Live Reviews

2024/03/10 – RØRY – XOYO, Birmingham

Review & Photos: G. Rossington.

On the penultimate night of her Second UK Tour, RØRY is playing another completely Sold Out show at XOYO (formerly The Mill) in Birmingham. For reasons which become clear later on, tonight’s show is full of more emotion than usual due to it being Mother’s Day. Having relaunched her career during lockdown, Roxanne Emery’s newest persona is simply going from strength to strength.

There are two support acts tonight and the first to open the show is Lleo. A performer, singer and guitarist joined by a solitary drummer at the back of the stage. Tracks such as opener ‘Party’, recent single ‘Noise’ alongside ‘Serotonin’ and set closer ‘Boyfriend’ certainly got the audience enthused and even singing along to the chorus in the latter. A nice touch was the amount of time the Lleo spent at the front of the stage taking pictures and signing things in between the stage set up for the next act.

Sometimes, taking a chance and messaging an artist to see if they would like a support act is worth a punt. That’s exactly what happened with tonight’s second act Uninvited. A short set that was well received again by the masses, highlights included ‘Gonna Get Better’ and ‘Survivor’s Guilt’. A little less cathartic than Lleo’s set, but just as vibrant. The Glaswegian 4-piece gave a sprinkling of their 2023 debut E.P. ‘I Feel A Bit Weird’.

After a short stage swap-over, eventually it is time for RØRY to take to the stage. The lights barely fade before the band are all in place and RØRY strides on launching straight in to ‘Anti-Repressant’. The audience are on board from the off and in fine voice singing along as they segue straight in to ‘Baby Vendetta’.

‘Help Your Friends Get Sober’ arrives next and for the first of many times tonight RØRY seems completely flabbergasted by the reaction from the room. She addresses the audience many times tonight and each time feels completely heart-felt and genuine.

Having announced a UK tour in May 2023 which sold out almost instantly, this new set of dates followed the same pattern. Tonight, RØRY announces that after two excellent E.P’s, the next time we will hear from her will be her debut album. This sets the room off in sheer excitement, and if it’s along the same quality of the E.P.’s then it is set to be a debut album full of excitement and personal exploration.

Tracks from both releases, plus some stand alone tracks form the set tonight and there is no relying on covers. ‘Family Tree’ however, does contain a mini-snippet of ‘Haunted’ by Taylor Swift which to the untrained ear would have gone amiss. ‘Hurt Myself’, ‘Kill The Girl’, ‘Sadcore’ and ‘Psychological War’ are all deeply introspective tracks that reference different elements of her life and she constantly informs us that: “it hurts me just how much you guys relate to these songs. I felt at times I was all on my own, but now I am in pain from knowing how common these themes are”.

With tonight being Mother’s Day, RØRY addresses the date and explains that the next song is always emotional to sing live as it is about her own Mom who passed away when she was young, but tonight would be more emotional and to forgive her if the tears flow. What happens next is something you would expect in an arena, and one day it will happen for Roxanne. As she vocally powers through a gorgeous version of ‘Jesus & John Lennon’, she invites the audience to raise their phone lights. The scene is simply breathtaking. It felt like not a single person in the room was not involved. As the song draws to a close, RØRY turns her back to the view and breaks down momentarily.

After recomposing herself and declarations of love and support are shouted from the baying audience, she launches in to ‘Black Hearse’ and the final ‘My Chemical Romance’. The band walk off stage and as things get re-tuned for an encore, the opening track from her ‘Family Drama’ E.P. ‘An Introduction Love > Blood’ plays out. A slow burning drone sampled track accompanied by speeches about what family means to various people plays out.

‘The Apology I’ll Never Receive’ and ‘This Is A Song Not A Suicide Letter’ are played back to back. The smile on RØRY’s face is priceless as she takes it all in. ‘Uncomplicated’ completes the show tonight. The audience see it as one last shot to let loose and join in. Singing along, lifting the spirits in the room, comforting and ethereal all the same. With a powerful “thank you”, RØRY and band take a moment to take in the final scene and then exit the stage.

With a handful of festival dates across the Summer including ‘Slamdunk’ and ‘Download’, expect huge things from RØRY in the future. Revitalising her career at this moment in life is no easy feat, but she is making it look effortless and deserves everything and more, simply an incredible performance.


Editor & Photographer. Eclectic music tastes and fan of a good beat. Can usually be found at a Gig across the Country or at a Festival in the Summer - More than likely with a camera surgically attached to me.