St Albans band earns regular slot at Ronnie Scott’s

LEGENDARY jazz club Ronnie Scott’s is a venue many musicians can only dream about playing.

But for local band Youth Imperial this honour is a monthly reality, as they were asked to be residents for the London club’s event TV Nights.

The group, which is made up of members from St Albans, Harpenden and Redbourn, recently played their second gig at the upstairs bar of the prestigious venue.

With a whole host of UK shows and a performance in Paris under their belt in addition to the new slot at Ronnie’s, the band is showing no signs of slowing down.

Neil French, Tinks Gray, Gareth Grover, David Holt and Robbie Redway started writing together in early 2011 and played their first show as Youth Imperial about a year ago.

Lead singer Robbie said: “We’ve played a few great shows in London and Herts but the main focus so far has really been creating a bunch of songs that we’re happy with.

“We’re getting there slowly but surely.”

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He added: “Next year will hopefully be a lot busier because we plan to release our debut EP in January, which we’re currently putting the finishing touches on.”

The band chose a barn on Bodmin Moor in Cornwall as the recording location for their forthcoming release, confessing that the remote and isolated atmosphere in which they put themselves has rubbed off on the music.

Robbie added: “There’ll be four tracks on the EP but we haven’t decided much more than that! Keep your ears out for it early next year though, we’re really pleased with the way it’s sounding.”

They describe their musical style as “eclectic” and admit they are inspired by a variety of genres including blues, folk, R’n’B and even metal.

“We’d rather not be seen as part of a scene or be genre specific, as versatility is pretty important in modern popular music.

“We’ll listen to a load of different stuff in rehearsal breaks; the other day it was Frank Ocean, Arcade Fire, Debussy and At The Drive-In, so quite a diverse mix.

“If you had to generalise it we’re essentially an alternative rock/pop group.”

Over the summer the band played at a selection of festivals, sharing the stage with a mixture of rising and well-established artists such as Slow Club, The Mystery Jets, To Kill a King, Bastille and We Were Evergreen.

The band have also supported Brit Award winner Finley Quaye.

Robbie added: “We mainly play in London but we recently played at a night called The Wireless at Cha Cha Caf� in Watford.

“The crowd was really attentive and we enjoyed it a lot, so we’ll be back there at some point soon.

“We’ll be doing a couple of low key gigs in St Albans soon, which will be really useful to test out new material on our friends and allies.”

Youth Imperial’s next gig at Ronnie Scott’s is on October 18, with another on November 20. Tickets cost �8 on the door or �6 with a flyer.

To download the band’s track Lamplight visit