It’s that time of year where Christmas albums are released and music artists can allow themselves to get in to the festive spirit.
One group who is well and truly enjoying that are the multi-platinum-selling vocal harmony group The Overtones.
The foursome are set to perform The Overtones Christmas Party at Salford’s The Lowry on 8th December which sees new member Jay James on stage with them after joining the boys back in July this year.
Manchester’s Finest caught up with The Overtones Mark Franks and Jay James to find out more, as they were getting ready to come ‘up North’.
MF: So guys, what can we expect from your Lowry gig?
Mark: Well obviously, for me it’s an exciting one being a Manchester boy born and bred. One of our first tours saw us perform at The Lowry so it’s great to be back there again. I was there about a month ago watching Lisa Stansfield and was like ‘it’s not long now until we are going to be performing for the crowds’.
Jay: Yes, the boys have been doing the Christmas Overtones Party for years now and we have been working hard with all our team – from lighting and design to choreography and programme design to put on the best possible Christmas party people can have. We are so excited to come to Manchester!
MF: Now Jay you’re still fairly new to the group, having joined The Overtones in July, what’s the past few months been like for you?
Jay: Absolute madness! I’ve known the boys for about 10 years now as we were on a record together back in 2010 for the Samaritans and I’ve been privileged to support the guys for the past four years, so to join the group this year has been amazing. Everything I’ve previously done, like the X Factor and being signed to Decca, all feels like it’s led to this moment. It might sound a cliché but we do get on like brothers and have such a good time. One thing about the boys is they never take for granted what they do and that’s a tribute to the fact that next year they celebrate their 10 year anniversary. For me to be part of that is a dream come true.
MF: How have The Overtones fans reacted to you joining the group?
Jay: I think we were all anxious to hear what people would think but there’s not been a bad word said and it does feel like a match made in heaven. My fans have said it’s great and we are really having the time of our lives at the moment preparing for the tour, it’s been so much fun. We have been doing choreography this morning and that’s been my biggest challenge as I’ve never done singing and dancing together before.
Mark: I’ve been whipping him in to shape! I think he’s surprised himself though as we have an extensive back catalogue already, plus more new songs. Jay’s been put through his paces and come out on top shining so, as the professional dancer of the group, I think I’ve got competition now!
MF: Is there a 7th Overtones album in the making?
Mark: We are so excited for our 10th anniversary next year and yes, there’s going to be new music, a new album, a celebratory tour and many surprises along the way. The journey is going to be awesome.
Jay: The Christmas EP is out in December which has our very own version of ‘Walking in the Air’ –which is a real twist on it -plus there will be all the Christmas songs on it that will be performed on the tour.
MF: Talking of Xmas, what about you guys, what are you doing for the festive season?
Mark: I’ll be having a Mancunian Christmas of course, and my Mum will be cooking up an amazing turkey with all the trimmings. It’s so lovely just to regroup and be with your family for a few days after being so busy during the year and we get to appreciate how lucky we are.
Jay: Straight from the off going to an Overtones show you see all of the boy’s family and friends come down and join us, which again is really festive. To spend those moments with our family, doing the things we absolutely adore, and spending it with the people we love most is really special. Christmas starts now!
Mark: There’s no feeling like this, never in a million years did I think I’d be playing somewhere like the Lowry with a sold out audience so I can’t wait to get Christmassy with you guys.
The Overtones Christmas Party
Date: Sunday 8th December
Venue: The Lowry, Salford