Glastonbury Review: Romy

July 1, 2024

In the years after the XX made it big, Jamie XX received all the attention. It’s felt like its taken years for Romy to reach the same point, but last year’s fantastic album did so. After a DJ gets the song going, Romy comes to the stage to a tremendous ovation.

Some dance acts go for the big beat, banging you and drilling you, but Romy is far smoother than that. The tone, the tempo, it’s relaxing, reassuring, a warm hug of a sensation as the music swallows you into pleasurable hugs. Her voice is perfect for this, perhaps why she’s chosen this style for the moment, and yes, there’s a bit of the XX in what she’s doing. But she’s more intimate than they were, more relatable, even though we’re in a large tent on a farm.

The whole vibe is pulsingly sapphic. Not just the lyrics, a refreshing series of love and relationship songs from one woman about another, but in the way Romy gives a shout out to the “queers” in the audience. Judging from the crowds roaring cheer, this is clearly appointment viewing for much of the LGBT community here. A blinding rendition of Olive’s You’re Not Alone takes on a whole new and vastly more passionate and urgent meaning. “Are you with me,” she asks. We are. Later Romy sings Better Off Alone, and we know we’re all not.

As the set goes on, ever evolving, the colours we’re hearing are the same but the music stays fresh and always twisting into new forms. Romy’s voice is such an instrument, full of passion but comfort, it really connects straight into your soul.

The tempo starts to increase during the end, euphoria spreads through the crowd. At one point during the set, Romy says that after DJing here last year with some of her own music she dreamed of coming back and playing a set… well, dream very much accomplished.

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