Banbury woman crashes past haters with song recorded by famous musicians

David Donley and Chelsea Reilly, who wrote a song together which helped her overcome her anxiety. Photo: Kriz-p Photography NNL-171017-092802001

A talented Banbury woman who suffered severe bullying has gone on to have her song recorded by famous musicians and released on vinyl.

Chelsea Reilly dropped out of college because of her anxiety but a youth worker put her in touch with session musician David Donley, who brought out her song-writing abilities.

The clear Crashing Up vinyl NNL-171017-092752001

They went on to compile the 22-year-old’s thoughts and feelings about the bullying into a song and David realised it was a great tune.

A one-off band made up of Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock, The Darkness drummer Ed Graham, David on guitar, and Evarane singer Amie Conradine recorded the song, called Crashing Up, and 500 copies are available to buy.

As well as turning Chelsea into a published songwriter, the experience has given her a huge confidence boost.

“I now actually believe in the fact I can write lyrics and do things I thought I couldn’t do before. I hope to go further with the music, my dream is to be a singer, that’s been my dream since I was little,” she said.

I now believe I can do things I thought I couldn’t do before.

Chelsea Reilly

Chelsea was bullied a lot at school and going to college four years ago just worsened her anxiety so she quit. Her mother forced her to go to the Banbury Early Intervention Hub – a sort-of youth club which helps children and young adults.

Chelsea said she always wanted to write songs but never knew how, so David told her to write whatever comes into her head on Post-it notes.

“I remember it so well, he went off to make a cup of tea and when he came back I had covered three tables,” she said.

“We went through them and David picked out two words, Crashing Up, that was how the title was born.”

David Donley brought the song-writing talent out of Chelsea with Post-it notes. Photo: Kriz-p Photography NNL-171017-092742001

Slowly they put together the lyrics from the Post-it notes and figured out the tune, leaving David surprised at just how good the song was.

“When we finished I thought, ‘this is really good’, as I would write songs with the kids as an exercise to bring them out of their shells but there was something about it that sounded really catchy,” he said.

David has toured the world as a session drummer but wanted to do something for himself and this was a perfect opportunity.

He got Ed, Glen and Amie to record it before it was put together by Jim Lowe, who has worked with Stereophonics, and John Davis, whose CV includes Led Zeppelin and Gorillaz.

Crashing Up's picture sleeve with (L-R) Glen Matlock on bass, David Donley on guitar, Amie Conradine on vocals and Ed Graham on drums

Only 500 copies were made as David wanted it to be a special, one-off record by The Venus Reaction. It is available as a 7” single on clear vinyl with a digital download code and the original recording by David and Chelsea.

David is blown away by Chelsea’s talent and by how she has gone from the shy girl he met four years ago to the confident woman she is now.

“Just to watch the confidence grow in Chelsea was amazing. I think she’s inspiring really as Crashing Up was her dream of how she was going to get through it,” he said.

Chelsea hopes her story will show other teenagers who may be bullied or depressed that they can overcome it and do whatever they put their mind to.

To buy the single, visit

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