Nu York State Review

On 27th November 2007, Jazz and Blues Leeds presented their second concert of the academic year, featuring Nu York State and Ape.

I knew Nu York State would be good. I’ve seen them before, and they were good before, and I saw no reason why this gig would be any different. Well, not from the band’s point of view anyway. But it was different from my point of view, because I was one of a small group of enthusiasts known as Jazz and Blues Leeds who ran the gig! We had spent hours of time arranging and promoting and making sure everyone knew what was going down, and then it got to the actual date!

So it was a great relief and a very exciting time to see people lining up at the doors waiting to get into our gig! And sure enough (although slightly late because of sound-checking problems), we let them in, the bustle of activity at the bar an instant sign of comfort for the audience as they listened to a few tunes (provided by society president Kieran O’Shea).

It wasn’t long until the support act were up to play – the five piece “Ape”, mistaken to be “Ape Funk” in advance – apparently they are now just “Ape”. It sounded like this change in their name also reflected a difference in their musical style being more rock than funk, playing tunes from Red Hot Chilli Peppers amongst others. This was a little disappointing after expecting a funky band that you can just get up to and jive straight away, but I certainly wouldn’t say they were bad, just not really suited to a “Jazz and Blues” event. They had a wicked guitarist, whose solos sounded great and slick as well as some of his cool funky grooves (they didn’t come often, but when they did, they were nice)! They finished whilst I was up on the ticket desk, letting through a few more stragglers who obviously had something better to do beforehand and a few more of Kieran’s jazzy tunes went on before the main band.

I was back in the club to hear the start of Nu York State’s set, starting off with their signature tune (“Nu York State Theme” on their album), which got everyone excited and encouraged the keener boppers in the audience to approach the dance floor. The great thing about Nu York State is that from start to finish you know they are a band who really know what they are doing. The drums get your foot tapping, the bass lifts you, the keys create the jazzy element and then the vocals add the soul. The sharp-tongued MC keeps you on your toes and the horns (trumpet and sax) blast you with style.

The show included some fantastic solos from Danny Gough on the trumpet, the guitarist (Gaz Parry) and keys player (who may be Taz Modi as listed on their myspace page, but may not be, since the pianist was new to Nu York State and may not be on the website yet) and they performed a great cover of Walk On By. By the end of the night, the mosh pit (as the Ape lead singer fondly called it) was full of people dancing crazily and generally enjoying the sounds they were hearing!

All in all, a great night that should not have been missed. If you did then you were a fool, but don’t despair (much), because Nu York State should be coming to Leeds again on 22nd January (if all goes to plan) to play at the legendary “Itchy Feet” night at the Atrium. So be there!

If you are interested in becoming a member of Jazz and Blues Leeds, getting involved or just finding out more about it, please visit or email the society

More about Danny Gough’s Nu York State is available at:

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Nu York State on Stage


One Comment

  1. Posted 16 August, 2008 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Your blog is interesting!

    Keep up the good work!

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