The Overtures are a celebrated Sixties tribute act from the UK. They present a faithful and dynamic tribute to pop’s greatest decade, with their magnificent repertoire of over 400 songs they have rapidly built their reputation as the finest tribute band in the country. We caught up with The Overtures to find out more on touring abroad…
1. Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?
Started career in the 70s in new wave band called The Ordinarys, appearing on famed TV talent show ‘New Faces’ in February 1978, and has played the drums in bands ever since.
In the 80s worked with X Kinks John Dalton and John Gosling, along with Eddie Phillips of The Creation. Also I worked with Nine Below Zero guitarist Dennis Greaves, and later with Stiff Little Fingers guitarist, Henry Cluney. Later joined 80s rock band, Hard Rain and toured as support with bands such as: The Boomtown Rats, The Pogues, The Alarm, The La’s, The Smithereens, Then Jerico & many, many others.
In 1989 joined a covers band with no name, playing 60s classics to anyone who’d have us. This band later became The Overtures, and this has remained my band till the present day.
2. We understand that you tour abroad quite extensively. Can you share with us some of your experiences?
The Overtures have enjoyed considerable success worldwide and have many memorable experiences. Most recent have been live TV appearances with Lionel Richie in Majorca, and the late Robin Gibb on an Easter TV special in Munich. The band played at a royal wedding in Jordan many moons ago! In 2009 the band played in Las Vegas on three occasions including playing three sold out theatre shows of our Bootleg Sixties Sight and Sound Show. This was straight after a support slot with Sir Elton John at his New Years Eve show at the O2 in London back in 2008. The Overtures mostly play in Scandinavia these days, but have experiences on the QE2, Singapore, Pakistan, South Africa etc.
3. What is the most enjoyable thing about touring abroad?
Being in the same band for so many years, nearly 24 now, the most enjoyable thing is to know that the music we play, and the way we play it, still goes down so well.
We just played a show in Finland, close to the Russian border, in a small place called Parikkala. Nearly a 1,000 people turned up to hear us play, and their enthusiasm was mind blowing. Apart from that, the band have a whole lot of fun on the road, telling stories and having a lot of fun together.
4. Will you be doing anything differently for future bookings abroad?
We do regularly introduce new songs in to our set, as there are so many to choose from in the sixties. But our best vehicle for this is our current theatre show, The Bootleg Sixties Sight and Sound Show. With over 45 songs in the show, there is enormous scope for variety, especially with the contemporary images and footage.
5. Based on this experience, what would you say is the single most important thing a new band must consider when embarking on their first tour abroad?
Something we have learnt to do, is to research what songs are likely to be best received. This is more pertinent to a band like ours than an originals band. When we play the hits of the sixties in, say, Sweden or Finland for example, it’s important to know what were the big hits there at the time. Lots of big hits in the UK were unknown over in Scandinavia… The single most important thing is to be well rehearsed. Sometimes you only get one shot at an important gig (and all gigs are important, but some more so). You have to be at your very best, you may not get asked back otherwise.
6. Anything you would like to add?
Try and keep your ego and attitude focused on the prizes, and work closely with your colleagues. Talk to each other, communicate well, above all, have fun together. The Beatles were very good at this. Staying a successful band requires luck too, and you have to work very hard to ensure that this luck comes round as often as possible!
We would like to thank The Overtures for taking time out for the interview and wish them the best of luck on their up-coming tour.
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