Had there been no other reason for Torrance-raised troubadour and winner of Channel 4’s range Unsigned Tommy Reilly to play here, his nugget of information that family pop troupe Hanson – whom he’s supported – have a craft beer all their own would be enough. What’s more, it’s named Mmmhops in honour of their one big hit.
Tommy Reilly – Electric Circus, Edinburgh
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Fortunately, there was far more going on here than just a bit of background colour on the brewing habits of the possibly rich and at one point famous, although such banter did stand somewhat at odds with the reflective-verging-on-downbeat style honed by 24-year-old Reilly through his hour and a bit set, most of it solo on guitar or piano, with a brief appearance from support act and new writing partner Ryan Joseph Burns towards the end.
“I’m building on a theme of misery,” joked Reilly as I’ve Just Woken Up bled into Old Habits Die Hard, both muted semi-acoustic numbers which seemed designed to reflect the travails of a talented and hardworking songwriter whose career is not currently at a peak.
Playing to a couple of tables surrounded by obviously devout fans and a crowd of half-interested karaoke-goers in Christmas jumpers, the show was both a cautionary tale to young artists who believe 15 minutes of fame doesn’t wear off, and a decidedly edifying testimony to Reilly’s considerable and heartfelt talents. Whether showing off a repertoire which included the impudent 6 Billion People or covering Shakin’ Stevens’ Merry Christmas Everyone, they remain deserving of a wider audience.