THE Overtones are on their first tour as a four-piece since the death of group member Timmy Matley in April.

On Friday, on night 20 out of 22, Mark Franks, Lockie Chapman, Mike Crawshaw and Darren Everest bring their signature “old-school cool, modern-vintage vibe and trademark vocal harmonies” to York Barbican, one of their most regular destinations.

“York is a staple part of our tours. I especially love it, being the northerner in the band, coming from Manchester originally” says Mark. “I remember going to the Jorvik Viking Centre when I was younger, as everyone did.”

Inevitably, late lead singer Timmy Matley will be in both the group and the audience’s thoughts on Friday as Franks and co combine songs from The Overtones’ past Top Ten albums with selections from this autumn’s self-titled sixth studio set, released in October.

“We lost our brother and beloved band mate in April, when we’d already started making the album, and we thought, ‘should we continue or should we stop?’, and decided we should carry on, to be together at this really hard time, to support each other in the only way we can: by singing together and helping each other that way,” says Mark.

“So we are continuing, as Timmy would have wanted and his family would want us to do.”

What lies in store on Friday? “What we do with our concerts is make people smile, make people dance to their favourite songs, and this time we say ‘bring your dancing shoes but bring your Kleenex tissues too’,” says Mark. “And there’ll be some Christmas songs as well, so we’ll be covering all the different bases as usual.”

Alongside covers of such staples as Smokey Robinson’s My Girl, Goffin and King’s Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? and Bacharach and David’s Say A Little Prayer is a new interpretation of The Spice Girls’ Goodbye. “That one was Lockie’s suggestion, taking a Nineties’ pop song that’s so beautiful, and if you strip it back, like we have, it’s a pretty timeless song,” says Mark.

The album features two Overtones originals too: the single Stand Up and By My Side.

“Stand Up is a very empowering, positive, upbeat song; By My Side is all about loss, a reflection of where we’re at now, and hopefully people will relate to that,” says Mark.

“With each album comes a couple of originals at the very least, as we’re very passionate about our songwriting. Like with our first album, Good Ol’ Fashioned Love, when the record company wanted us to do an album of doo-wop classics, which we delivered, but we were also inspired to write our own songs in that vein, like Gambling Man. We’ve done about 25 original songs spread over the six albums.”

Among the big numbers on the new record are Teardrops, the Womack and Womack disco classic, Love Really Hurts Without You (“which we’ve always wanted to do,” says Mark), and You To Me Are Everything. “Timmy used to think it was ‘You Timmy Are Everything,” recalls Mark.

Timmy’s voice can be heard on the album. “We recorded Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? for an earlier album but then had a slight change of direction, so it then didn’t fit the style, but we always loved it, and so we’ve included it this time,” says Mark. “You have to wait for the end for Timmy’s vocals; it’s really emotional to hear him sing, but it feels right that we are doing this.”

Returning to the subject of the past, present and future of The Overtones, Mark says: “Timmy’s such a massive part of what we’ve done, but though people have questioned ‘would you give up now?’, we’re really passionate about what we do and so of course we’re going to carry on, in the most respectful way we can.

“It’s almost like, ‘this is what we’re meant to do, so why would we stop’?

The Overtones play York Barbican on December 14, 7.30pm. Tickets update: still available on 0844 854 2757, at or on the door from 7pm.