The Overtones mourn the loss of drug-driven Timmy.
The last few months have been a difficult period for UK vocal group The Overtones. On April 9, lead singer Timmy Matley fell to his death from the 13th floor balcony of a friend’s apartment in Poplar, east London.
“We were in shock,” admitted bass singer Lachie Chapman. “We couldn’t believe we would never again be with him. He was just 36. Everyone who knew Timmy loved him. He was such a special person, our Irish angel.”
Timmy had been diagnosed with stage three malignant melanoma skin cancer in 2016. He spoke openly about his illness and treatment. But he had responded well to treatment and his death had nothing to do with the cancer. Sadly, for all of the qualities which made him so popular, Timmy was foolish enough to dabble in drugs. It was this which led to his death.
Timmy arrived at his friend’s home after taking the Class A drug crystal meth. Under the influence of this narcotic, Timmy somehow found himself locked out on the balcony. He attempted to climb down to the balcony below, something he certainly wouldn’t have done if the drug was not in his system. He lost his grip and died from what was described as multiple traumatic injuries.
At the time, his bandmates announced Timmy’s death on their social media webpages expressing their shock and sadness. But in their own words, they “hid under a rock” for some while before deciding to resume their career with a selftitled album which would effectively pay tribute to their deceased colleague.
“It was very hard,” admitted falsetto singer Darren Everest. “But we felt like we couldn’t just quit. We’d had an amazing eight years together since we signed our record deal and got such a big hit with our debut album, Good Ol’ Fashioned Love. If we’d given up, it would have just compounded Timmy’s death. We owed it to him and our fans to move forward as best we could.”
Timmy, Darren and middle harmony singers Mark Franks and Mike Crawshaw had performed together for many years. They were in a vocal group called DYYCE and then Lexi Joe with whom they auditioned for the X Factor television talent show in 2009. They were eliminated at the final 24 stage but later met Lachie and reformed as a five-piece band under their current name.
Darren had the idea of starting a painting and decorating company so they could practice together while working. The boys were painting a shop in London when they were heard by a Warner Bros. Records talent scout who signed them to a five-album contract.
“We were in the right place at the right time,” Mike reflected. “Getting our record deal was everything we could possibly have hoped for.”
Their first four albums all made the UK top ten. The mix of original songs and popular covers earned The Overtones a large and loyal following. Only their fifth album, a collection of Christmas songs, failed to make a major impression on the charts and even this still reached number 24.
The boys had already begun work on album number six before Timmy died. So it is that having gained permission from his family, Timmy’s voice is heard alongside his bandmates on the new album.
“We feel like we planted the seeds of this album with Timmy,” Mark stated. “It’s like he’s been with us throughout the whole journey. Making the record has also been part of our grieving process. We wanted to create something which would make Timmy and our fans proud.”
“We’ve deliberately included a mix of tracks,” Lachie added. “It would have been very easy to record nothing but sad songs. But we knew Timmy wouldn’t have wanted that. So, there are some songs to put a smile on your face and even get you up dancing.
“We’re very proud of the album. It’s a tribute to Timmy and means the world to us. We hope it will also mean something special to our fans.”
NO MORE: Timmy Matley, centre, with his fellow band members from The Overtones.