Overhear's History

A fully transparent look at the Overhear journey

How it all started


2015 An idea hatches.

After creating several home recorded Albums and becoming frustrated with distributing them online Tom mused over another form of online distribution...

(Tom is still making music here: tompeel.bandcamp.com)

September 2016 - first iteration


With help from a friend overhearbrum was knocked together as a website that barely worked but had the gist.

November 2016

I was pointed in the direction of ABG by a mutual friend who had made a mobile app in the past


April 2017

Anna Brophy, one of Tom's student's from Access To Music joins Overhear on Work Experience for about 4 months.

April 2017

Andrew picks up the Overhear coding mantel! Seriously couldn't have done it without this step and Andrews generosity.

First few venues get involved with Digbeth First Friday. Some lovely lino print posters are made by Hollodeck.

Web app prototype walk with Andrew, Anna, and others. Resulting in our first promo video by Paul Stringer

September 2017

Andrew sends first mock up of the iPhone App.

October 2017

Figured Poetry was a better medium to start with than music. From Tom's time at Impact Hub Birmingham poets weren't hard to find!

September 2017

Out testing the iPhone App by the Spotted Dog in Digbeth

First App Release

February 2018 - Overhear is released to the App Store


All down to Andrew taking a punt on an idea I was running with 18 months previously!


July 2018

Connect with Verve Poetry Festival about collaborating on an Arts Council Bid.

Verve 2018 Soft Launch

Chucked about a few flyers during one of Birminghams biggest poetry festivals

March 2018

Set about recording as many poets as possible.

September 2018

First Arts council bid rejected...

Android app delayed

Andrew had become a first time dad just after the iPhone app launched. Juggling the android coding at the same time was proving tricky.

November 2018

Through working with Tiger Bam Comms we were put in touch with Ben Waddington of Still Walking Festival. Ben's walks focused on the often unseen details of areas and places over the history. This was a perfect partnership as the walks were far more poetic in drawing out what could be found in a space outside of Blue Plaques.

First Accepted Arts Council Bid.

December 2018

Tom received £13938 to commission 12 poets for the Overhear app and hold 6 walking tours around the Verve Poetry Festival.

December 2018 - 50 Authenticated App Users

December 2018

Android Mobile App launches...

It works with a few simple tests, but with the organising of the project, and no Android device to test with some issues go unnoticed...

Introducing Hemin

Through a website called freelancer.com Hemin was recruited to code the Android app.

Cost £926.62 inc NDA agreement and transaction fees.

December 2018 - February 2019

Tom recorded and met the amazing poets commissioned for the Verve Overheard project.

January 2019

Made contact with Jonathan Davidson of Writing West Midlands and invited to sit on a panel for the National Writers' Conference in June 2019.

February 2019 Verve Poetry Festival

An amazing festival! Great weather for our walks but some issues around the Android app not functioning correctly. It worked for some people but not others.

January 2019

Kibriya Mehrban writes a guest blog for Overhear - Tom is super impressed with how much she 'gets' the app ethos and bookmarks her name for a later date...

February 2019

Feature in ICHOOSEBIRMINGHAM gains lots of interest.


February 2019  - 155 authenticated app users

February 2019

Begin planning for a larger Arts Council bid with a £49,352 budget in partnership with Writing West Midlands looking at a year long regional project with a European exchange element.

March 2019

Issues persist with the Android App including facebook login code being rejected by facebook.

February 2019

First iteration of the Overhear Admin Panel is developed providing an easier way of entering poem and artist data.

March 2019

Overhear were asked by Writing West Midlands to partner on a project in Riga, Latvia with poet Anna Lawrence to take place in May.

May 2019

Our trip to Riga was successful for iPhone users but still frustratingly temperamental for Android users.

All tests conducted on an Android worked for Tom but not for those on the walking tour.

May 2019

Android Bug Breakthrough: the app was only allowing one user to collect a poem! This was so tricky to work out as creating Test poems to collect would work initially but then would become uncollectible once tested!

Extra edits for the Admin Panel £500

Total Dev costs £3026.62

June 2019

Overhear registers as a limited company in the UK, this will help strengthen future Arts Council Bids. Sets up Tide Business Bank Account for this Company

June 2019

One Year Project Arts Council Bid is unsuccessful. Over £15k projects require a lot more planning...

June 2019 National Writers Conference

Tom joins a panel for NWC19 on Getting Your Work Heard addressing new platforms like Overhear and other ways of harnessing tech for writers.

June 2019

Overhear re-applies for an  Arts Council project with just the Birmingham Literature Festival taking place in October. This