Prima Queen
Strange Brew, Bristol
Sunday 28th May 2023
Photography – Cloe Morrison / @cloenna

Photography by Cloe Morrison
James Mellen
James Mellen

Bristol-based writer, specialising in musings on the world of music and fashion.

Prima Queen hit Bristol’s Strange Brew for a gorgeous display of the range of sounds and moods from their new EP, ‘Not The Baby’

London-based duo Prima Queen have slowly but steadily been making a name for themselves over the last few years, emerging as one of the brightest stars in a ruthlessly competitive field. Prima Queen is the project of singers, songwriters and multi-instrumentalists Louise Macphail (Bristol) and Kristin McFadden (Chicago, USA).

The transatlantic best friends recently delivered an incredibly visceral and refined take on indie, flecks of folk, with country and pop cutting through on acclaimed new EP ‘Not The Baby’. Backed live by drummer Heledd Owen and bassist Kitty Fitz, Prima Queen as a live outfit feels expansive, a level of authenticity and rawness shining through every track on the setlist.

This show at Bristol’s Strange Brew marks the final date of their EP tour, which saw the group tackling sold-out venues across the United Kingdom. Prima Queen took to the stage at around nine, the room packed by an incredibly mixed crowd; young teens clamoured to the front, BBC 6Music ‘dads’ hung around, constantly searching for the next big thing, and even Macphail’s ninety-five year old grandmother took a seat by the bar.

The band wasted no time, diving headfirst into 2021 hit ‘Chew My Cheeks’, Macphail and McFadden’s respective vocals blending effortlessly over the top of the gentle, tender instrumental. Throughout the set as well saw some truly delightful slide guitar work from Macphail on ‘Invisible Hand’, and some gorgeous violin playing from McFadden on recent track ‘Crow’, who can somehow play the violin and sing at the same time.

Despite the softer nature of much of Prima Queen‘s work, they still have festival-ready songwriting on lock with set closer and anthem, ‘Eclipse’: an uptempo dose of bonafide indie rock, soaring hooks and slick guitar work. As the finale to their tour, they truly delivered an immaculate display, enchanting the crowd with beautiful vocal work and gorgeous instrumentals.

With the band now taking a well deserved moment for breath, they’ll soon enough be gearing up for festival season, with appearances at Glastonbury, Truck Festival and 2000Trees right around the corner. After the brilliance of ‘Not The Baby’, and the show they are able to deliver, 2023 is only just getting started for Prima Queen.

Listen to ‘Not The Baby’ here: