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Tommy Reilly

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  • Years Active: 2000s

Albums

Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

Glaswegian singer/songwriter Tommy Reilly first entered the public consciousness when he won Channel 4’s talent show Orange UnsignedAct in January 2009. Reilly's solo acoustic ballads immediately impressed most of the show’s judges, to the extent that A&M Records later said they would have signed him regardless of whether he had won the competition or not. Reilly usually only performed as a solo act, preferring the freedom it gave him on-stage, and was a multi-instrumentalist, able to play guitar, piano, and drums extremely well. Many of his songs dealt with the themes of rejection or isolation, as Reilly himself said "It's not like I've had loads of girlfriends -- but there's lots of girls I'd like to have gone out with." After winning UnsignedAct, Reilly was signed to A&M Records, but then moved to Euphonios after A&M ended their contract following the release of his debut album.

When Tommy Reilly entered Orange UnsignedAct in 2008, he almost didn’t make it past the open audition stage, with Radio One presenter Jo Wiley believing that he may not have had enough experience as a performer. However, he overcame this initial stumble and ended up on the show’s tour, regularly impressing the judges, Lauren Laverne, Alex James, and A&M's Simon Gavin. Reilly's radical reworking of the Killers' "Mr. Brightside" even brought Blur bassist James to tears. After winning the competition, Reilly recorded his debut single, "Gimme a Call," with ex-Suede guitarist and Libertines producer Bernard Butler. Butler was hugely impressed by Reilly's musical ability and versatility during their time in the studio, saying "he was just a natural at so many things" and "we had an instant trust and a bond."

Although "Gimme a Call" entered the charts at the surprisingly high position of number 14, Reilly's debut album, Words on the Floor, did not prove to be a commercial hit and peaked at number 79 in the album charts, leading to his contract termination with A&M and signing with Euphonios. Reilly toured throughout the summer of 2009, headlining a stage at the T in the Park festival in Scotland, which had been his dream since he was a teenager, as well as playing the Lovebox and Summer Sundae festivals. His first album for Euphonios was recorded in his parents' house and was produced by Scottish singer/songwriter Roddy Hart, who had previously supported Reilly on tour. After the release of Hello! I’m Tommy Reilly in June 2010, Reilly went on tour in support of both Justin Currie and the Proclaimers, and then headlined his own national tour in September 2010.