Live Review: Ryan O’Reilly- Olso, London- 23 / 10 / 14

Ryan O’Reilly treated an attentive yet slightly rowdy audience at Oslo in Hackney with a varied set of pop-americana on this wet Thursday night, with a big band sound and at times hushed solo acoustic intimacy.


Favourites from his new EP ‘Northern Lights’ (out now) like “Evil Quarter Mile” went down well, with Ryans voice and sound coming somewhere between Fionn Regan, Iain Archer and Frank Turner with a soft irish style dilection and some rousing stomping string-slinging tracks. Gorgeous harmonies and nostalgic pedal steel sounds and some shuffling brushed drumming in places showed O’Reilly’s country influences. However his tone and atmospheres and also a story from him on stage about his experiences with the Nashville scene seem to put him in somewhere of a more indie-americana world, at home around the likes of Mojave 3 and perhaps Red House Painters on their ‘Songs For A Blue Guitar’ record, yet with a bit more pop-engaging radio friendliness.

A solo track about the world of social media may of taken away from the indie-Americana- love loss tortured poet ‘authenticity’ of a guy who has spent years busking for some people but then again added a whole other dimension of ‘authenticity’ to what he is doing in regards to romanticism as a modern day teller of songs and stories. It was an enjoyable set and good sound. This 28 year old is making waves in Scandinavia and Germany, but it’s unsure yet where he will fit in England- could he have a big love song like Passenger?, could he be more politically inspired like Frank Turner?, could he build enough of a cult legion of fans like Mojave 3? or all of these? there’s possibilities and he has the talent and he loves performing which comes across on stage with sincerity.

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