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Single Review: Young Kato – One. Two. Three. Four.

 
By on Wednesday, 21st September 2016 at 12:00 pm
 

Cheltenham sextet Young Kato are no strangers to us here at TGTF. Long before their multiple star turns soundtracking and indeed, performing live on Made in Chelsea, they were one of our Bands to Watch here 4 years ago on this humble little Web site. Last year, they released their debut album ‘Don’t Wait ‘Til Tomorrow’, continuing what has been their tradition of fun, dancey pop numbers. While this summer they announced a series of live dates for early October, there wasn’t any real clue what else they’d been up to lately. Until now.

The group will be releasing a new EP, ‘One. Two. Three. Four.’, at the end of this month. To preview the four-pack of brand spanking new tunes, they’ve unveiled the promo video for the release’s title track, which has been released as a single in its own right. What’s quickly clear upon queueing up this track is that they’ve decided to smooth out the sunny bounce of past tracks like ‘Sunshine’ and ‘Light It Up’, preferring a less confrontational, if you will, approach to the music. There’s still an obvious element of dance to the proceedings, but is it possible that, dare I say it, they’ve gone for a more mature angle to their music? The idea of a revolution was hinted at in their debut album but at the time, I didn’t think there was any reason to believe that Young Kato were truly looking into protesting against the Man and demanding social change.

While there’s certainly nothing wrong with overtures of the hedonistic, YOLO variety that this band were previously known for (think ‘Drink, Dance, Play’), usually big haired frontman Tommy Wright – now with a far too neatly trimmed barnet (sob) – sings, “I don’t want to be another brick in the wall”, bolstering the argument that the lads have grown up. An insistent disco beat chugs along underneath the track, representing a more focused use of sound. They could have merely sat on the sidelines or worse, kept their blinders on so they wouldn’t see what was going on outside of the never-ending party world they themselves helped to create. ‘One. Two. Three. Four.’ suggests that no, Young Kato have taken off the rose-coloured glasses, wanting to be more in tune with what’s going on around them.

As Everything Everything‘s third album ‘Get to Heaven’ conveyed to us last year, it’s okay to be scared and confused during these trying times, because it means you’re human. In fact, if anything, Wright’s repeated question of “what can I do, I can’t be the only one feeling this way?” brings him and the whole band back down to our level. Speaking about the EP, Wright says, “This EP marks the start of the next chapter of Young Kato. The ‘One. Two. Three Four.’ EP shows how truly weird and wonderful the chemistry is within our band. We’re going to war with this record…” Hmm. Young Kato have laid the necessary groundwork for what will be quite the anticipated new release.

7.5/10

The ‘One. Two. Three. Four.’ EP from Cheltenham’s Young Kato will be available on the 30th of September from their own Young Kato/Ditto Music label. To have a trawl through of the past coverage we’ve done of the band here on TGTF, use this link.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvCNDvhVt5Y[/youtube]

 

Young Kato / October 2016 English Tour

 
By on Friday, 10th June 2016 at 9:00 am
 

Cheltenham indie pop band Young Kato have announced a short run of live dates in England for this autumn. The Southern sextet will be hitting most major cities in the country during this tour in October 2016. There’s word of a new EP from the group on the way – exciting times – and they’ve promised they’ll be playing cuts from the new release on this tour. Until then, you can buy and have a listen to ‘Don’t Wait ‘Til Tomorrow’, their debut album released last year on Republic of Music. Read my thoughts on the long-player from spring 2015 through this link.

Tickets to the below shows will be on sale starting at 10 AM this morning, the 10th of June. Want more Young Kato coverage? We’ve got it here on TGTF here.

Sunday 2nd October 2016 – Bristol Louisiana
Monday 3rd October 2016 – Brighton Komedia
Tuesday 4th October 2016 – Manchester Sound Control
Wednesday 5th October 2016 – Birmingham Sunflower Lounge
Friday 7th October 2016 – London Garage

 

Video of the Moment #1870: Young Kato

 
By on Tuesday, 28th July 2015 at 6:00 pm
 

Young band Young Kato released their long-awaited debut album ‘Don’t Wait ‘Til Tomorrow’ back in May. If you haven’t picked it up now, I highly recommend getting it.

Now, one of the more upbeat, uplifting numbers on the LP has its own promo video. In ‘Runaway’, we turn to a lazy late night, where a pair of girls who have decided to throw all caution to the wind and head on a trip to anywhere together are met with two strangers involved in the video’s unexpected ending. All the action, of course, backed by the Cheltenham group performing the song.

All our past coverage of Young Kato is this way.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xok-7OdOWlg[/youtube]

 

Album Review: Young Kato – Don’t Wait ‘Til Tomorrow

 
By on Tuesday, 2nd June 2015 at 12:00 pm
 

If you’re a regular watcher of the E4 reality drama Made in Chelsea, you’ve no doubt heard Young Kato’s music already, and if you haven’t been paying attention, you may not have even known it. That’s perfectly okay though. But naysayers of mainstream pop of the world beware: the six-band member strong group from Cheltenham now have a debut album to their name. The title ‘Don’t Wait ‘Til Tomorrow’ is a more graceful way of rephrasing ‘YOLO’ in slightly more poetic and definitely less common terms, and it’s also an excellent reflection of the 11 songs contained on the LP.

While they might be young and already have Radio 1 support – two attributes enough for some people to turn their noses up to their music and pass judgment – I implore all to give this album a chance at least for one full listen through your streaming music service of your choice, as I think this might be the soundtrack to your summer. Not to mention cause you to reconsider your stance on today’s pop music. Yes, I know, them’s fighting words, but this is no ordinary pop album.

The band smartly begins with their seasonal smash ‘Sunshine’, previously released as the title track of an EP in autumn 2014. (Read frontman Tommy Wright’s track-by-track analysis of the ‘Sunshine’ EP here.) This is followed by their perennial live favourite ‘Drink, Dance, Play’, which works really well, as every pop band needs a roof-raising, fist pump-inciting singalong song, don’t they? ‘Lights’, another stalwart in the band’s live set, is another great pop anthem midway through the collection, tailor made for festival pogoing. Its buzzing synths and driving rhythm provide an effective foil to its love song heart as Wright sings, “I know it’s hard to face the facts / I’m pulling away like a train from the tracks / I‘m sick and tired of being free / and I know you’re meant for me”.

The album’s standout is ‘Ultraviolet’, a snapshot of a winter club night romance that leaves the protagonist wondering “the question that haunts me / will I ever see you again?” The rhythm is relentless, keeping your heartbeat racing, as Wright ponders aloud if the mysterious girl even thinks about him or if he’s “another strike upon the wall”. It’s humanising, an interesting point of view from a boy, as usually it’s us girls who are second-guessing whether a guy fancied us or we were just amusement for the night.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsAr8RmZzAk[/youtube]

‘Children of the Stars’ is another surprise: a well-paced song, it touches on the innocence of childhood and the desire to go back to simpler days, a sweet yet expansive pop melody running throughout. Contrast this to the pulsating disco beats and handclaps of ‘Remedy’, bringing the premise of Roxy Music’s ‘Love is the Drug’ to the teenagers of the 21st century, or the borderline stalker storyline of ‘Stephanie’, complete with glittery synths. Hold up a minute, are you telling me that all the songs on this album *don’t* sound the same? ::smirk:: I told you!

The only bone I have to pick with ‘Don’t Wait ‘Til Tomorrow’ is how it loses steam in the final quarter. ‘Revolution’ and ‘Just Say the Word Away’ are both sweeping vocally and are certainly grand in their rich instrumentation, but they’re the sonic equivalent to cloying saccharine. The album might have been all that much stronger if the LP just ended with ‘Runaway’ and on an uplifting, up tempo note. Maybe I just need to listen to those two songs in the context of a colder season but otherwise as is, this debut album from Young Kato with plenty of catchy pop melodies is summertime for your ears.

8/10

‘Don’t’ Wait ‘Til Tomorrow’, the long-awaited debut album from Cheltenham’s Young Kato, is out now on Republic of Music. For more on Young Kato, including my review of their appearance at the Great Escape 2015, go here.

 

Great Escape 2015: Day 3 Roundup (Part 2)

 
By on Friday, 22nd May 2015 at 2:00 pm
 

Part 1 of my coverage from the Great Escape 2015 on Saturday is this way.

Le Galaxie @ Patterns downstairs (Jack Daniel’s)

So after getting my brains beaten in by a band from Cardiff, I was expecting for something a bit different at Patterns downstairs with Landshapes. However, when I arrived at the venue, there was a brief lull, and then an epileptic fit of strobes accompanied with throbbing beats. Uhhh, I don’t think this is Landshapes? (I was informed later that due to another band pulling out of the lineup, all the acts were going on a half-hour early. If you’re keen on Landshapes, you’re in luck, the London band was on Marc Riley’s 6 Music show Thursday night.) I realised quickly that I was now watching Le Galaxie from Dublin, which was fine by me because I was in the mood for some real electronic after a so far real dance-less Saturday at the Great Escape 2015. While Carrie covered the band at the full Irish breakfast at SXSW 2015, I am pretty sure the stars aligned on purpose so I would be at Patterns at that very moment to catch them.

Le Galaxie at the Great Escape 2015

Most dance music runs to one theme, love: how to get it, how to keep it and what to do when you lose it. With enough dB in the background to keep your heart pulsating. Having a charismatic frontman is paramount. In the case of Le Galaxie, Michael Pope knows how to shake what his momma gave him. It is not what you expect from a hulking Irishman with an epic beard; he looks more like he should be playing with Fleet Foxes, not fronting an electronic band. (I didn’t see the tattoos that are apparently also a trademark of his.) Watching him shake his arse and show off his fancy footwork in front of a Brighton crowd absolutely loving it was quite the sight to see. ‘Put the Chain On’ was a banger, the song that sticks out in my mind because the band was so on point. I think that was one of several where Pope took his microphone and went straight to the barrier to commune with the fans. Another big one was ‘Lucy is Here’, a darker, older but still goodie track. This is exactly the kind of band I expect would have an amazing – and deservedly so – draw at a festival like Ultra. It’s not just synths and buttons pushed. Pope and co. make sure everyone is included in their dance party, and it’s an unforgettable experience.

Young Kato @ Shooshh

Next on my hit parade for Saturday night was Young Kato, who I’ve been following since their early days. They’ve now released their debut album on Republic of Music this month, ‘Don’t Wait ’til Tomorrow’, which has been a long time coming, and I couldn’t be happier for the lads. Their show at Shooshh would be their crowning moment at the Great Escape 2015, where they would show off their new tunes and bring out the older ones for devoted fans. ‘Drink, Dance, Play’, which always ends up being a ridiculously fun exercise in jumping up and down, yelling and screaming the chorus, never disappoints, and it sure didn’t disappoint in Brighton. The vibrancy of the uber optimistic ‘Sunshine’, the title track of their autumn EP last year, closed their set out on a high note. Onward and upwards, lads!

Young Kato at the Great Escape 2015

Even though it was a little chilly to me, the dry weather was nice in Brighton, which means there were queues at most venues thanks to eager punters everywhere you went in the city. The Spiegelpub and Spiegeltent area around hub of transit activity The Old Steine was a new one to me, but I was very intrigued with the premise: being inside it was very much like being at an outdoor festival, which means if the weather is good, it’s fantastic, but if the weather’s crap, every man for himself.

Keston Cobblers’ Club @ Spiegeltent (Jazz Cafe Presents…)

After getting some cheesy fries with loads of mayonnaise and feeling like an idiot for eating them with a fork (hey, I still had to take photos, yo!), I entered a Moulin Rouge-themed area where Keston Cobblers’ Club would be playing. I have my favourite songs off their debut album ‘One, for Words’, and hoped I would hear them. One of the catchiest tunes off their debut, ‘Your Mother’ is a unique one, with horns and banjo joining the fray, the band’s lush harmonies sounded beautiful against the instrumentation. The group also showed off some new songs from their upcoming second album ‘Wildfire’, which will be released in June.

Keston Cobblers' Club at the Great Escape 2015

Sadly, I was drowned out for the request for a slower one by the rest of the crowd, which in the end is fine because I would have preferred them to gain new fans than to make one music editor happy. The crowd was in the mood to dance or to be more accurate, to stomp. While I was stood in the front of them, it quickly became a square-dancing hoedown, punters pleased with the up tempo gaiety their songs provided them on a mild night by the sea. At one point, I was sure I was going to be stamped to death, as everyone was so boisterously stomping their feet on the wood floor of the Spiegeltent. All’s well that ends well, though: after their set was over, new fans rushed like the dickens to the front to buy their CD. A job well done, then.

Blossoms @ Green Door Store (Dr. Marten’s)

I had been thinking for a long while how I wanted to end my Great Escape 2015 experience and after a friend had disappeared from me post-Keston Cobblers, I decided my original plan was best. I rushed quickly back up Brighton’s hilly streets to the Green Door Store, the site of my most epic fail at the Great Escape to date. Two years ago, at the same crowded venue, I got nowhere near the front so I could hear Teleman but could not actually see them. This time, I wasn’t about to be denied. I was a little pushy but was never rude and by the grace of god, I finally saw a clearing and was down the front for Stockport’s Blossoms, who I’d enjoyed at the BBC Introducing stage at SXSW 2015. I think it was a pleasant surprise for the band to see me, as they didn’t even know I was at the festival.

Blossoms at the Great Escape 2015

Watching a middle-aged man in sunglasses (remember, it was nearly midnight by this time, and dark) and a leopard print shirt, grooving to Blossoms, that image from this year’s event will definitely stay with me. He was clearly feeling and breathing in their psychedelic pop vibes, as were many down the front. Kitted out with their new shoes courtesy of stage sponsor Dr. Marten’s, the five-piece were on point. I still don’t know what ‘Blow’ means, it probably has some rude explanation that would make me blush, but for some reason I really connect with its sound, and I admit I have played the video for the song a few too many times on YouTube, Tom Ogden’s vocal line in the chorus is just about perfect, and bloody hell, you must be a stone if Josh Dewhurst’s guitar solo doesn’t bring you to near tears.

Afterwards, I went to go thank the lads for a hell of a set. We all hugged and they asked me, “when will we see you again?” Ha. I couldn’t cry then. It’d be too embarrassing. But I hated knowing I was going home the next day. But hopefully that reunion with them and everyone else I met up with in Brighton will be sooner than later. Fingers crossed.

 

(Great Escape 2015 flavoured!) Video of the Moment #1798: Young Kato

 
By on Wednesday, 6th May 2015 at 6:00 pm
 

Following the completion of a major UK tour this spring, Young Kato‘s long awaited debut album ‘Don’t Wait ’til Tomorrow’ is out this week through Republic of Music, and it’s great, in the footsteps of last year’s ‘Sunshine’ EP. I’ve been following the Cheltenham band for a while now and I can’t be anything but super proud and happy for them. Today I’ve got for you the animated promo for ‘Children of the Stars’, an optimistic, upbeat track from the new LP.

After being away from the event for 1 year, I’m pleased to announce the band will be performing at this year’s Great Escape in Brighton on the Saturday, the 16th of May, at Shooshh at 9:30 PM. Be there or be square!

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzlDqyy-UPU[/youtube]

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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