention, and from there, Prima Queen revel in taking tonight to every destination in their stunning world. Walking that line between cinematic ambition and the feeling of being sat together in the rawest of intimate settings, the emotional punch they utilise at every step is a secret weapon that cuts above the rest.

What’s even more stunning is how assured every moment is. This isn’t a band working things out as they go along, but one who immediately set the tone in the room and drive forward. It’s that and every ounce of feverish fun they have on stage that signals a band who shouldn’t be compared, but simply embraced. The magnetic and overflowing ‘Dylan’ and the riotous closer ‘Eclipse’ are but two more examples of a set born in magic.

If tonight is the last day of summer, then Prima Queen are truly the refreshing pint to savour from here on out. Don’t mind if we do.