1996 – present (22 years)
Newtown, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Youth Group are an Australian indie rock band based in Sydney, New South Wales Australia signed to Ivy League. The band's current line-up consists of vocalist/guitarist Toby Martin, guitarist Cameron Emerson-Elliott, bassist Patrick Matthews and drummer Danny Lee Allen.
Rooted in the Canberra indie rock scene, the group was formed in 1996 by Narrabundah College school friends Paul Murphy, Toby Martin and Andy Cassell. The fourth founding member, Danny Lee Allen, never lived in Canberra, instead growing up in Maroubra and then Coogee in Sydney, meeting Paul through attending Marcellin College in Randwick. Andy Cassell was one of three partners in the Ivy League / Winterman & Goldstein group of companies. Of the original members, only Martin and Allen remained. 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. Their first album, Urban and Eastern, was released in 2000.
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.After various configurations, including the temporary membership of John Lattin of La Huva, the lineup was finalised in 2004 through the addition of Cameron Emerson-Elliott on guitar (previously a member of The John Reed Club) and Patrick Matthews on bass (formerly of The Vines). 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. The band supported Death Cab for Cutie in 2005 on a coast to coast US tour.
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. They also won an ARIA for Breakthrough Single.
In July 2006, the band released their third album, Casino Twilight Dogs, which featured "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. The album was produced by Death Cab for Cutie's Chris Walla.
They supported Kings Of Leon and Interpol on their 2008 tours of Australia.
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, as well as once again opening for Death Cab for Cutie in Australia, before moving into a hiatus. 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. Allen currently lives in New York and tours with We Are Scientists and plays with Brooklyn band, The Drums. Elliott and Matthews are both currently members of Sydney-based indie rock band Community Radio. Matthews also spent time in The Jewel and the Falcon.
The band reunited to play shows in 2015.
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