Gig Review: Huey and the New Yorkers – The Duchess, York ✭✭✭✭✭

Huey and the New Yorkers 
The Duchess, York

Review by Ian Donaghy (Big Ian) 

Mon 11 March 2013: Despite the icy cold March night, old York gave Huey and the New Yorkers a warm welcome. As soon as the band arrived it was clear this was different to a Fun Lovin’ Criminals show. Gone were the suits as Huey Morgan took to the stage in a grey Marines hoody.

From the first note of “Stick it” every band member was beaming as they laid down righteous, infectious grooves. The crowd could not keep still. Huey introduced bass player King as his “funnier cooler friend”- who never missed a beat all night. Pete’s wah pedalled clav work took the tunes to the land of Stevie’s “Higher Ground” for “Let my people go”–much to the appreciation of the knowledgeable crowd.

Eric Estrada lookalike Chris the guitarist riffed out with his telecaster inches from the ground loving every second.

This was not a night for one dimensional tunes – The country tinged “Shaniqua” showed Huey’s talent for story-telling and a softer side to the New Yorker. There has clearly been a time when this charm has picked many a lock and sent many a father for his gun but tonight it melted the snow outside.

This project is a labour of love for Huey – he is playing music he loves with his friends and is giving every penny from his share to military charities- a measure of the man.

The true strength of this band is their generosity to one another and their love of space in the music leaving so much room for enjoyment. This band understand light and shade – they know when to hold ‘em and when to show ‘em. BB King once said “If you never whisper no-one will ever listen when you shout” How true.

Huey’s hypnotic voice sounded like Guinness pouring over hot gravel. Chris’s screaming harmonics and epic guitar breaks left the crowd agog.

As with a good tug of war team you need a mighty anchorman at the back in the form of the reassuringly well-furnished powerhouse Leviathon Frank Benini on the kit –the best thing to come out of Leicester since Walker’s crisps.  

In a world where so many bands are on the road because they are doing a job (and it often looks that way) these boys are doing it to feed the soul. “She gone” had Huey bear his heart with a song about his dog & held the audience’s silence with his raw emotion.

“Let the good times roll” allowed each musician a moment in the sun to play their picture cards – every one a winning hand. The reason these boys look so relaxed is that they are ALL doing the heavy lifting and making light work of it. Angelo Dundee once said “Train hard fight easy” – and clearly these boys have trained hard over the years to make this look so enjoyable and effortless.

“White guard” showed the full dynamic  of the band ranging from the spacious feel of Lizzy’s “Still in love with you” to anthemic rock , fit for any Pink Floyd stadium show.

I don’t know what Huey Morgan has – I can’t put my finger on it but if you cut him open he will have the word “COOL” written through him like “Blackpool rock”!

 When Mick Jagger requests that you are the DJ to interview the Stones – you must be pretty impressive.

 Huey is cocksure, confident, relaxed & oozes charisma from every pore. He’s lived a life some consider a myth and is now a happily married father and is on the road with his friends with a set of “first listen great tunes” that would pass any old grey whistle test. He is indeed a rich man in all senses of the word.

Ask yourself – how great a band are Huey and the New Yorkers? Well when Huey Morgan isn’t the coolest guy on stage– that’s one hell of a band. Treat yourself and see them live as they deliver on all counts. Huey and the New Yorkers? Dudes Re-united!

5 stars ✭✭✭✭✭

**We have an interview with Huey to follow... watch this space**

Tour dates
12/03 – Preston, 53 Degrees
14/03 – Gloucester, Guildhall
15/03 – Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
16/03 – Stoke, Sugarmill
18/03 – Portsmouth, Wedgewood Rooms
19/03 – London, Half Moon Putney
20/03 – Amsterdam, Bitterzoet
21/03 – Leuven, Depot