MARK Franks admits that 2018 has been an emotional year for The Overtones.

In April, the vocal group were stunned when member Timmy Matley died after falling from a balcony, aged just 36, which left the remaining four members questioning whether they should carry on without him.

“It was tough when Timmy died,” said Mark. “Initially we just had to get our heads round the idea that he wasn’t there any more. Obviously it crosses your mind ‘is that it for the band?’ but when we all got back together again we were unanimous that we wanted to continue.

“We’d already started to work on our new album with Timmy and we wanted to honour that and to do it for the fans too.”

The resulting album - The Overtones - was released in October and features classic pop songs done in their own style.

Songs from the album will form the basis for the band’s show which comes to Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall next week.

“Working on the album was quite cathartic in a way,” said Mark. “For five albums it had been the five of us but for this it was just four of us. We know each other so well that we had each other’s backs, making music is basically what we love doing.”

Timmy does feature on the album.

“We had done a version of Will You Still Live Me Tomorrow. We’d recorded it for the album that ended up being Sweet Soul Music but it didn’t fit in with final concept of the album. We’d always loved the song and it seemed very fitting that we put it on the new album.”

The Overtones first gained attention with their debut release Good Old Fashioned Love, a Fifties-inspired doo wop album in 2010.

“Since then we have extended our repertoire somewhat,” said Mark. “We’re not just concentrating on the Fifties and Sixties.

“There is no point just doing a carbon copy of a classic song. With each song, we spend lot of time thinking how we can put our own Overtones stamp on it. A lot of the songs were originally recorded by a solo artists but we have four voices to work into the song which immediately makes it very different.

“It’s a tricky thing to navigate as these are well loved songs which people respect. We want to put own stamp on them but we also want to honour the song’s legacy.”

Mark is particularly looking forward to being on the road in the run-up to Christmas.

“I think this our fourth year when we will have done a Christmas-themed tour,” he said. “It’s become something people look forward to.

“Our previous album was a Christmas album so we have those classics to drop into the set. Last year at one point we all wore little elf costumes so fans will just have to wait and see what we’ll be wearing this year!”

“Touring is what we do and it’s great to be getting out there.

“It’s one thing recording an album but to get out there and bring it to life on stage and to meet the fans, that’s all really exciting.”

The Overtones, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, Monday, December 10. Details from 0161 907 9000 or