A gig on a Monday; love them or hate them, it at least makes Monday more exciting. The rain began to drizzle as I got into my car and I once again was reminded that I don’t know where my umbrella is. Then I had a security guard at the venue door having some sort of power trip. Luckily, I can put my troubles behind me and instead listen to someone else’s- tonight, we’re seeing the increasingly popular RøRY in Nottingham.

LLEO came on stage with a casual aura that made them feel familiar and approachable. Their calmness when talking to the crowd made it feel more personable and made you intrigued to hear what they would sound like, especially when they introduced a song about ADHD or a song that was about “being fuckin sad”. The track, “I Hope KARMA”, in particular, has a vibe live and introduces their “bipolar pop”.

LLEO’s voice was soft and gentle. I wasn’t sure what to expect exactly, but the punk aesthetic and outgoingness of the audience made me think we’d see someone with music similar to Hot Milk. Instead, though, the music is like a mash-up of emo and pop. It’s a refreshing take on a genre that has been dead for a few years. Surprisingly, this was LLEO’s first time playing in Nottingham. It won’t be the last, however, as the way I could see people bobbing and being enthralled- LLEO was definitely on track to be gaining a few fans tonight.

Throughout the set, I could’ve sworn I could hear a few voices singing the lyrics back to the singer, but they were hiding somewhere amongst the crowd where I honestly couldn’t tell if it was happening or if I was finally losing my remaining sanity. The crowd were vibing with her, whether they were long-time fans or just came early. The way LLEO addressed the crowd like there were only 5 people in the room, had people going along with everything they said. They would laugh at the casualness and be wooing after every song finished. LLEO ended the set encouraging people to come see them hanging around.



Uninvited performance with all members playing a physical instrument. I always have a sense of anxiety wondering if these types of bands will be able to hold the attention of the audience, because they’re pretty much stuck in their stations. Despite having this limitation them, the band did a great job at interacting with the audience and even when there seemed to be some sort of problem involving the drum kit, one of the vocalists just casually spoke to the audience, masking the issue.

The lights for this band seemed to take away from the stage presence. The lights would just be interchanging between 3 colours for the entirety of the set, at points it didn’t even seem like it was attempted to be timed to the music. When a band doesn’t have as much space to move, whether it’s due to the amount of members or in this case 2 singers who both play guitar- there needs to be an element on stage to keep the crowd engaged. The lights just seemed to make the stage feel simple. It’s just another set suffering from the lack of lighting techs in the industry and available at local venues.

The musicality of the band is great. The instrumentals perfectly hugged the vocals, which were stable and strong throughout for both vocalists. The drummer had my attention a lot of the time, they would constantly be smiling and moving their head to the beat- it’s such a shame they’re usually delegated to the back of the stage. The amount of drummers I wish I could have a separate screen just so I could see their energy during a set…

It’s great seeing a lineup that have a lot in common in terms of what they stand for. RøRY’s team carefully chose the right support to engage the audience before the big headliner. The Uninvited dedicated their song “Survivor’s Guilt” to LLEO, saying LLEO was such a big fan of the song, that they put it in just for them. It’s nice seeing a space embrace those of any sexuality or identity, regardless of what the stereotypes of the music tell them to be.

I always like to take a look around at what the fans of the headliner also listen to via the merch they wear. One that caught my eye, not even a band, was a Death Note shirt…that was a blast from the past. I saw shirts of Steel Panther, The Ramones and The Raytons. Quite the range of fans. I’m not sure if the diverse range of fans here (ranging in ages and genders) is the reason security seemed to be tight, but it was quite daunting seeing security with video cameras attached to them.



The lights dimmed and on came RØRY. Immediately a punk sound with pop and emo inspirations was introduced. The stage presence RØRY emulated was something praiseworthy and admirable. Even if you aren’t a fan of their music or you’re new to them, you can’t help but be enthralled by their energy and charisma. The other members of the band too (I’ll admit, I’m unsure if the instrumentalists are permanent parts of the band or if they’re tour only), had the same amount of energy as our singer. One guitarist in particular kept walking to the other side of the stage and interacting with the others. Both would then be jamming with the drummer. It was great to see such synergy on stage.

Every band tonight had a story to tell. Each writing from their own experiences and bottling the emotions into a lyric. The journey of RØRY is one that was tumultuous but now here they are. A room full of people screaming the lyrics right back at the vocalist. The fans the vocalist could make out beyond the lights gained a smile and point. The smile worn the entire set showed just how much they enjoyed being on that stage, despite some of the stories being tragic. It’s empowering to see, and I can see why the audience is people from all walks of life.

When RØRY first came on, the lights were pretty much backlit and blue. For a second I thought, “Ah damn.” But…thank god, the lights then came alive midway through the song. Would the stage have benefited from a bit more thought behind lighting changes- sure? During drops the lights would just stay static then it’s like someone remembered to press the “make white lights go a bit crazy” button after the chorus already hit. The fact the band weren’t restricted to one space, however, meant that the energy the lights lacked, they filled in.

The crowd was singing the loudest I’d heard in a while. Not surprising for a sold-out crowd. After every song the crowd let out the loudest “WOO”, even when the singer was just talking about how their water was opened by another band member or that they’re almost 40. The vocalist has such a great demeanour when it comes to addressing the crowd, knowing the topics of the songs and the issues that they face as an older “new” artist. They couldn’t find their place in the industry so dubbed the genre, “score”. A fitting name for the artists tonight. I could see people especially screaming the lyrics during the song “Hurt Myself”.

This tour sees some of the most real and non-sugar coating artists of modern alt-pop. Listening to music written by and for people going through the toughest moments has a therapeutic effect. RØRY released their latest album “Family Drama”, last year. To great reception from new and old fans, with a successful tour to follow. This tour will end around mid-March but it won’t be the last we see of RØRY, as they’ll be heading to Download in Summer.

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