‘Looking Past the Pandemic’ with Pillow Queens from Dublin, Ireland

Keeping travel dreams alive and setting goals has never felt more important. We can all agree that 2020 has been an unfortunate year so far, and almost every facet of daily life has been wrought by this ongoing global pandemic, the start of which now feels like forever ago. The arts has been one of the hardest hit areas, so The AU Review has kickstarted a Q&A series “looking past the pandemic”, encouraging creatives from around the world to share their travel hopes, dreams, and the thoughts or things that are getting them through 2020, while also highlighting essential experiences in their own country.

Pillow Queens (Dublin, Ireland)

Pillow Queens, a queer indie-rock band hailing from Ireland, may be a name fresh in the minds of Australian music fans. Their most recent single, “Handsome Wife”, was an entirely hype-worth slice of scruffy, soaring indie-rock and a perfect teaser to their forthcoming debut album In Waiting. Now, the four-piece is back with “Holy Show,” showing off more of that brash, knockout sound.

We caught up with guitarist Cathy McGuiness to look past the pandemic.

When travel opens up completely, the first place I’m going is…

When we can fly again, I will go to Paris to visit my good friend, Laure. Luckily Ireland is stunning so we have lots of places to visit in the interim.

Burren National Park | Credit: Chris Hill Photographic

Three spots in Ireland I think everyone should visit at least once in their life…

Just 3? Argh.

1) The Burren (Co. Clare mostly) – It has the most remarkable, otherworldly landscape. You have to see it to believe it.

2) Donegal – the starting point for the ‘Wild Atlantic Way’. Rich in beaches and amazing pubs, all the way down to the ‘Ring of Kerry’..

3) Wicklow – Lough Tay to name just one spot, but Wicklow is gorgeous. I’m not biased, because I am from there.

Street 66 – a dog-friendly gay bar in Dublin | Credit: @gaymenonholiday

Whenever I have a visitor in my city and I want to show them a good night out, the first place I take them is…

Street 66. It’s a dog friendly gay bar. I can’t think of a better way to show someone a good time. The staff are amazing and their selection of booze is fantastic.

The last place I take them is…

Coppers. This is a nightclub where the prime objective is ‘To Get the Shift’… Basically people just want to hook up.

Most memorable thing I’ve eaten on the road..

Oooooh this is a good question. I ate crocodile in Darwin, which I now feel terrible about.

Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Colorado | Credit: Stevie Crecelius.

The one international venue I’ve always wanted to play..

Red Rocks [Amphitheatre], Colorado

READ: What it’s like seeing a concert in Colorado’s legendary Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

The one international destination I’m yet to visit but have always dreamed of…

I would love to spend some meaningful time in the Scandinavian countries. They seem to have the nail on the head when it comes to social policies.

The three things or thoughts that are getting me through this pandemic…

1) We’re all in this together. While everyone has missed out hugely this year, I think we are all coming together and remembering how to be more human.

2) Family/Friends – Reconnecting with so many people has been such a positive spin for me.

3) Nervous Billy – My dog that insists on waking me up like clockwork every morning. He brings me to the beach and makes sure I have some vague routine. He’s a good fella.

For more on Pillow Queens head on over to their Facebook here.

Feature image: Faolán Carey.

Chris Singh

Chris Singh is an Editor-At-Large at the AU review, loves writing about travel and hospitality, and is partial to a perfectly textured octopus. You can reach him on Instagram: @chrisdsingh.