Some people look at the passing or upcoming year through the change of seasons, birthdays and paydays. And there are some who are looking at it through the windows of trains, buses, vans and the change a city might bring, going about its daily business. There are people who plan their time around scheduled dates, venues and concerts. This might be musicians and photographers. And no matter that this life is not all roses (there are definitely ups and downs) I wouldn’t trade it for anything else.
So who am I? I am a freelance music photographer, I need a sea of coffee to get me going, my camera, my attitude and my determination and sometimes a bit of luck and I work with UK Foo Fighters – A World Famous Tribute Band!
The UK Foo Fighters became “world famous” in 2014 when the real Foo Fighters visited the United Kingdom to play at the Invictus Games. As always in the Foo Fighters camp – they do something with style or they don’t do it at all. After a few years absence and coming over for just one show wasn’t something Dave Grohl and the band were keen to do.
They decided the best thing would be to surprise fans with some small gigs in and around London. The locations of the shows and how to get there was a game of hide-and-seek and to attend a show you needed a bit of “luck” too, as the tickets were very limited. One September day in 2014 the real Foo Fighters playing under the name of the Holy Shits came to Brighton to play at Concorde 2.
We can only imagine how surprised Dave Grohl was to discover that the whole venue was covered with posters of the upcoming UK Foo Fighters show. The tribute band were scheduled to play Concorde 2 shortly after the surprise Foo Fighters appearance. Knowing that the tribute band had made it to the show Dave Grohl invited Jay Apperley (lead singer of the UK Foo Fighters) to join the band on stage and perform White Limo. He stepped in and he absolutely nailed it. That night was a real turning point for the tribute band. From being just one of thousands of tribute bands, in one evening they had become world-famous, “Englands Premier Tribute band” – as Dave Grohl called them.
With blessings from the original band, UK Foo Fighters continue what they do the best – they bring beloved live music to the fans. Jay Apperley, Jamie Valentine (lead guitar), Arron Warner (bass), Alex Bailey (drums) and Nick Wight (keyboard) are the UK Foo Fighters. As a band, they have had a few personal changes and their upcoming tour will be their 10th Anniversary.
By spending a year with a touring band you get to know people on a level you wouldn’t even think is possible. Soundchecks, travel, shared meals, after parties and tiny changing rooms. Conversations create strange connections, a kind of bond and suddenly you start thinking about them more like your friends or other family than a band you are about to photograph.
Privately they’re great guys, open, funny and passionate. People you want to be around. On the public professional side, they’re extremely talented musicians and every setlist is prepared in advance and tends to relate to the real Foo Fighters current shows or events. The songs, as everything else, should be foo-perfect.
They might not look 100% like the real thing, but they do sound like them. Unfortunately, nature isn’t on all of their sides. On the bass side of things dark haired Arron doesn’t look like Nate Mendels redhead and guitarist Jamie is definitely on the lighter side of counterpart Chris Shiflett. Even Dave Grohl made a joke they should swap the bass player with the lead guitar to help add even more authenticity.
When attending a UK Foo Fighters gig it’s not only the show that people pay for. They somehow never seem to put themselves higher than Foo Fighters fans. They meet with people, pose for the pictures, sign posters, share stories and laughs. Even when the lights go down and the equipment needs to be carried out they always find the time for those who wants to chat. Usually, that means they have to pack in less than 30 min as there is another act starting or the club was only paid until the certain time.
The 10th Aniversary Tour is kicking off this weekend in Holmfirth, Yorkshire bringing a bit of Foo to every corner in the UK and Irland. If you are a fan come and see them. They’re the only tribute band recommended by Dave Grohl and there is a good reason behind that. They love what they do and they have an ability to perfectly recreate the magic. Without exaggeration but with passion. Check the tour list and get yourself a bit of Foo in a town nearby.
Feature by Edyta K
Photography by Edyta K
On The Road With A Tribute Band