The Overtones have firmly established themselves as the number one vocal harmony group.
I admit, I’ve made fun in the past of the doo-wop style music. but since breaking in 2010 with their debut Good Ol’ Fashioned Love, the group has established their reputation as an act with the unique ability to deliver consistently uplifting music, and, being as it’s Christmas, and their tour seems to have become a staple fixture at the Royal Concert Hall, I thought it was high time I went along to see what the fuss is about, and in the hope of some good old Christmas classics.
Support came from a girl with Nottingham connections, Natasha Hemmings, who studied at Nottingham University. Her stunning voice, a cross between a breathy Kate Bush with the pitch and vocal range of Katherine Jenkins, is definitly one to look out for and was a great start to the evening.
After a short break, a James Bond style film showed of the quartet before they burst on to the the stage with a show of nifty footwork and showbiz winks and smiles to the audience. They clearly love their fans as much as the fans love them, waving and smiling to them frequently. I was too far away to tell if they had perfect teeth, but you know the kind of showbiz style grin I’m talking about.
Their loyal fan base are up and on their feet to the first number, You To Me Are Everything. The moves are choreographed to within an inch of their lives, with plenty of foot sliding, which they seem to enjoy, later admitting the stage was slippy. But it is their exquisitely crafted vocal harmonies which are undeniably impressive, It’s no wonder that they have sold over a million records and had five top five albums. Yes, it’s doo-wop, but it’s innocent and cheesily enjoyable.
Of course, amongst the merriment, the evening was tinged with sadness. Having risen to fame as a five-piece, in April this year the death of lead singer Timmy Matley was announced, who having survived cancer died in a terrible accident. The matter was dealt with respectfully and with love as they dedicated Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow to him, the last song they recorded as a five piece, followed by their version of the The Spice Girls, Goodbye. Slo-mo footage of Timmy played behind them, the segment ending with five hearts on the screen, the centre one green in recognition of Timmy’s Irish roots.
I heard mixed views from fans during the interval which followed. Some felt it just wasn’t the same without him and something was missing, others felt that the remaining quartet, although different, had adapted. Undeniably hard when it’s just your lead singer.
The second half continued with their versions of more classics, and of course, we got the Christmas numbers, Let it Snow, Driving Home For Christmas. There were also two original numbers, Stand Up and By My Side, from their new album.
Ending the set with Do You Love Me, the audiences reaction was a resounding yes, so of course there was an encore. The group returning for Save the Last Dance For Me and Love is in the Air.
The five hearts lit up the screen again behind them to end an uplifting and touching evening of entertainment.
By Tanya Louise
Disclaimer: My ticket was complimentary but my view-wop-be-do-wops are my own