Gig review: The Overtones, Glasgow

The Overtones'Higher
The Overtones'Higher
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Blandly handsome five-piece the Overtones take inspiration from a number of male vocal harmony styles across the decades, but might best be described as a risk-averse blend of the Four Tops and Westlife, aping the repertoire, showbiz smarts and slick-but-cheesy choreography of the former and the Ken-doll sterility and “we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the support of our fans” forelock-tugging of the latter.

The Overtones

Glasgow Royal 
Concert Hall

* *

No doubt they are all capable singers, but there was no soul and no surprises in their drilled harmonic blend. High tenors Timmy Matley and Darren Everest have that regulation reedy boy band tone but this audience appeared to prefer the manly rumble of Lachie Chapman, whose bass parts were almost solely responsible for imbuing their arrangements with their signature doo wop man band flavour.

They tapped into the Jersey Boys phenomenon with a predictable cover of the Four Seasons’ Beggin’ and persisted in this antiseptic revival vein with a set predominantly comprising old doo wop, swing, pop and soul standards such as Only You, Runaround Sue, Sh’Boom, The Glory Of Love, Goodnight Sweetheart and Why Do Fools Fall In Love? – essentially, the kind of material you might choose for a sing-song in an old folks home, souped up with some hotel band licks.

The only blip in their superslick presentation was Mark Franks’ unscripted tumble down some stairs. Everything else about the Overtones has been precision calibrated to produce maximum pan-generational appeal with minimum originality.