Label ARTMusic

Ditributor – Proper Distribution

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email –

Born Liverpool, England. Big family,surrounded by all kinds of music.
Dad the youngest of 15 kids. Mum one of nine. John has three older sisters.
Grew up wearing their cast offs  (not really)


  •Joined band (FORCE!!!!!) at 16. Mainly rock and Bowie covers.

  •Two years later moved to Sheffield. Joined Sheffield synth/pop outfit
MINISTERS OF INSPIRATION built up big, mainly female following and won
British and International Song award under an assumed name cos they hated the song.


•Realised The Ministers were not the ideal outlet for his emerging song writing talents so together with Bass player Andy Needham hand picked musicians to form BOY ON A DOLPHIN.

•Built up large enthusiastic following and built reputation as a strong lyricist, toured with their favourite band, COLOR BLIND JAMES EXPERIENCE. Big influence on John
•Early 90’s John went to Juno Awards in Vancouver. Returned to UK and received a call from manager/agent SAM FELDMAN (Dianna Krall, Joni Mitchell, The Cheiftains, Elvis Costello) He was ecstatic about John’s music. He flew to UK, saw the band live and took them to Vancouver where there was soon a huge buzz about them and they eventually signed for Atlantic in the US.


•Recorded their debut album WORDS INSIDE partly in Sheffield and partly in Bryan Adams house in West Vancouver. Produced by Kevin Bacon & Jon Quarmby

•Released WORDS INSIDE. Rolling Stone describing it as delivering one exquisite pop gem after another” Toured relentlessly with sales peaking after every area visited especially The West Coast and Colorado. Hits also followed in South Africa without the band touring there. John’s songs now being played in movies such as TOKYO COWBOY and TV shows such as Dawson’s Creek and True North etc. There followed a Big Coup at Atlantic with a major personnel shuffle which led to some confusion and the band returned to UK until the dust settled. JOHN STAYED IN VANCOUVER.


He used the time to co write with some of the greatest writers      around such as Jim Valance and Robbie Buchanan in LA and started to really concentrate on developing his writing style. At this time he played his first solo shows. Guitar and vocal, showcasing his new songs, backed up with some well-known Dolphin songs.


John returned to the UK to record his new material and set up his own Independent label. Flipper Music with an investor and recorded the album Tea Cozy Hat. Launched it at Sheffield city Hall and toured with Ray Davies (Kinks) John was supposed to play 1 night but Davies watched him from the wings and asked him to do the rest of the tour, finishing with a sold out show at the Albert Hall (an ambition fulfilled)


Boy on a Dolphin regrouped (is that what groups do?) with a sell out show at Sheffield City Hall and some festival gigs and John continued to play intimate solo shows in between.


TEA COZY HAT continued to sell especially online as the word spread that it was by ‘the voice of Boy on a Dolphin’ as well as new buyers from all over the world. Dolphin release BARKERS POOL TO THUNDER BAY. Lots of activity on iTunes.


2007 John flies to Toronto to write with Canadian pianist/writer Lewis Nitikman. An incredible flurry of creativity ensues and Lewis flies to the UK to continue. John is asked to perform and be musical Director for a charity concert with Paul Carrack, Def Leppard and other Sheffield artists. He uses this chance to showcase some of the new songs and receives an unbelievably positive reaction.


John jointly forms label ART Music begins recording the new album at Yellow Arch studios in Sheffield with Lewis Nitikman on piano, and  Richard Hawley’s  drummer, bass player and guitarist. Also  some tracks at Steve Beighton’s studio (Paul Carracks sax player)


John tests out the new songs in stripped down shows with him on guitar, percussion and vocal and Lewis Nitikman on piano. People return again and again and begin to sing songs that they have only heard live. The concerts are a mixture of deep emotion and banter between Reilly and Nitikman. A real pair of opposites!


The 16 album tracks are recorded, mixed and mastered and the team choose DEEP and BLUE as the 1st single. They do a radio edit and the song is now 03.35.

Reilly and Nitikman are commissioned to write the closing song for  the movie TREASURE GUARDS starring Anna Friel, due for release June 2011.

  John is set to release  ‘Not Alone’ as a single in  March 2011 with a late May slot being set for the album release










‘Let the rain come down, wash the tears away

Down a winding river, into the bay

Out to the seas of Mother Earth

Salt-water tears from a troubled world

You’re not alone’


Liverpool born and now Sheffield’s adopted son John Reilly steps aside as frontman with Atlantic Recording Artists BOY  ON A DOLPHIN who staked their claim in The US and Canada from the mid 90’s onwards and releases a breathtaking song from his stunning solo album which is due for release in May 2011 along with a UK tour and festival dates. Reilly’s lyrics are always injected straight into the heart and soul of the individual. ‘Nothing you fear is here to stay’

NOT ALONE was co written in an incredibly creative period in Toronto with pianist and composer Lewis Nitikman, who John brought to the UK to work on the whole album and it features musicians from the bands of Sheffield’s Richard Hawley and Paul Carrack.


NOT ALONE is song of breathtaking beauty and depth.

From the opening line, Reilly’s emotive voice opens the door into your world and suddenly there is just you and him.

NOT ALONE becomes a friend, a hand to hold and an ally in times of trouble. The journey builds in intensity as piano, strings and electric guitars ride along Reilly’s ever increasing wave of emotion leading to the unforgettable theme punched out on piano.

Not Alone stands up as a reminder that beautifully crafted song writing is alive and well and that an individual song can still make a difference.




The Song: DEEP and BLUE 




Label: ART Music


Musicians: John Reilly (Lead and backing vocals & acoustic          

                      Guitar) Lewis Nitikman (Piano and Rhodes) Colin

                      Eliot (Percussion, Bass and strings) Shez

                      Sheridan (Acoustic and Lap-Steel guitar)

Publisher:   (JRMP)


DEEP and BLUE is the debut single from the forthcoming album by JOHN REILLY the Liverpool born and Sheffield based singer songwriter known previously as the voice and songwriter of BOY ON A DOLPHIN who’s album WORDS INSIDE was a huge success  in the US and Canada in the mid and late 90’s.


DEEP and BLUE is a cool, melodic and hypnotic song with a cinematic and spiritual aura .  Drums and live percussion loops are layered with the evocative playing of Vancouver pianist Lewis Nitikman and the warm atmospheric lap steel guitar of Shez Sheridan (Richard Hawley’s guitarist) They glide and meander along with Reilly’s rolling acoustic guitar and intimate, personal vocal.

DEEP and BLUE melts and seeps into the soul and in an age of celebrity and gloss, Reilly reinforces the truth that the song is God and not the artist. If ever a song made you feel like it was written for you and sung for you alone. This is it.

DEEP and BLUE is a timeless message filled with pain, hope and comfort set in a dream world where love isn’t candy coated but real, dignified, deep and blue.



A moments calm

Hands together palm to palm

The damage is done

Yet still the clouds evade the sun.

Waves crash land

Erasing our names from the sand

Deep and blue

I believe in you.




If someday

The embers of your dreams turn grey

And with your dreams,

all the ashes blow away.

Know for sure

No one could have loved you more

Deep and true

I believe in you.


Right now these 4 walls alive

Surround me and they see the truth

And when the proof’s inside

There is nowhere left to hide.


I’ll be there

Floating with your dreams in the air

And you’ll know it’s true

I believe in you.

When my journey is through

I’ll still believe in you

Deep and blue……


(Reiily lyrics)





Deep and Blue….an intensley bright gem. Simple, genuine, melodic. Deep and Blue fills your heart with a sense of peace and warmth. A soothing pleasure that you may well get addicted to.


Reilly oozes an intimate vocal that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Craig Armstrong film score


The vocals encompass the smoothness of Buble combined with the convincing sincerety of the newly revised Take That.


What Reilly offers is actually something of a masterclass in it’s genre





John Reilly Interview – Riff


You’ve been successful with your previous bands; what would represent success going solo?


A. I do it to do it. I do it because I have to do it for me These songs were in my head and had to come out or I would explode. Success is my songs making a difference and moving some people. Some people – Great. Lots of people –Greater. In the end it’s not something I think about.  I’m a song writer and live performer. I couldn’t  market my way out of a paper bag. That’s what other people do better than me.


Sheffield is one of the best places for live music, do you think this has helped your career?


No.  Boy on a dolphin built our fan base outside of the recognised Sheffield scene, putting on gigs in less fashionable venues and charging on the door. We were never part of the ‘clique’ I’m shit at playing that game and don’t like the people who do. They pick up and drop bands like they are this weeks fashionable handbags and I like to think I would be the first to shout out ‘The King is in the altogether!’

I was signed to management in Canada and to Atlantic in the US based on our songs and how we played live, while back in Sheffield at that time you had to have the right haircut to get a deal.


At what point in your life did you realise that being a musician is what you wanted to do?


When I heard ‘BLUE’ by Joni Mitchell. What else could anyone possibly want to do with their life after hearing that album?


When you play gigs do you always get a good reception?


Yes! Fantastic 99% of the time. Now and again it doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, it’s just a crap venue or a weird situation or shit happens!

It’s natural that some people may not like or appreciate the music you make; how would you try to appeal to that audience?


My cards are on the table. Content over style! Melody melody melody. Lyrics that are real and have depth and or wit. Musicians that can play and feel intuitively. I believe in THE SONG. There are great songs in every genre of music and crap songs in every genre of music. Real music fans will recognize that fact but understandably will have their favourite genre. Then there are people (and there are lots of these fuckers) who will only listen to one! It’s their thing and it doesn’t matter how good or crap as long as ticks the box!

So they will never get what I do.  I find it really satisfying when someone says ‘that’s not the kind of music i’m generally into but I really enjoyed it’ They are generally wearing a Metallica or ACDC t shirt so it doesn’t surprise me because they are both great bands but just different to what I do. A great song is a great song………end of!



What have you been doing to try expanding your fan base?


I’m crap at that too! Always have been. I write ‘em and play ‘em.



You have an album due out next year, what can we expect from it?


Something that I am very proud of.  An album where every song stands alone. An album that does not compromise.  An album that if you are open enough to surrender to it will take you to places that will move you, make you think and maybe even hurt you. An album where the song is God – not the artist.



Deep And Blue is your debut solo single, how has the feedback been?


It’s too early to say. I think it’s a good song for me to get my foot in the door as a solo artist. I believe it has integrity, weight and an understated charm and I know it moves people when I play it live. It is a brave choice as a first single or probably I’m niaive and should have chosen a song that shouts louder. What do you think?



Who are your main inspirations?


The ingrained memory of great music surrounding me as a child. The beautiful English language. Some of the stunning musicians I am lucky to meet and perform with. The energy and encouragement I get from my audience. People I can look in the eye and trust.



When you began your career did you ever think you would get as far as you

have today?


Ambition is not my forte’ I can’t see past the end of my nose I’m afraid.



You play Liverpool on 1st December; what are you expecting from the show?


My gig in Liverpool on 1st of December is a low key affair. A chance to play for family and friends in a small but cool venue in town (Parr st Studios – Club 3345)  it will be followed by a bigger show in February to launch the 2nd single.



What else can we expect from you in the New Year?


Another single followed by the album. Lots of live dates around the country and in The US and Canada and hopefully a few more people listening to my songs.


Has an official date been set for the album release?


We are looking at Mid to late April



What are the 3 best things about being a musician?


Meeting interesting, unusual, diverse people.





What are the 3 worst things about being a musician?


Meeting bullshiters,

 money grabbers

 and hanging around for hours waiting to play.



What is the best compliment you have been given?


Sean Connery said he was a real fan! That will do for me.



What is the worst insult you have been given?


A journalist asked me how long I have supported Liverpool FC



What is the most embarrassing thing to happen to you on tour?


Introduced my Band Boy on a Dolphin as The Acoustic Angels (my other band)

In front of 2,500 people. They were pissed off!

I once ran across stage, slipped and sent a full set of congas flying.  I looked out from my prone position to see the 2 girls from The Human League in the audience pissing themselves laughing.



What has been your best experience during a live show, and what has been your worst?


I’ve had so many fantastic experiences but I suppose walking out onto the stage, just me and a guitar in front of a packed Albert Hall.

And worst………..Losing my voice. It has only happened once thankfully.



Any messages you would like to give to the readers?


Be open to different artists and music. Let your own heart make the choice not the magazine you are reading or the cynical dj or tv presenter.  A brilliant song comes in many guises. Keep in touch. The train is leaving soon and you’re welcome on board.

Oh yes and……….




John Reilly – The Beat Surrender Interview



Let’s get the important stuff out of the way first.... You’re an must have been revelling in Liverpool’s struggles recently and especially the derby win?


I watched the win on Sky at the venue in Cornwall just before I went on stage with my band Acoustic Angels and suffice to say I sang with a smile on my face. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t glean a certain satisfaction from their current problems but they’ll bounce back. They always do!



You were part of a large family growing up with three older sisters, has that had any influence on your musical career and were any of your family musical?


Each of my 3 sisters had widely different tastes in music so I was surrounded by an eclectic mix of Motown, Joni Mitchell, Gilbert O’Sullivan, and America. My Dad was into Frank, Nat King Cole and Jack Jones so I was introduced to well crafted songs where melody and lyrics where to the fore. The closest thing to a musician in my family was my grandad who played the spoons in various pubs on ‘Scotty road’ in Liverpool.



This isn’t your first foray into the brilliant yet murky world of music; does it feel any different, even with all your experience, stepping out on your own rather than with a band?


This is totally different for many reasons. Performing and being in a band is often about compromise because the collective objective has to be taken into account if the band is to move forward. On stage you definitely feel part of a team and you share the highs and lows, picking each other up when individuals are having a hard time. Certainly things where a bit easier with Boy on a Dolphin being signed to Atlantic in The US. We were well looked after and pampered to a certain extent which in the long run can be a bad thing. As a solo artist I still have a couple of people to help me but I stand and fall alone in the long run. The best part is that lyrically in particular the songs are closer to me. The name John Reilly is a new name to break as I have always been part of a band so there is a lot of work to do although the fan base from my 2 bands have been fantastic in their support. From a live perspective I find the solo performances more satisfying and when I get to perform with my co writer for many songs on the forthcoming album, Lewis Nitikman I really love bouncing off him and talking to the audience about our off stage exploits.


Are any of your previous bands still ongoing concerns or are you sticking to the solo work now moving forward?


My solo career is my top priority at the moment although I see no reason why Boy on a Dolphin should not give our passionate and incredibly loyal following a chance to hear their favourite songs every now and again. In fact 2,500 of them will cram into Sheffield City Hall to see us on December 11th. My other band The Acoustic Angels is made up of all the best session players and song writers in the Sheffield area and it’s a great outlet for all of us outside of our main projects to perform without any pressure. Musicians should be playing all the time. Not sitting on their arses waiting for the next tour or recording project, so I think it’s healthy to keep your chops up by playing and singing with the best. That said my 2011 diary is prioritising promotion for my next single and I’m really excited about the album release. It’s going to be really hard to choose an order for the new album, as I believe that all the songs are really strong.



You have a new single out, can you tell us a bit more about Deep And Blue please...


I am really proud of this song. I feel it is hypnotic, melodic and has depth. It’s hard to talk about your own songs. I co wrote it with Lewis in Toronto during a very creative period and lyrically I know it is working in opening peoples minds to the subject matter which I will leave to the imagination but judged on the emails I am receiving, many people know where I’m coming from. It is a brave choice as first single from our perspective as it relies on people listening if you know what I mean and if the music industry and radio in particular has lost the desire to do that then we are all fucked. I will not allow myself to believe that is so but when I turn on my radio I sometimes wonder. I feel for dj’s who have no power over what they play. It must be very frustrating for them. The single has been edited to 3 mins 34 secs. A full minute less than the original length and structurally it has helped although is one line that had to be sacrificed which I still grieve for slightly. We’ll probably have the full version as a bonus track on the album or an EP in the future.



The single is followed by a full length album in 2011, can you tell us about some of the themes that are covered on the album and also the writing and recording process that went into making it...

Some of the songs I wrote alone, XL5, Concrete Oceans, Level 5 etc but I have a great writing partnership with Vancouver based Lewis Nitikman. He is a fantastic pianist and I love to write to piano chord progressions. We had a writing session in Toronto, which was very fruitful, and then I brought him over to Sheffield where we continued to write and then I got the budget through from Indie label Art Music to start recording. I chose Axis and Yellow Arch recording studios in Sheffield and the core musicians I chose were mainly Lewis, myself and Colin Eliot Shez Sheridan and Dean Beresford, all of Richard Hawley’s band. I wanted to work with different people to who I work with generally because I didn’t want people to necessarily play to what they thought I would want based on experiences of working with me regularly.

I don’t want to talk about themes. I believe people make a song their own and I know what the songs mean to me but I’m not going to try to influence the experience of discovering a new song.

What I can say is that for me a song should leave a mark and move someone, make him or her think. If not then what have you got?  Like many people, certain songs are an indelible marker to stages of my life. I have been lucky enough to know that I have done that to people with various songs I have written for Boy on a Dolphin and I know if this album gets to as many people as we hope then the same will happen. It is the greatest reward for a songwriter.



I believe UK dates are being planned as well, what can people expect from these dates?


There will be a mixture of UK dates in the New Year. Some with just myself and Lewis. Intimate, acoustic shows with lots of banter and chat with the audience about songs and our experiences. I absolutely love these gigs. For bigger shows we’ll add a couple of ‘cats’ to the mix and we are hoping for some festival dates to be confirmed. All will be revealed on the website, There will also be some Canadian and US gigs in the summer.


Finally, who else are you liking that you’ve heard recently?


Julian Jones, Helen Boulding, Richard Hawley.


And rediscovering?

Colorblind James Experience, New Radicals, Mott the Hoople.






JOHN REILLY – Greystones Nov 24th


Sheffield’s adopted son, John Reilly, of Boy on a Dolphin and Acoustic Angels, thrilled a bumper home crowd in the Back Room at the Greystones with songs from his new solo project and a few old favourites. Superbly accompanied by Canadian pianist Lewis Nitikman he delivered a typically melodic set with great tunes and lyrics sung from the heart. There is a sense in which being paired down to a duo brings the songs into an even greater focus and this approach worked well within the intimate confines of the venue. Highlights included the first ever single solo, Deep and Blue, a fitting title for a life long Evertonian. The singer songwriter also referenced his home city of Liverpool in a soulful performance of Concrete Oceans. Tonight’s show demonstrated that John Reilly has huge potential as a solo performer, keep an eye open for a  new solo album due in May 2011.


Simon Hughes