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10 for 2014: #7 – Young Kato

 
By on Thursday, 5th December 2013 at 11:00 am
 

The lads of indie pop/rock group Young Kato may be young, and they’ve certainly not been around all that long. The first time I’d heard of them was summer 2012. But even then, they were already racking up festival appearances, including the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Festival in Bristol and Gloucester Park Festival, the latter near their hometown of Cheltenham. Not bad for a fledging band of kids, eh?

Then came 2013, when the band’s career was about to speed up like someone had pressed the fast forward button. On the closing night of the Great Escape 2013 back in mid-May, Young Kato played a rammed Old Ship Paganini Ballroom, just prior to the 1975. This was the first time I got to see the energetic sextet perform, and I was not to be disappointed. Singer Tommy Wright, whose curly coiffed head you’ll never miss, commanded the audience with his bracing voice that acted as a call to arms for an epic party. Which then ensued. There’s really no greater validation for a music journalist than to have heard a band on recording, make the decision that they’re going to be huge and then witness in person that you made the right call. I was so pleased for and proud of them. Another milestone for the band happened on the 5th of July 2013, when the band made a high-profile appearance to open the first British branch of trailblazing American burger company Shake Shack in London’s Covent Garden. You can watch some clips of the night and their rousing live performance below.

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/70846373[/vimeo]

And as much as us ‘older’ folk on the TGTF staff like to make fun of the posh men- and women-children of Made in Chelsea, the E4 reality drama has given some of our favourite artists some very useful promotion by using their songs on as background music. Young Kato joined the ‘appeared on Chelsea’ ranks this year. No doubt this assisted in increasing their popularity amongst the MID-watching set, and one better, when the show put on a sold-out series of Played in Chelsea gigs at London venue Under the Bridge, it was the Cheltenham lads who were announced as the headliner of one of the club nights. Nice one, E4. And if that wasn’t enough Made in Chelsea excitement for you, there’s more. The band have recorded a cover version of the track ‘Waiting for a Star to Fall’, which will be available to buy exclusively from the ‘Made In Chelsea, The Soundtrack (Vol. 2)’ out next Monday the 9th of December. I’m probably showing my age that I remember the original and remember it fondly, but I have to say, Young Kato’s version is a pretty cool remake.

After reviewing the progress they’ve made in the last 18 months, it’s easy to see why the readers of TGTF voted Young Kato into the lucky #7 position in the 10 for 2014 poll. Congrats, fellas! While they’ve just released an EP, ‘Drink, Dance, Play’, in late October on BMG/Chrysalis (yes, you read that right: major label!), they’re now holed up working on finishing their debut album with Dan Grech, who’s worked his magic with Radiohead, The Vaccines and Lana Del Rey, and I can’t wait to hear the results.

 

You Me At Six / March and April 2014 UK Tour

 
By on Thursday, 28th November 2013 at 9:00 am
 

You Me at Six is finishing 2013 in the support slot on tour with 30 Seconds to Mars, but they have just announced a headline tour of their own for spring 2014 in support of their upcoming fourth album, ‘Cavalier Youth’, due out on the 27th of January 2014. The second single from the album, ‘Fresh Start Fever’, will be released a week prior to the album, on the 20th of January.

Tickets for the following dates go on sale tomorrow, Friday the 29th of November, at 9 AM.

Update 20/03/2014: support will come from Cheltenham’s Young Kato on all dates.

Friday 28th March 2014 – Glasgow Academy
Sunday 30th March 2014 – Manchester Apollo
Wednesday 2nd April 2014 – Plymouth Pavilions
Thursday 3rd April 2014 – Nottingham Capital FM Arena
Saturday 5th April 2014 – London Alexandra Palace

 

Video of the Moment #1313: Young Kato

 
By on Friday, 6th September 2013 at 6:00 pm
 

Young Kato have released the promo video for ‘Drink Dance Play’, the title track of their forthcoming EP to be released on the 28th of October. They’re going to be a force to be reckoned with, judging from the reaction of their live performance at this year’s Great Escape. As you could probably surmise from the song title, the general feel of this from the Cheltenham band is one of youth, joy…and debauchery. Within reason. It’s a nice way to usher in the weekend. Watch the video below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPGnG9KX7xc[/youtube]

 

Live Gig Videos: Young Kato and the 1975 perform at CMJ showcase at the Great Escape 2013

 
By on Thursday, 13th June 2013 at 4:00 pm
 

CMJ (yes, those crazy people that put on the New York City-based music festival of the same name every October) sponsored a really fab showcase the Saturday night of this year’s Great Escape 2013 starring some great bands, including Young Kato and the 1975. Enjoy videos on us from both of these bands – Young Kato’s ‘Something Real’ and the 1975’s ‘Milk’ – below.

My full coverage of the night can be read here.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HVAePSC1bs[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8E_14vrBy4[/youtube]

 

Great Escape 2013: Mary’s Day 3 Evening Roundup

 
By on Tuesday, 4th June 2013 at 2:00 pm
 

I’ve now done SXSW, Sound City and the Great Escape all in the same year, in both 2012 and 2013. Each comes with its own perks and challenges, but I think the one underlying thing that ties all three of these events together is the mental exhaustion, on top of the physical you already put your body through. Admittedly, I knew John and I had to leave the flat at 7 in the morning on Sunday to catch our trains to go back north (Sheffield for me, Lincoln for John), so that terrible thought weighed heavily on my mind while I tried to sort just how exactly I was going to work my Saturday night. Before I’d left America, I had grand plans to crisscross Brighton up and down on the final evening, but by the time I’d actually reached day 3 (and over two weeks in Britain), my mind was saying no way to that.

After getting shut out of the Zanzibar a fortnight earlier in Liverpool during Sound City, I made the conscious choice and made good on my promise to Matthew Healy of the 1975 that we would cover them at one of the two festivals in May. Directly before them on the CMJ-sponsored showcase bill at the Paganini Ballroom at the Old Ship Hotel were China Rats, who I’d seen at SXSW 2013 at the PRS for Music / Kilimanjaro showcase 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 yet.

It sounds a bit textbook and far too easy to decide to stay in one place for nearly an entire evening, but it turned out to be the right decision in the long run for me, because as John described in his Saturday report, the place was later oversubscribed and full up with people that probably should not have been let in. This was pretty annoying, since I as editor was the one to make sure John was on the press guestlist for the Paginini Ballroom and I know it wasn’t the press office’s fault either. To be honest, I still feel very bad about John missing the 1975, because I’d seen them twice before and John still hadn’t. I offered to give up my spot and told John to tell the bouncer I was coming down if it meant he could come back up, but like the professional he is, John said no and decided to head up to the Dome to catch the fuss surrounding Bastille instead.

China Rats Great Escape live

I don’t know if they were feeling especially confident, or because it wasn’t so hot, or it had to do with playing in England. But China Rats looked and sounded 100x better in Brighton than they did in Austin. It wasn’t even the crowd so much that lent to this atmosphere; as you can probably guess, most people who had arrived early were primarily there to stake their places for the 1975, who were to be followed closely behind with late night programming of Tribes. No, there was just something about them that when they played, you could tell they meant business. ‘Nip It in the Bud’ was loud, raucous and just pure fun. The “ai yi yi yis” of ‘To Be Like I’ reminded of the early Beatles, and in an entirely good way.

Young Kato Great Escape live

Cheltenham sextet Young Kato look primed for Radio 1 exposure. Talking to other punters, I’m pretty sure no-one there had any idea who they were, so I knew they had their work cut out for them. To be honest, I was a little worried; they are all so young, how are they going to take it if the audience doesn’t like them? I shouldn’t have worried. Their single from last summer, ‘Drink, Dance, Play’, has a tribal beat-themed second half; it’s like they took the best bits of Bastille and put it into an indie pop song, which can only be a good thing, and the crowd just ate it up.

The anthemic ‘Lights’ is another great singalong, I’m seriously wondering why they haven’t been picked up for more airplay. I thought for such a young band, they sound remarkably polished and it was nice validation after hearing them on recording and writing a feature on them to discover that they’re excellent live. After watching them, I silently thanked myself for choosing the Paganini Ballroom for that night.

And then came the piece de resistance for the night, who everyone was waiting for, the 1975. Oh my. I already knew I was going to enjoy this, but I didn’t know how much I was going to enjoy it. They only played seven songs, but they had so much energy and the crowd assembled was so ready for this, there was only one way this could go: all the way up. The crowd jumped up and down to the infectious beats and you could feel the room literally shifting from side to side from all the bodies bouncing. I didn’t expect him to but Matt Healy did see me down the front during ‘Girls’ and smiled widely at me. He knew this performance was huge and they were having the times of their lives playing this grand ballroom. I’m sure it’s a moment they will always remember, and I was glad that I’d made a special effort to be there.

The 1975 Great Escape live

The only blemish was towards the end, when I felt a sudden breeze behind me. That’s not right; the ballroom is rammed and there was a massive wall of people behind me. What’s going on? I looked back to see that a circle of people had parted and backed off while two blokes, probably heavily intoxicated, were going at it with each other. Bouncers quickly got involved and it was clear both men were hot-headed, one of them giving the bouncer that was holding him a murderous look. Whoa. My first experience with violence at the Great Escape, and luckily, it looked like no one was seriously injured. It was a good thing it was over soon after that, as the crowd dispersed quickly once their set was over and I think everyone in there needed some air.

The City
Head.Cars.Bending
Milk
Chocolate
Girls
Sex
You and I

My last port of call for the Great Escape 2013 was to be all the way up the hill back towards the train station. I knew there was no way in hell I’d be able to leg it quickly enough to catch Teleman‘s set, so I flagged down a taxi driver to take me. Unfortunately I must have wasted at least 10 minutes yelling at the taxi driver because at first he refused to take me (grrrr). There was a taxi van in front of him, but it was full of a band’s gear and with my patience being tried, as nicely as I could I explained that the van was currently not in service. Finally, he let me in and drove me to the Green Door Store.

Then began the most infuriating moment for me at this year’s festival. I was desperate to see Teleman so I’d requested guestlist for the venue, figuring I’d have a better shot at this venue than some of the others. I get to security and tell the bloke there I’m on the press guestlist, and he decides to give me lip, claiming there is no guestlist. I hadn’t come all that way up to the Green Door Store to be denied entry. I insisted that I was on the guest list, I was press, and that was legitimately supposed to be there. Finally, he decides to pull out a ripped piece of paper out of his pocket, looks my name up, and what do you know, I’m on there and suddenly I’m allowed in. ::facepalm::

Not that this really did much good. Through the arguing with the taxi driver and the bouncer, I’d missed the first half of the set, and there was so much pushing and shoving inside the venue, I couldn’t get any closer to the stage than the brick archway leading into the main room. A funny moment was hearing someone say to their girlfriend, “can we get any closer?” and to turn and see it was Stephen Black of Sweet Baboo saying it; he’d played that same stage earlier in the evening We had a brief moment to say hello, so that was unexpected and nice.

I wasn’t a fan of all the pushing, especially from the very tall men with pints in their hands, obviously not caring that the group of girls I was with, all much shorter and unable to see anything, would have appreciated some graciousness. Occasionally, when punters would leave the main room and come back out through the archway, I could see the outlines of Tommy Sanders and band briefly. I could hear the notes of ‘Cristina’ but couldn’t really enjoy it. I recalled 2 years ago when I’d seen Pete and the Pirates up close in Islington’s Buffalo Bar a week before my birthday. One day, Teleman, I’ll see you up close and personal too. Just you wait.

The next morning, somehow John and I got out of our respective beds. I remember fighting my suitcase to get it shut so we could leave Brighton on time and make our connections in London. I nearly forgot my purse on the kitchen table. (Thank god we hadn’t dropped the keys through the letter slot yet.) But the Great Escape and our time in Brighton was over, and for me, it was time to switch gears…to be reunited with friends in Sheffield.

 

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.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sWTGPVMNqo[/youtube]

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

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