Those of you who came to our first ever Fuckup Night recently will have met Impact Hub Birmingham member Tom Peel. He was the bespectacled one graciously serenading us with his musical stylings, masterfully bridging the line between melancholy and sweeping hopeful humour with That Didn’t Go So Well and other odes to soothe the ails of our bold yet vulnerable speakers. Between strums, Peel mentioned a project that he’s been working on. Not a fuckup, yet, but something that could be a fuckup if no-one knows it exists. Here he is to tell you about OVERHEAR, to stop that from happening.


For the past 6 months or so I have been working on a new app idea that enables a greater exploration of the city by geotagging local music to independent and interesting spaces. The music in each space will be exclusive, prompting users to search out new local music, pollinating the city. A bit like a musical Pokemon GO…

The first iteration of this idea has been in the placing of QR codes in various spaces in the city including Centrala, The Spotted Dog, Peel & Stone Bakery, and Impact Hub Birmingham, amongst others. I am now, however, trying to implement a version that recognises the user’s co-ordinates and unlocks the track when it matches to a specific location. Impact Hub is one of the first places I am trialling this so you can give it a whirl here: www.overhearbrum.com

The OVERHEAR concept arose out of a need for music to be distributed in a different way. As a musician myself I found uploading my music to websites that promised a wider global audience and contact with industry professionals to be fruitless. In reality, it felt like I was throwing my content into a huge black hole of everyone else’s work.

OVERHEAR aims to take local music and make it accessible in local spaces for an audience that are keen to explore what the city has to offer, in turn generating a listenership from the city and its visitors. This is a step often overlooked by global music platforms, yet important in any musicians development.

OVERHEAR is a team of one. Me, Tom Peel.

But I have had some great help from Impact Hub members. Shout out to Andy Reeve, Chris Sadler & Daniel Blyden!

The next steps involve finding funding to develop a beta model and employ a team to work with me. Both things I have never done before… so any tips, please get in touch.


To connect around Tom’s awesome Overhear project e-mail him at tompeel@hotmail.com or tweet @OVERHEAR_Brum. Or just visit www.overhearbrum.com and get hunting!