“We never planned to do this. It happened by accident, of itself. We are still totally surprised by it.”
Here’s what happened . . .
Finn is a singer/songwriter from Dublin. In April 2019, he visited Rod in Shropshire. On the Friday evening, just for fun, he picked up a guitar called Uncle John, (the sunburst Suzuki in some of the photos here) and put one of Rod’s poems to music. The next day they both woke up with the song going through their heads. So, they decided they might as well have another bash. In a crazy 24-hour session they wrote 10 more songs. It felt like something magic had happened, like the songs had written themselves. So they decided to record them. The songs will be released as the album, Clearance Sale. Finn chose that title after Rod said this was like a clearance sale of his unused poems.
Because they were first written as verse, many of the songs are in pentameters, the building block of much poetry. Many are also narrative stories drawn from characters in Rod’s life. This gave Finn the freedom to write melodies and styles of song that he might never have written if he had started from the question: what shall I write a song about.
“Finn would look at one of my printed poems for a minute or so, then start strumming on Uncle John. Then he’d sing it. Once he’d got it more or less done, we would record it on my phone. Then we’d play it back and collapse laughing. We were just caught up in the joy of watching something being born.”
Forming O’Reilly & Vincent was such fun that they got together again in June at a friend’s house, with a piano. Finn wanted the new songs to be distinct from the ones that came out of Uncle John.
“We didn’t know if we would feel the magic again but we just wanted to have some fun together.”
In the next 6 hours Finn put tunes to another 8 of Rod’s lyrics. Those songs will be the start of a second album, Uturo is Breathing.