Tommy Reilly is a young Glaswegian singer-songwriter with a big future. After SXSW he’ll play his first ever New York gig before heading out on tour with The Proclaimers in the UK. The other day Tommy spoke to Dear Scotland about why next week might be the best week of his life so far:

Dear Scotland: Where are you now and what did you do last night?
Tommy Reilly: I’m at a songwriter called Roddy Hart’s Mum and Dad’s house finishing my new album in their attic. It’s random but his old studio in his basement started to sink! Last night I collapsed in a heap too tired to even change the channel! I’ve just moved house and it’s been crazy…

Roddy Hart – Take me Home


DS: Paul McCartney said he got into music to avoid a job – and get lots of girls. What made you get into music?
Tommy Reilly: I guess initially I’d have to agree with Sir Paul. Although I’ve always been doing it even since I was really little. I got piano lessons from when I was 6 years old and I totally loved it. I still think even if it wasn’t working for me and no one would come see me I’d still be doing it everyday as that’s how it was for years. I love writing songs. Although it’s totally awesome not having to work in Tesco anymore (for now anyway) and getting out of Uni will probably come back and bite me in the ass one day but it’s great just now!

DS: Your heading out to Austin soon for SXSW, have you played there before and are there other places you’d like to visit?
Tommy Reilly: No I have never played in America! I’m so excited!! I can’t believe that I’m gonna spend a week in Texas and not only that but I’ll doing all my favouite stuff. When I’m not playing shows I like to go shows so this is probably gonna be the best week of my life. I’ve always wanted to travel around the States. I’m heading up for one show in New York after Texas which is somewhere I’ve always dreamt of visiting as well. I’ve got family all over the US but particularly Tampa so I’ve been to Florida a couple times but yeah this will be special.

Tommy Reilly – Grab Me By The Collar

The Fly – `Grab Me By The Collar` FlyTV In The Courtyard on MUZU

DS: Do you feel more Scottish when you are abroad, or do you adapt well to new places? Anything you miss about Scotland?
Tommy Reilly: Yeah definitely. I even notice it more when I’m in England but I think I’m gonna feel really Scottish in Texas haha. I like that though it’s really nice to be totally aware that you’re somewhere really different and really far away. It’s quite a nice sense of adventure. I think I’ve always been quite good at fitting in though…. I think being Scottish is great abroad everyone seems pretty interested in the place when you say that’s where your from. I don’t think anyone’s gonna have a clue what I’m singing at the shows though ha….

DS: What is your favourite song of yours to play right now?

Tommy Reilly: I’m really enjoying playing the new songs to people. I snuck down to England and did two shows with Frightened Rabbit a couple months ago to try some new stuff and it was such a buzz. I guess if I had to pick a favourite it would be one off the new record called “Take Me Away For The Night”.

DS: What will be your first words on stage at your SXSW showcase to an audience of fans and industry types?
Tommy Reilly: “Hello….. I’m Tommy Reilly.” I think.

Tommy Reilly – Give Me a Call


DS: How do people react when they discover that you are Scottish?
Tommy Reilly: They are always awfully nice to me! It’s great, I think people quite like Scotland. People often say they like the accent which makes me laugh.

DS: Are there any Scottish musicians, past or present, that have influenced you?
Tommy Reilly: Yes several. There’s loads of acts I totally love. Stuff like Idlewild, The Proclaimers, The Jesus and Mary Chain…. There’s loads. I think the music scene is amazingly strong in Glasgow just now. You’ve bands like Frightened Rabbit, We Were Promised Jetpacks, Twilight Sad, Three Blind Wolves all really taking off and making amazing music. The wealth of great bands in Glasgow has definitely made me work harder that’s for sure.

Idlewild – In Remote Part / Scottish Fiction


DS: So you have Austin and the New York lined up but what are your other plans for 2010?
Tommy Reilly: I’m hopefully gonna have the new album coming out in May so I’m hoping that’s in time for festival season again and then after the summer I wanna tour really hard and play as many shows as possible. I love having a record out so I’m gonna try and tour this one as much as I can.

DS: What should the Scottish national anthem be?
Tommy Reilly: I’m pretty happy with old flower of scotland to be honest….. It might be a bit of a shame to change it.

DS: What is the best after-show experience you’ve had?
Tommy Reilly: Probably when I headlined the T-break stage at T in the Park last year. I was in the best mood ever! Our tent got closed off as it was so busy and so I was pretty much in shock from the gig. So we went to sit in the artist village where all the huge stars were. Also there was a Tennents tap so you could pull your own pints and me and my best mate/roady (brown smoke) managed to blag our way up to the side of the main stage for Blur. We were standing next to Elbow watching the show. Best day ever.

Tommy Reilly at T in the Park


DS: And finally, many many years from now, when you finish your farewell world tour, is there one place to where you would like to retire?
Tommy Reilly: Definitely Scotland I think. However, I really haven’t seen enough of the world yet to decide. The sun would be nice for a change I guess….

Tommy Reilly – Mr Brightside


More from Tommy, including Proclaimers dates at

For ticket details on the New York gig follow the link below. For all Tommy’s South by Southwest shows see the separate article here.

Photo Credit: DonkeyJacket45