The Overtones at Plymouth Pavilions
CROONSOME five-piece The Overtones complete their 24-date UK next week with a homecoming for Mike Crawshaw.
"I've got 15 family members coming," the Bristol-based band member beams ahead of Thursday's Plymouth Pavilions gig, "so it'll be a great party.
"My dad's from Plymouth originally and I still have loads of family in the city. We're playing Bristol the night before and finishing up in Plymouth.
"It's going to be amazing end to a fantastic tour."
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The tour rounds off another hugely successful year for The Overtones who dazzle audiences with their flawless performance, winning charm and impeccable style wherever they go.
A highlight of 2012 was performing at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
"Gary Barlow saw us sing live at The Xtra Factor Finals last year and invited us along to sing before some of the other acts took the stage.
"The cameras weren't rolling at the time, but we had a flag-waving crowd of 250,000 watching us, and we were invited to the after-show party in Buckingham Palace."
Asked who they saw backstage, it was more a case of who didn't they see.
"Everywhere you looked there were mega stars and royalty.
"We rubbed shoulders with Stevie Wonder, Shirley Bassey, Kylie Minogue and Sir Paul McCartney and to cap it all Prince William and Kate said 'well done'!"
The lads – also Mark Franks, Darren Everest, Timmy Matley and Lachie Chapman – became an item in 2006, having been drawn together as solo performers with mutual respect for great male voices including The Temptations, The Drifters and Boyz II Men.
"We were all performing individually, but decided we might have more success if we all got together," says Mike.
"We formed a painting and decorating company so we could work alongside each other and be in a position to practise at the same time.
"It was when we were rehearsing outside an office during a coffee break that we were overheard by a Warner record-company rep."
Their debut album Good Ol' Fashioned Love, featuring timeless classics plus some of their own compositions, proved an instant bestseller for Christmas 2010, reaching number four.
"We were particularly happy with the reaction to Gambling Man, our own composition," says Mike.
Album number two, Higher, which was released to coincide with this tour, has also proved popular, while the lead single, Loving The Sound – quite a departure from their previous style – has enjoyed extensive airplay.
"To progress, we had to incorporating some contemporary stuff, rather than just keeping to the classic covers and we've been allowed to work with some incredible producers and songwriters who have tailored their compositions to suit our style.
"Future Cut, who have worked with Olly Murs, Plan B and Lily Allen, were particularly good at keeping the vintage vocal harmonies but pushing the boundaries at the same time.
"Obviously we didn't want to alienate fans of our first album, but we wanted to challenge ourselves and reinvent the genre a bit – and I think we have struck the right balance."
Find out for yourself when their show hits Plymouth next week. Tickets are still available.