Youth Group

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This article is about the Australian rock band. For youth social groups, see Youth club. For Christian youth groups, see Youth ministry.
Youth Group
Youth Group 2005.jpg
Youth Group-concert in Vancouver, Canada in 2005
Background information
Origin Sydney, Australia
Genres Alternative rock, indie rock
Years active 1996–2009, 2015-present
Labels Ivy League Records
Epitaph Records
World's Fair
Website Official website
Members Toby Martin
Danny Lee Allen
Cameron Emerson-Elliott
Patrick Matthews
Past members Andy Cassell
Paul Murphy

Youth Group is a rock band based in Newtown, Sydney, Australia. As of 2015, the band is signed to Ivy League Records.[1] The band has released four albums in Australia, with the three latest albums gaining worldwide release.


Youth Group formed in Sydney in the late 1990s. The founding members of the band were Toby Martin on rhythm guitar and vocals, Danny Lee Allen on drums, Andy Cassell on bass guitar, and Paul Murphy on lead guitar. Current lead guitarist, Cameron Emerson-Elliott, and bassist, Patrick Matthews, joined in 2004. While the band had always had a dedicated following in the inner-suburbs of Sydney and Melbourne, and frequently supported major acts like Elliott Smith and The Strokes, the band's sales career had been unremarkable until the 2006 release of the single Forever Young.

Individual members[edit]

Principal songwriter, Martin, 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.

Toby Martin of Youth Group

Martin relocated to Sydney from Canberra in 1996 and Youth Group formed shortly afterward. 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.


Built around the pure vocals of Martin and clean 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. All members' taste in music contributed enormously to their organic indie rock (with a twist of country) sound. However it is Martin's insightful and empathetic lyrics which distinguish Youth Group from comparable bands. On Skeleton Jar in particular, Toby's vignettes were based around the emotional dynamics of his characters.[citation needed]

Urban and Eastern[edit]

The band's first album, Urban & Eastern, was released in 2000.

Epitaph Records[edit]

The band met success when a series of chance happenings lead Epitaph Records boss Brett Gurewitz to hear their second album, Skeleton Jar in 2004 and release it in the U.S. 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 4 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 July 2006 the band released their third album, Casino Twilight Dogs, which features "Forever Young", along with the album's second single, "Catching & Killing". On 24 July 2006, Casino Twilight Dogs debuted at #10 in the ARIA Album Charts.[2]

They supported Kings Of Leon and Interpol on their 2008 tours of Australia.

There is a widely circulated theory in the music community that the band name Youth Group is a clever twist on the name of the Scottish indie rock band Teenage Fanclub, whom vocalist Toby Martin has cited as a major musical influence during his childhood.[citation needed]

Youth Group won a 2006 ARIA award for "Breakthrough Single" for "Forever Young".

In 2007, the song "Daisy Chains" was featured on the CW show "One Tree Hill" episode 4.16 "You Call it Madness, but I Call it Love".

In 2011, the song "Forever Young" was featured on the series finale of the ABC Family show "Greek".

They released their fourth album The Night Is Ours in July 2008 through Ivy League in Australia and in April 2009 on Worlds Fair Records in the US. The song "What is A Life" from The Night Is Ours was featured on The CW show 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 are still on good terms, they are focusing on other projects. Martin released a solo album, Love's Shadow, in July 2012 on Ivy League Records. Drummer Danny lives in New York and tours with We Are Scientists and plays with Brooklyn band, The Drums.

In 2011 Skeleton Jar made No. 98 on Australian radio station Triple J's Hottest 100 Australian Albums of All Time (Industry List).[3]

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


Early singles:

  • "Weekender" (November 1998) (004IVLSPCD)
    1. "Weekender"
    2. "Bitter and Heartbroken"
    3. "Trouble for Skinhead"
  • "Country Tour" (February 1999) (006IVLSPCD)
    1. "Country Tour"
    2. "There's Only One Way to Say 'I Love You'"
    3. "Spry Griever"
    4. "Country Tour" (Unabridged)
  • "We are Mean" (August 1999) (IVL5009633)
    1. "We are Mean" - 2:54
    2. "Polo" - 3:20
    3. "Spender & Casey" - 2:27
  • "Interface" (November 1999) (IVL50114)
    1. "Interface"
    2. "Favourite Thing"
    3. "Ladies of the Renaissance"

From Urban & Eastern:

  • "Happiness' Border" (July 2000) (IVLCS015)
    1. "Happiness' Border"
    2. "12:35 and I've Missed My Stop"
    3. "The Graduate"
    4. "Marlon Brando "
  • "Guilty" (February 2001) (IVLCS020)
    1. "Guilty"
    2. "How Will I Explain This to My Parents?"

From Skeleton Jar:

  • "Shadowland" (November 2003) (IVY021)
    1. "Shadowland" - 3:36
    2. "Rosie and the Sea" - 3:01
    3. "For the Night" - 4:10
    4. "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)

Compilation appearances[edit]

Music videos[edit]

Music video information
  • Release date: 13 November 1998 (rage)
  • Label: Independent
  • Director: Andrew Hunter
  • Producer: Andrew Hunter
Country Tour
  • Release date: 5 March 1999 (rage)
  • Label: Independent
  • Director:
  • Producer:
We are Mean
  • Release date: 13 August 1999 (rage)
  • Label: Independent
  • Director:
  • Producer:
  • Release date: 26 November 1999 (rage)
  • Label: V2
  • Director:
  • Producer:
All This Will Pass
  • Release date: 25 July 2008 (rage)
  • Label: Ivy League
  • Director:
  • Producer:


External links[edit]