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Youth Group

Youth Group-concert in Vancouver, Canada in 2005
Background information
Origin Sydney, Australia
Genres Alternative rock
Years active 1990s – present
Labels Ivy League Records
Epitaph Records
World's Fair
Website Official website
Toby Martin
Danny Lee Allen
Cameron Emerson-Elliott
Patrick Matthews
Former members
Andy Cassell
Paul Murphy
Jason Walker
John Lattin

Youth Group is a rock band based in Newtown, Sydney, Australia signed to Ivy League Records.



Youth Group are an Australian rock band, formed in Sydney in the late nineties. They have released four albums in Australia, with the three most recent albums also gaining releases worldwide. The founding members of the band were Toby Martin on rhythm and vocals; drummer Danny Lee Allen; bass player Andy Cassell; and lead guitarist, Paul Murphy. Current guitarist Cameron Emerson-Elliott and current bassist Patrick Matthews joined in 2004.

Principal songwriter Toby Martin is the grandson of Hungarian-born Australian poet David Martin. Founding bass player Andrew Dymock Cassell retired from bass duties in 2003 to concentrate on being one of three partners in Ivy League Records and Winterman & Goldstein band management, Youth Group's Australian record label and management respectively. He 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 punkers John Reed Club in the late 90's and has known Toby since their school days in Canberra, at Narrabundah College, when they wrote songs together as The Morris Brothers. Patrick played bass in The Vines before joining Youth Group. Versatile Sydney musician Johnno Lattin (also of La Huva) played bass in the band during the Skeleton Jar period around 2003. Danny also plays guitar amongst the revolving line-up of Sydney garage rock outfit, The City Lights.

Toby Martin of Youth Group

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, often female; his lyrics are typically unsentimental but rarely unsympathetic.

Martin relocated to Sydney from Canberra in 1996 and Youth Group formed shortly afterward. Their first show was in November 1997 at the Warren View Hotel in the inner Sydney suburb of Enmore. Remarkably, Danny had only been playing drums for a couple of months. Their first album Urban and Eastern was released in 2000. While the band always had a dedicated following in the inner cities of Sydney and Melbourne, and frequently supported major acts like Elliott Smith and The Strokes, their sales career was unremarkable. They 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 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 #2 in March, 2006, and eventually peaked at #1. It was also #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 and Killing". As of July 24, 2006, Casino Twilight Dogs debuted at no.10 in the ARIA Album Charts [1].

They supported the 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.

Youth Group won a 2006 ARIA award for "Break-Though Single" for "Forever Young". ' 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 hit Show Gossip Girl episode "The Bonfire of the Vanity"

Youth Group toured the US twice in 2009 and are currently on hiatus.




Early singles:

  • "Weekender" (1998)
  • "Interface" (1999)
  • "We are Mean" (1999)
  • "Country Tour" (1999)
  • "Guilty" (1999)
  • "Happiness Border" (2000)

From Skeleton Jar:

  • "Shadowland" (November 2003)
  • "Baby Body" (2004)

From Casino Twilight Dogs:

  • "Forever Young" (February 2006) #1 AUS (Platinum)
  • "Catching and Killing" (August 2006) #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

  • Music from the OC: Mix 5 (2005, Warner Bros.)
  • Vans Warped Tour Compilation Disc 2 (2005)
  • Coastal Chill 05 (2004)

Music videos

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


  1. ^ Top 50 Albums Chart - Australian Record Industry Association

External links

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