The sextuplet of Young Kato have been considered to be rising stars ever since their performance on Made in Chelsea. The band were danced along to somewhat unconvincingly by the social elite but nevertheless it seems to have done them a world of good, given the number of teenage girls who were in the Upstairs of the O2 Academy Oxford for their show.
Playing a variety of cuts from their forthcoming album as well as songs from their previous EPs, the band filled the space well due to the large number of them, with lead singer Tommy Wright taking centre stage. His energy saw him bopping and jumping around throughout the set, although this did also serve to emphasise the staticness of the rest of the band. As other members stood still playing their instruments, Tommy occasionally seemed awkward and lacking anyone to interact with.
But Young Kato are fun, that’s undeniable. Their songs are simple pop-by-numbers, featuring shouted choruses and easy synth/guitar riffs. However, the simplicity can start to grate as time or a set wears on. It began to feel all too hyperactive, too contrived. There seems to be a lack of originality in it all, and it makes it not as exciting.
Interestingly, the band are at their most impressive when they slow things down and people drop out. This was notably demonstrated on their cover of ‘Waiting For a Star To Fall’, the slice of 80s pop cheese that they originally recorded for the Made in Chelsea soundtrack. For ‘Life’s Good’ only three people were playing and it allowed Tommy Wright’s voice to be appreciated properly. Beyond the fun persona, there lies a beautiful voice which reaches into the higher limits of a tenor range without resorting to falsetto.
The band finish with a rousing rendition of ‘Drink, Dance, Play’, the song which brought them to wider attention when they played it on Made in Chelsea. It’s an enjoyable end, and in many ways it epitomises the problem with the band. Whilst one song like ‘Drink, Dance, Play’ is great to dance along to, ten of them are not as fun, especially when the newer songs feels duller, although this could be due to there being no album released yet. A Young Kato gig makes more a perfectly enjoyable evening, but they’re nothing to write home about.