Youth Group

From ArticleWorld

Youth Group is one of the few bands that has originated in Australia, and been as big of a hit here as they are there. They hold to their roots in Aussie as much as they tour in the United States.


Line up

With its roots in the Canberra indie rock scene, the Youth Group was formed in the late nineties by school friends Danny Allen, Andy Cassel, Toby Martin and Paul Murphy. Of the original members only Toby Martin and Danny Allen remain.

After various configurations, the current lineup was finalized in 2004, with the additions of Cameron Emerson-Elliott on guitar and bassist Patrick Matthews.


Youth Group signed to Ivy League Records. Andy Cassell is one of three partners in the Ivy League, Winterman & Goldstein group of companies.


Built around the pure vocals of Martin and clean style of production by Wayne Connolly, the sound of Youth Group is reminiscent of power pop. They also show a form of indie rock. However it is Martin's in depth and empathetic lyrics which distinguish Youth Group from comparable bands. He is able to create vignette style lyrics based around the emotional dynamics of his characters, often female in perspective. Martin's lyrics are typically unsentimental but seldom unsympathetic.

Epitaph Records

While the band always had a dedicated following in the inner cities of Sydney and Melbourne, their career was unremarkable until a series of lucky events that lead Epitaph Records boss, Brett Gurewitz to hear their second album, Skeleton Jar. He would release it in the United States. Despite sounding nothing like the California punk bands that Epitaph is widely known for, the support of a US label was enough of a break that Youth Group needed to find a wider audience.


Although the band had played at the 2003 South by Southwest festival, and doing a small number of dates with The Vines and The Music on their US West Coast tour, including a sold out show at San Francisco's legendary Fillmore. It was the chance to support Death Cab for Cutie in 2005 that saw their popularity base rise most quickly.

In addition, their single "Forever Young", a cover song by Alphaville, was used in the television show The O.C.. This song also saw much greater interest in Youth Group from mainstream audiences in Australia.

The song debuted on the Australian charts at number 2, and peaked at number 1. It was also number one in the first ever digital download chart.


They will support Coldplay in their sold-out tour of Australia, as well they have announced their own national tour.