Being a newcomer to living in London, I already knew Paper Dress Vintage was a really good second-hand clothes shop in Hackney – and, now, I also know it’s a really good music venue, too. On the night of September 14th, it was packed full of fans of both Prima Queen and Shanghai Baby – and obviously those looking to sample the delights of Estrella Galicia beer, who the event was sponsored by.
The show was kicked off by Shanghai Baby, starting with ‘Horse’, from their 2022 EP EP01. A bit of an introduction to the band, for me, really – and a good one, at that. The track is great in its recorded form, of course, but live it was a completely different experience. It sounded heavy and melancholic, but not in a depressing way at all – just in a real way. Everyone in the venue just remained quiet and listened to soak up the performance – which I’m not completely sure I’ve ever seen before. Ade Martín’s vocals were brilliant, and the rest of the band didn’t miss a beat.
Another highlight was probably their last song of the night, ‘Congratulations’, which the band released in 2021 and also included on their EP. Definitely more upbeat-sounding than ‘Horse’, but with lyrics just as hard-hitting. The perfect closing song, in my opinion. Shanghai Baby’s performance was short but definitely sweet, and, yes, it prompted me to devour their whole discography on the tube-ride home.
Prima Queen were up next, with a tough act to follow. Of course, they managed it – and were completely brilliant (obviously – they’re Prima Queen). They kicked off their performance with ‘Chew My Cheeks’, which they released back in 2021. I’d heard this song quite a lot before hearing it live, and it definitely hits just as well as it does on the record, maybe even better.
The highlight of their set has to be their performance of ‘Hydroplane’, from the band’s 2023 EP Not The Baby. It’s a really lovely song about sisterhood – being a little sister, being an older sister, all of that. It was heartfelt, sincere, and prompted a text to my own sister while watching the show.
Both bands were clearly on top-form for the SON Estrella Galicia showcase, and the whole show had a very old-school indie-rock vibe to it, making for a really fun night. I mean, Prima Queen, Shanghai Baby, and beer – you can’t go wrong, really.
Words: Rosie Smith // Photos: SON Estrella Galicia