DARREN Everest is a good ol’ fashioned guy.
He’s got a sensible head on his shoulders – although he may not thank me for mentioning this – he’s part of Britain’s sexiest doo-wop band – this he will probably thank me for – and is preparing to wed his long-term girlfriend at the end of the year.
On top of all this, he and his fellow band mates have recently released their third studio album, Saturday Night at the Movies, and are preparing for their third national tour which kicks off later this month.
The Overtones are one of Britain’s hardest-working bands with an army of followers who call themselves the Toners.
Am I a Toner? You bet your life. So you can only imagine how thrilled I was to have the opportunity for e a chin wag with the falsetto of the group.
After taking some time off in January, the band are back together and rehearsing morning, noon and night for their tour to make sure that they give the polished performances they have become noted for.
Kicking off in band member Timmy Matley’s hometown Cork on Monday, February 17, The Overtones will perform at Nottingham Royal Concert Hall on Wednesday, March 19, and Birmingham Symphony Hall on Thursday, March 20 – and the boys are sure to be performing to packed houses every night.
“It’s great when we’re on tour,” said the 33-year-old.
“The biggest part is the interaction we have with the audience. No matter how big the venue is, we try to involve everyone in the performance.
“Not everyone has a disposable income and we appreciate people paying for tickets and taking time out to join us.
“It’s going to be an up tempo party set so we are hoping everyone is going to be bringing their dancing shoes.
“It’s all about getting people to forget their troubles, let their hair down and have a dance.”
Sounds like a plan to me.
Having honed their craft during the past seven and a half years, The Overtones didn’t find overnight success.
So they could earn money and rehearse at the same time they formed a painting and decorating company by day, and in the evening they would work the pubs and clubs around London.
“We really grafted before we managed to get a record deal,” said Darren.
“We did all the hard work, working the clubs and sending out demo tapes but nothing seemed to be happening.”
“While we were decorating and singing in the street one day, a woman walked past and said she could help us out. We didn’t think anything would come of it, but it did.
“She had a contact at Warner Music and we knew once we had that chance we were going to take it with both hands.
The Overtones’ big break led to the release of debut album Good Ol’ Fashioned Love, and they have since released the acclaimed Higher, and Saturday Night at the Movies.
“We will be including favourites from the first two albums on the tour – Gambling Man is a particular favourite,” said Darren.
“And, of course, our latest album will be heavily featured including Do You Love Me and Runaway.
“It was great fun putting the album together. We sat in a room with Conrad Withey, our A&R man from Warner Music, and after the first three or four songs were mentioned it became apparent that there was a movie theme going on so it kind of went from there.
“We are always heavily involved in what we do and that goes from choosing the tracks for our albums, choreography and styling.
“We’re not 18 any more and really happy with the way we put the albums and tours together.
The Overtones have worked hard at not only forging a successful career in an industry where many artists are fast-tracked into stardom via reality shows, but also creating an image which is a sharp, smart 50s look – complete with bow ties and velvet jackets.
There is an army of loyal supporters, known as The Toners, who follow the band from town to town, and country to country, actively interacting with The Overtones on Twitter and Facebook.
“The Toners are really loyal and follow us around the world,” Darren said.
“It’s amazing to have such brilliant support and they are all lovely people. They seem to be really lifted by the music we do.”
While taking a break from the band in January, Darren was able to spend some quality time with fiancé and girlfriend of six years, Bianka.
The couple plan to tie the knot at the end of the year and Darren couldn’t be more excited.
“It can be tough when you are at home for a while and spending lots of time together, then suddenly you are back on the road and away for days – even weeks,” said Darren.
“Bianka completely gets me though. She was with me when I was trying to make it and she’s excited, proud and really supportive.
“It’s all very exciting and a really big year for us all.
“The Overtones have got a reputation as being one of the hardest working acts in the business.
“We haven’t known anything different and are really privileged to be in the position we are in and love to work hard.
“The day we stop working is the day we stop doing it. We didn’t think it would take four years to get a record deal though but we have learned our craft and really appreciate what we have.”
Check out The Overtones’ website at www.theovertones.tv for full tour details