UK Foo Fighters’ Jay enjoys long road to success

UK Foo Fighters Jay Apperley on stage with Dave Grohl in Brighton. (Picture by Kalpesh Patel)
UK Foo Fighters Jay Apperley on stage with Dave Grohl in Brighton. (Picture by Kalpesh Patel)

By Graham Chalmers

“Living the dream” is a much over-used phrase, one I myself have fallen back on when struggling for anything better.

So it’s great to be able to use it about Harrogate musician Jay Apperley without a hint of hyperbole.

If you had told me in the mid-Noughties when I used to watch Jay playing guitar for covers band Speedsta in local pubs that 10 years or so later he would be on stage with Dave Grohl duetting live on White Limo off their Wasting Light album, I would have had a little chuckle.

Likable and talented and successfully working in a car dealership, Jay’s dreams of creating his own Foo Fighters tribute band weren’t the stuff of youth for he was no teenager at the time.

But look at him now. Since Grohl dragged Apperley out of the audience at a secret gig at Brighton, the UK Foo Fighters, as his band is known, have appeared in Rolling Stone, Metal Hammer, the NME and more.

Sealed with a hug, the meeting of the real Grohl and Apperley’s impressive and passionate approximation has led to Jay’s band being upgraded on some of the dates on their latest UK tour from Academy 2 venues to Academy 1.

A recent show saw them perform in front of a soldout audience of 600 fans at Birmingham 02 Academy.

What seems to explain the meteriotic rise of mssrs Apperley, Jamie Valentine (lead guitar), Arron Warner (bass) and Alex Bailey (drums) is the band’s authentic love of the Foos.

To use another over-used phrase which for once is completely warranted, Jay always kept the faith.

Jay said: “I always thought maybe one day, knowing how great he is, Dave would let me step on stage with him. But I thought it was just a pipe dream.”