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REVIEW: The Overtones Christmas Party 2019 – Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

It has become a sign that the festive season is approaching when The Overtones land in town. It’s been a decade since they burst on the scene and they’ve honed their craft over the years, with five top 10 albums, nine sold out UK tours and despite a rough few years personally, they manage to deliver the perfect pre-Christmas celebration.

It is, as always a mix of classic golden oldies, album favourites and a few less expected tracks, but most of all it’s a spirit-lifting evening where you can dance the night and your troubles away. There’s a warmth to each member of the band, they genuinely look as if their having a ball, and new member Jay James has seamlessly transitioned into the gap left by the death of Timmy Matley and the departure to pastures new of the much-loved bass vocalist Lachie Chapman.

Their greatest gift as an act is the ability to pick their set list, it’s all killer, no filler. These classic tunes are floor fillers, instantly recognisable, the audience are on their feet and singing along from the first few bars. Among many highlights, some standouts are their joyous version of Earth Wind & Fire’s September, Womack and Womack’s Teardrops, Dion’s Runaround Sue and old favourite Gimme Just a Little More Time from The Chairmen of the Board. There’s also a freshly arranged version of Walking in the Air, the contemporary twist has breathed new life into a twee festive tune.

The Overtones are a timeless band whose modern-vintage style has wide appeal, but it’s their endearing personalities, effort and energy, love of what they do and devotion to their fans that stands them head and shoulders above their contemporaries. Their ability to fill auditoriums up and down the country, proves that there’s still a place for class and quality. Here’s to many more years.

REVIEW: The Overtones – Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

The Overtones are in Glasgow to have a party, a great big, joyous Christmas party, and while it totally and utterly fulfils this brief, in a year that has been more than challenging for the band, this is a night filled with huge happiness and just a little sadness.

This hasn’t been the easiest year for The Overtones, following the death of lead vocalist Timmy Matley and critical conversations about the future of the band, but from the moment they bound onto the stage to the strains of Womack and Womack’s Teardrops, you are utterly assured that their decision to carry on as a four-piece is the right one.

Occupying a unique niche in the market with their blend of modern Doo Wop, the band truly have wide, multi-generational appeal. Added to their vocal talents, this is a quartet who put their hearts, souls and considerable physical and emotional energies into every performance.

The audience are literally on their feet from the first notes, and the feel-good hits just keep coming: You To Me Are Everything, Runaround Sue, My Girl and Rockin’ Robin particularly fit their vocal harmonies and set the party atmosphere. However, the audience inevitably knows that a remembrance of Matley’s life would come. And so it does in the form of a trio of songs specially chosen to celebrate him: Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow (their last song recorded as a 5-piece), the Spice Girls’ Goodbye and I Say a Little Prayer, the poignancy added to by the sight of Matley’s beaming smile projected behind the band as they sing.

Before the interval, the band manages to ramp the happiness back up, delivering Frankie Valli’s Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.

The festive factor is represented by a clutch of Christmas classics: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Let It Snow and Driving Home For Christmas and there’s a duo of ear-pleasing original songs from the latest album, new single Stand Up and By My Side. But it’s the party tunes that have the sold-out audience dancing in the aisles: Love Really Hurts, Get Ready and Gimme Just a Little More Time, have the joint jumping.

While the loss of Matley’s vocals is of huge consequence, Mike Crawshaw and Lockie Chapman more than step up and are, as always perfectly supported by Darren Everest and Mark Franks. Fans will be delighted to know that the sharp and original choreography is still very much in evidence and beautifully executed.

The band round out the evening of mutual love with the entirely appropriate Love Is In the Air and leave the audience on a high.

The Overtones prove that good, old-fashioned quality will always win out, and if the reaction of this Glasgow crowd is anything to go on, it will continue to do so for many years to come.