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|Genres||Alternative rock, indie rock|
|Years active||1996–2009, 2014–15|
|Labels||Ivy League Records
|Past members||Toby Martin
Danny Lee Allen
Youth Group was a rock band based in Newtown, Sydney, Australia. Built around the vocals of singer Toby Martin and production of Wayne Connolly, the sound of Youth Group is reminiscent of indie rock artists such as Teenage Fanclub, Pavement and Death Cab for Cutie.
The band formed in Sydney in the late 1990s and has released four albums, three of which have gained worldwide release. They achieved major success in 2006 when their cover of Alphaville's "Forever Young", which had been recorded for the soundtrack of the US TV drama The O.C., was released as a single and reached No. 1 in Australia, attaining platinum status.
The band's founding members were Toby Martin on rhythm guitar and vocals, Danny Lee Allen on drums, Andy Cassell on bass guitar, and Paul Murphy on lead guitar. The band's first show was in November 1997 at the Warren View Hotel in the inner Sydney suburb of Enmore. At this stage, Allen had played drums for approximately two months. Current lead guitarist, Cameron Emerson-Elliott, and bassist, Patrick Matthews, joined in 2004. Martin, the main songwriter, is the grandson of Hungarian-born Australian poet, David Martin. Founding bass player Cassell retired from bass duties in 2003 to concentrate on being one of three partners in the Ivy League Records label and the Winterman & Goldstein band management agency (Youth Group's Australian record label and management, respectively). Cassell is a relative of Australian Test cricketer Geoff Dymock. Founding guitarist Paul Murphy left the band in 2003 due to creative differences. Cameron Emerson-Elliott played guitar with Sydney punk band John Reed Club in the late 1990s and has known Martin since their school days in Canberra, Australia, at Narrabundah College; at the college, the pair wrote songs together as The Morris Brothers. Patrick Matthews played bass in The Vines before joining Youth Group. Johnno Lattin (also of La Huva) played bass in the band during the Skeleton Jar period around 2003.
The band met success when a series of chance happenings led Epitaph Records boss Brett Gurewitz to hear their second album, Skeleton Jar in 2004 and release it in the US in 2005. Despite sounding nothing like the California punk that Epitaph is widely known for, the support of a US label was the crucial break that Youth Group needed to find a wider audience. In 2003 the band played at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas and performed on four dates with The Vines and The Music on a US West Coast tour. But it was a chance to support Death Cab for Cutie in 2005 on a coast to coast US tour that saw their profile rise most quickly internationally.
Their single "Forever Young", a cover of the 1984 song by Alphaville, was used in the television show The O.C. and heavily featured in promos for Australian TV station Channel Ten at the beginning of 2006. The song debuted on the Australian charts at No. 2 in March 2006, and eventually peaked at No. 1. It was also No. 1 in the first ever digital download chart. During 2006, they supported Coldplay in their sold-out tour of Australia; in 2008 they supported Kings of Leon and Interpol on their tours of Australia.
Youth Group won a 2006 ARIA award for "Breakthrough Single" for "Forever Young".
The band's music has been featured on several TV shows. In 2007, "Daisy Chains" appeared in '"One Tree Hill episode 4.16 "You Call it Madness, but I Call It Love"; in 2011, "Forever Young" was on the series finale of the ABC Family show Greek. "What Is a Life" from The Night Is Ours was featured on the Gossip Girl episode "The Bonfire of the Vanity".
Youth Group toured the US twice in 2009 before moving into an extended break. Though the band remained on good terms, they began focusing on other projects. Martin released a solo album, Love's Shadow, in July 2012 on Ivy League Records, while Danny relocated to New York, toured with We Are Scientists and currently still plays with Brooklyn band, The Drums. Matthews played in several bands - including Betty Airs and The Jewel & The Falcon - before joining Community Radio alongside fellow Youth Group bandmate Emerson-Elliot. In 2011, Skeleton Jar made No. 98 on Australian radio station Triple J's Hottest 100 Australian Albums of All Time (Industry List).
In November 2014, the band announced a show at the Newtown Social Club in Sydney for January 2015, in which they played Skeleton Jar in its entirety. The show sold out within a week of going on sale. The band later announced additional headlining shows in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane for June and July 2015; as well as a vinyl release of Skeleton Jar.
- Urban & Eastern (14 May 2001; Re-Release 17 July 2006) (IVLCD019; Re-Release IVY044)
- Skeleton Jar (22 March 2004; Re-Release 25 July 2005) (IVY025; Re-Release IVY037)
- Casino Twilight Dogs (17 July 2006) (IVY043; Limited Edition IVY042) No. 10 AUS
- The Night Is Ours (30 June 2008) (IVY064) No. 66 AUS
- "Weekender" (November 1998) (004IVLSPCD)
- "Bitter and Heartbroken"
- "Trouble for Skinhead"
- "Country Tour" (February 1999) (006IVLSPCD)
- "Country Tour"
- "There's Only One Way to Say 'I Love You'"
- "Spry Griever"
- "Country Tour" (Unabridged)
- "We Are Mean" (August 1999) (IVL5009633)
- "We Are Mean" - 2:54
- "Polo" - 3:20
- "Spender & Casey" - 2:27
- "Interface" (November 1999) (IVL50114)
- "Favourite Thing"
- "Ladies of the Renaissance"
From Urban & Eastern:
- "Happiness' Border" (July 2000) (IVLCS015)
- "Happiness' Border"
- "12:35 and I've Missed My Stop"
- "The Graduate"
- "Marlon Brando "
- "Guilty" (February 2001) (IVLCS020)
- "How Will I Explain This to My Parents?"
From Skeleton Jar:
- "Shadowland" (November 2003) (IVY021)
- "Shadowland" - 3:36
- "Rosie and the Sea" - 3:01
- "For the Night" - 4:10
- "Waiting for a Bus" - 2:25
- "Baby Body" (2004)
From Casino Twilight Dogs:
- "Forever Young" (February 2006) (IVY041) No. 1 AUS (Platinum)
- "Catching & Killing" (August 2006) (IVY045) No. 44 AUS
- "Daisychains" (February 2007) (download only)
- "Sorry" (May 2007) (download only)
From The Night Is Ours:
- "Two Sides" (April 2008)
- "All This Will Pass" (September 2008)
- "In My Dreams" (December 2008)
- Music from the OC: Mix 5 (2005, Warner Bros.)
- Warped Tour 2005 Tour Compilation (2005)
- Punk-O-Rama 10 (2005)
- Coastal Chill 05 (2004)
|Music video information|
|"We Are Mean"
|"All This Will Pass"
- "Artists: Youth Group". Ivy League Records. Ivy League Records. 2012. Retrieved 24 September 2012.
- Noel Mengel, "Young talents' time", The Courier-Mail, 13 July 2006.
- Sacha Molitorisz, "Forever young", Sydney Morning Herald, 4 August 2006.
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