Romy brings life-affirming rave euphoria to All Points East

The former vocalist and guitarist of The xx plays an exuberant, technicolour set that proves her new music is far from monochrome

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Romy at All Points East

Romy at All Points East / Credit: Sharon Lopez

A sweaty big top tent is the perfect setting to indulge in Romy’s uninhibited rave utopia.

Performing for a packed All Points East audience, thousands of carefree gig-goers ensure the artist’s London show – structured in two halves, moving from DJ set to live show – is among the Victoria Park festival’s busiest.

Casually stepping behind the decks, Romy’s name – written in large, gloopy, neon pink – luminates from the huge backing screen. As does her turquoise roll neck – a contrast to the all-black attire she formerly wore when playing guitar and singing as one-third of atmospheric indie pop trio The xx (alongside Oliver Sim and Jamie XX).

Equally vibrant are the Fred Again collaborator’s serotonin-boosting track selections, which included club-ready edits of noughties pop classics like Rihanna’s Only Girl (in the World) and a trance-y reimagining of Rihanna and Calvin Harris’ This Is What You Came For.

Romy at All Points East festival
Romy at All Points East festival / Credit: Sharon Lopez

Gradually teasing snippets of her own tracks (Love Her), Romy dips into nostalgic dance anthems such as Sonique’s 2000 hit It Feels So Good and Alice Deejay’s iconic 99 floor filler, Better Off Alone. This bridging of time pays homage to the nostalgic influences that inspired the sound of her solo project and upcoming album, Mid Air.

As dancers join her on stage, the emotional release of her acclaimed track Lifetime blends perfectly into Cher’s Believe.

Bouncing around behind the decks as pink strobes flashed over the crowd, Romy’s rave mode has been well and truly activated. The Brit’s selections also chimed perfectly with the current 90s trance and Euro dance revival.

While she’s undeniably a stellar selector, the show’s second half sees Romy take on more of a leading role as the performance transitioned into a live-DJ hybrid. Continuing the workout, but now from centre stage, a DJ arrives to deliver the beats while Romy sings at the microphone.

After first easing herself in, she gradually starts to move away from the mic stand and interacts with the dancers. It’s a delight to see Romy’s confidence grow in real time; making a heart sign with her hands, telling everyone she loves them; it’s clear how much this show means to her.

Absorbing the energy of those in the crowd who cheer, dance and jump along, when the titular message of Enjoy Your Life shows on screen, its positive ethos lifts everyone’s spirits even further. With a sea of arms reaching skywards, the empowering mantra is rapturously received by the audience who sing the chorus at the top of their lungs.

Similarly, Lights Out, which starts with just Romy’s voice and sombre keys, erupts when thousands in the audience unite to belt out the infectious chorus; the urgent lyrics plead “I never want it to end” as white strobes blind, conjuring the feeling of a spiritual awakening.

An unreleased song from her imminent debut album – her love letter to formative years of queer clubbing and 00s Euro-dance – has everyone clapping along to its simple foot-tapping beat. Closing the 60-minute workout with an emotive beacon of hope, Strong, she leaves the stage with the dancers to deafening cheers and applause.

After such a euphoric, technicolour performance, it’s easy to see how once-introverted Romy has ascended to become a shining light of the UK’s underground dance scene. A main character moment, indeed.

See Romy’s tour dates via


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