Arbroath-born singer heading home from USA

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AN ARBROATH singer/songwriter who has made a name for herself in the United States of America is coming home in a few weeks to perform in her home town.

Rebecca Connelly got into the music business after a psychic in Scotland told her that her deceased grandfather was sending her a message from the after-life to do it. At the time, she was studying at Strathclyde University to be a geography teacher after attending St Thomas Primary and then Arbroath Academy.

She had already realised that she was not made for a nine to five job, and performed in Scotland for a while.

Tutties Neuk was one of the venues she regularly performed at and she won the inaugural ‘Cliffy’s Got Talent’ contest before performing in local pantomimes.

Rebecca moved to California five years ago, although her mother, Molly Connelly, still lives in Arbroath, while her sister Gillian owns Hope Hair and Beauty.

Since then, she has been doing solo gigs with a variety of cover bands throughout Southern California. Most recently, she has been performing at the Riviera Resort and Spa in Palm Springs, the Cork Tree in Palm Desert and Rendezvous in the Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa in Rancho Mirage.

But she got lonely as a solo artist and has formed a band called ‘Dolalay’, which, of course, in this country means “totally off your rocker.”

Dolalay is an indie/rock/pop band that she put together in the past year to give her a regular ‘family’ to work with.

It has performed at The Date Shed, Indio, one of the few local venues that features indie rock, a diverse genre of ‘underground’ music that grew out of the 1980s grunge and punk bands.

In addition to Rebecca on lead vocals, guitar and keyboard, the band members include Todd Fowler, Connelly’s partner, on percussion, Ernie Escalera on bass and Martin Barrera on lead guitar.

Rebecca is now planning to take the band on a tour of Scotland. The first gig is scheduled for April 13 at Arbroath’s Millgate Bar. The tour, which will last until April 28, will also take the band to venues in Inverness, Stirling and the Isle of Skye.

Rebecca said: “I’m looking forward to the Isle of Skye concert. I’ve never been there and the promoter has arranged for radio play of our music and a 300-seat performance venue.”

The tour will close with a performance at Coast Nightclub on Saturday, April 28.

The band is also working on an EP of their music with producer Justin Gariano and hopes to get an album out in 2012.

“We’ve had a great response to our new material,” Rebecca revealed.

She will be heading for Scotland in early March for the wedding of her sister and the band will follow in time for the April 13 kick-off of the tour.

Rebecca continued: “I’ve only been home once in five years, and I’m looking forward to reconnecting with family and friends. I’ll probably hang out there for a while after the tour.”

She also wants to thank her grandad for sending the message to her to “be passionate about my craft and to live my dreams.”

You can sample Rebecca and Dolalay on Facebook at or on You Tube at and search for Dolalay.