The Paul O'Sullivans - the band so close they share the same name

They have made an EP, feature in a Washington Post article and will appearance this coming weekend on American network ABC
The Paul O'Sullivans - the band so close they share the same name

The Paul O'Sullivan Band. They hope to someday play a concert in their home cities.

It's a Fab Four with a difference. Instead of John, Paul, Ringo and George, the Paul O'Sullivan Band are all called Paul. Paul O'Sullivan.

Normally, if someone with your name sent you a Facebook friend request, you couldn't hit the 'no thanks' button quick enough. 

But in 2016, when Baltimore, USA-based Paul O'Sullivan got in contact with Rotterdam Paul O'Sullivan - who was born and bred in the Lough in Cork City - it was just the start of a musical project that has spawned an EP, an article in the Washington Post and an appearance this coming weekend on American network ABC.

Paul O'Sullivan (Rotterdam Paul), who was born and bred in the Lough in Cork City

Paul O'Sullivan (Rotterdam Paul), who was born and bred in the Lough in Cork City

Cork Paul moved to Rotterdam in the late 80s and works in the Dutch city as a counsellor, but with Baltimore Paul, Pennsylvania Paul and Manchester Paul, the namesake four-piece are riding out the pandemic with transatlantic rehearsals and recording sessions.

Paul, 52, told the Irish Examiner that after the initial message from Baltimore Paul - written in Dutch after being put through Google Translate - his initial reaction was "what is going on here?"

Baltimore Paul wanted to start a band with his namesakes. "I thought he sounded like a great guy and sounded real," Cork Paul, 52, said. "I thought it was a great idea to start a band so I said let's do it."

Paul O'Sullivan (Baltimore Paul), who wanted to start a band with his namesakes. Photo: Lindsay Green

Paul O'Sullivan (Baltimore Paul), who wanted to start a band with his namesakes. Photo: Lindsay Green

Switching from Facebook to Skype, they wrote their first song, appropriately called Namesake. Rotterdam/Cork Paul, a father-of-one, writes lyrics, plays guitar and sings backing vocals. 

And while everyone else had to get used to interacting through the internet due to the arrival of Covid-19, the Pauls were ahead of the curve.

"When the pandemic started everybody was like, what are we going to do now? But we have contact between us through the internet and make music between the internet so it wasn't a big change for us."

Paul O'Sullivan (Pennsylvania Paul) has met Baltimore Paul.

Paul O'Sullivan (Pennsylvania Paul) has met Baltimore Paul.

All four members have yet to meet, although the two American Pauls did see each other last year. Cork Paul says the dream is to play a concert in their home cities - though after all this time away, that means Rotterdam rather than Cork.

He is hoping to get back to Leeside later this year, pandemic permitting, after missing a wedding trip back last year. In the meantime, the Paul O'Sullivan Band will continue to write and play. 

Paul O'Sullivan (Manchester Paul), who is used to making music with the rest of the Pauls over the internet.

Paul O'Sullivan (Manchester Paul), who is used to making music with the rest of the Pauls over the internet.

Paul revealed that last week they got a message from a Paula O'Sullivan.

"It's a very positive story," the man we're now calling Cork Paul said. "And we all need a bit of positivity at the moment."

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