Young Kato

Young Kato

I’d not heard much about this band before I went along, but I’m glad I did. Good tunes. Ones to watch.

Date: November 11, 2013

Venue: Bodega

The sentence: “the band appeared in an episode of This Is Chelsea” is worrying. Have Young Kato “sold out” already, before they’ve been allowed to fully form? They’re an embryonic entity; zygotes in the music industry’s twitching body, and yet they’ve already been tempted by the dark side that is reality TV. Good Lord. Forget it, let’s down our pints, turn around and go down (Nottingham indie/punk hangout) The Angel to re-filth ourselves before we become consumers of a vacuous, fake unreality and book ourselves in for a fake tan and a Brazillian with Hugo the Venezualan.

But hang on. Woah Nelly. Stone the bleedin’ crows, what’s this? They don’t look like photoshopped handsome catalogue models (hello, The Wanted); they don’t speak like they were born with silver spoons (best silver, natch) in their mouths. They look and sound like normal young men, albeit with colourful clothing and an array of left field haircuts. Let’s stick around and give them a chance…

On further inspection, this Cheltenham six-piece are wearing the same shoes as the likes of Spector and Dog is Dead, with rhythms that flutter and frolic with the professionalism of a seasoned band, even though this is only the band’s “second birthday”, according to their ginger poodle-permed singer Tommy Wright, another nod to Dog is Dead.

As the gig progresses, their resemblance to Dog Is Dead grows, with pulsing rhythms dancing with vibing slinky synths, glacial guitar shapes and seismic percussion.

The tiny stage at the Bodega can hardly accomodate them, and their tunes are bulky, spacious gems too. Even when they slow things down on the airy Yes, their intrinsic moodiness is warming and cool simultaneously.

It’s clear what the producers of This Is Chelsea saw in them. They ooze style and confidence, yet don’t give the impression that they’re craving the limelight. Wright is relaxed and composed, his band tight, sharp but level headed.

The same cannot be said of the crowd who form the night’s first moshpit (albeit a mild-mannered one) when early 2013 single Break Out drops in. Its anthemic chorus and uplifting pop nous is intoxicating. Lights shows similar traits, and is the tasty essence in a mixture of Everything Everything and Bastille.

But it’s Drink, Dance, Play which causes the biggest ripple in the crowd. Its simple repeated titular message is met with unrelenting mayhem. It’s their party starter, party closer and party popper; a lesson in how to make the perfect rousing pop song.

This is Chelsea’s researchers spotted something unique in this band. And however crass that programme is, however false its plummy nonsense, Young Kato have come out as winners. This is Chelsea? Nah, this is  young carefree slink-pop at its finest.


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