Bands to Watch #247: Young Kato

By on Friday, 1st June 2012 at 1:00 pm

There is a far too much maligned type of band in the music business: the boyband. Having been a massive fan of the late ’90s boyband scene (Backstreet Boys, ‘N Sync, 5ive, most of the lot), I have a fondness for this genre most likely not shared by my blogging contemporaries. While boybands won’t win any music awards except in popularity polls, what they do – and what they do very well is sing well and present incredibly catchy songs in an attractive package – shouldn’t be minimised or belittled. You might not like One Direction, but (don’t groan) they’re already starting to gain traction in America, as are the Wanted, who had their first headline North American tour last winter. Love ’em or leave ’em, boybands are here to stay, so you might as well stop whinging and get used to it.

The latest? We’ve heard about a new band from Cheltenham who’s been signed by well thought of Manchester indie label LAB Records. Called Young Kato, they’re six boys, boys being the operative word here: the collective average age of the band is 18. They’re making a big splash this weekend.. Tomorrow they will play their biggest gig yet with another teenage idol you’ve certainly heard of, Pixie Lott, at the Bristol Diamond Jubilee Concert at Cribbs Causeway. And then on Sunday (3rd of June) they will release the single ‘Drink, Dance, Play’.

I know what you’re going to say. That title sounds awfully trite. Then watch the video below. A gentle synth intro leads into a rather suburban scene. They’re drinking coffee (or perhaps tea?) out of little cups, not pints. Good on them for not glamourising drinking; after all, don’t forget who their core audience will probably be. A woman in dress clothes dances with reckless abandon; there’s something very freeing about that. There’s also brief scenes of a scantily clad couple snogging – let’s face it, sex sells – but it’s not for long, so it can get by the censors. Verdict: pretty good. And get used to it, because you’ll be hearing it on the radio soon enough.


But what actually turned me on to this band initially was going through my feed on Soundcloud and finding their track ‘When Lights Go Out’, which I think is actually catchier and less boyband-ish than the single. If you’re still reading this post, you have got to have a listen to this song too. (And ooh, it’s even a free download.) Remember what I said about boybands and not dissing them because their songs are insanely catchy? I can’t stop playing it. While I’m not agreeing with their press release stating this is “an amazing, punchy track likened to the pop offspring of Friendly Fires and Morrissey” – they sound like neither, though you could argue the wide-eyed wonderment of their singer sounds awfully like early Two Door Cinema Club – this track is likeable, fresh and fun enough that they could be the next hit of this festival season.

Definitely one to watch. With their debut EP out on the 23rd of July and produced by Gordon Mills, Jr. (Placebo, Ed Sheeran), you can expect quality product. Good luck, lads.

Saturday 2nd June 2012 – Bristol Cribbs Causeway (Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Festival)
Wednesday 20th July 2012 – Cheltenham 2 Pigs
Thursday 21st July 2012 – Gloucester Park Festival
Thursday 26th July 2012 – Birmingham Rainbow
Friday 27th July 2012 – Bristol Thekla

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2 Responses

[…] on Friday night with the Ruen Brothers and the Crookes, and Young Kato, who I’d written a Bands to Watch piece on last summer but had not seen live […]

[…] and their fame has grown by leaps and bounds. Having written about them nearly 2 years ago in this Bands to Watch feature in the summer of 2012, I couldn’t be more chuffed for their […]

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