Photos by Hannah McCallum



To celebrate having ROE grace the stage of The Oh Yeah Centre as part of our next GET ON IT gig, we thought we’d take a wee look back at the first time we met the young and esteemed Derry sing-songwriter. That day also happened to be the first time we had actually ever done a proper interview and photoshoot for a certain magazine that had just been an idea a few months ago.

It was back in September of 2020 during a brief relaxation of lockdown measures and the first time Hannah McCallum and I had ever really done more than exchange drunken pleasantries to each other - and now we had to share a road trip from Belfast to Derry, then function as a creative duo and back home again.

We played ROE the whole journey, just I had been doing for the previous week (for business and for pleasure), her 2020 EP of ‘Things We Don’t Talk About’. It’s a collection of poetically written songs that explore feelings of loneliness and relationship confusions, all to the sounds of tenderly powerful instrumentation. 

As we nervously flew down the A6, I thought about the back when I had the idea of doing a local music publication. It was originally  a notion that I should start getting myself informed on local art and music. I had lived in Manchester for the years leading up to the pandemic and had never really known about any sort of music ‘scene’, other than going to Shine as a winged-out youth.

That annoyed me as someone who loves music. So when the realisation that COVID was not some 2-week holiday I was having during the end of my last year of uni -and that I was to stay in Belfast - I wanted to document and celebrate the things I thought should be shouted about, not because it was local but because it was actually really fucking good.

So as a naive and fresh-faced designer who got a C in English for GCSE, I decided to become a writer and delve into the local music community, that I had pretty much zero knowledge of. ROE was one of the early people that made it look like the local scene was an exciting place to be,  especially to someone who wasn’t involved in the ‘scene’ at all. Plus, she demonstrated that good music is as good here as it is anywhere else in the world.

Scroll down our Instagram and you’ll see that one of the first things we ever posted was a primitive post about how much we loved ‘Things We Don’t Talk About’ and we still stand by every word.

Thankfully, ROE was the nicest introduction to music journalism we could have dreamed of. She showed us around Derry afterwards and even came for a pint in her favourite venue. She aslo just continued to release great quality tunes (and it’s great to see her getting back into playing live) so the fact she’s playing our next showcase night is magical. Have a wee read of the spreads from YEO1 back from 2020 and grab a ticket for the next gig if you fancy it!