SxSW Review: Pillow Queens, March 15, Cedar Street Courtyard

20220316 Pillow Queens

It’s an undertatement that Cedar Street Courtyard is the lifeblood that has anchored PM at SxSW for many years. With the unfortunate shuttering of Latitude 30 early in the pandemic, the long-running British Music Embassy had to find a new home and it’s no surprise that they picked Cedar. I think it’s simple musical, if not cosmic, alignment. For me, it is also among the few spaces from which I dare to venture into an (almost) endemic world.

Following a high-energy set from London’s Los Bitchos is no easy task. However, in this red-eye showcase, Dublin’s Pillow Queens successfully infiltrated the ranks of Redcoats and frankly, stole the show.

They pulled few strings or tricks, and gave a resonant performance through their compelling songwriting and well-tempered play. The setlist consisted of memorable numbers like “Holy Show”, “HowDoILook”, and “Liffey” from 2020’s In Waiting, and “Be By Your Side” and “No Good Woman” from their new album.

In person, their style closely resembles that of the studio. Belting out direct lyrics about their turbulent upbringing and their clashes with contemporary social change, the singing duty was shared by co-vocalists Corcoran and Connolly. With a sparse yet enthusiastic crowd, Pillow Queens were the perfect re-initiation I needed, and the brilliant discovery that only SxSW can muster.

Pillow Queens’ new album Leave the Light On will be released on April 1st 2022.

Posted on by Gary in South By Southwest