From 1996 to 2001, The Kitchen Party thrilled audiences with its unique lineup of traditional Celtic music, today's pop songs, and their own original material. After a two year hiatus, the band is once again performing live in 2003 and forward. Playing everywhere from Thunder Bay, Ontario to New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, from Buffalo, New York to Belleville, Ontario, they get a reaction from the crowd like no other Celtic band around.
"Those who have had the good fortune of seeing this quartet perform live as I did will attest that experiencing their show is not unlike feeling like you have won 'a million bucks'. They are relentless in their attack and don't stop until every square inch of the dance floor is full. If you've been to enough concerts, you more than likely have seen it before - stage diving. This kind of dramatic behavior is nothing new. But to discover that a Celtic band is producing this kind of anarchy, where people are swinging from chandeliers and knocking over speakers, requires some investigating" Mark Holmes of Your City Magazine
Although based out of Toronto, band members Kevin Young, Travis Firth, and James MacDonald were born and raised in Nova Scotia while bassist Chris Udell hails from Ontario. The style of music that they play comes naturally to them. While both their set list and CD are sprinkled with songs from today's popular music, the band prefers to play them in a high energy traditional style, usually only employing the guitar, fiddle, bodhran, mandolin, stand up bass, and the odd percussion instrument into their arrangements. They feel that this is one of the secrets to their success, along with never taking themselves too seriously; always making sure that they're having as much fun as the crowd is.
"The Kitchen Party brings a certain 'Je ne Sais Quoi' to their shows. Perhaps it's the knowledge that they're not busting their chops just to get that elusive record deal which seems to be first and foremost on the minds of every other musician, or maybe it's just the raw emotion that they deliver on stage." Mark Holmes of Your City Magazine
The boys met through mutual friends in Toronto back in early 1994, usually hooking up at parties. They discovered they had a mutual love of music and after entertaining people at these informal jam sessions, formed the band in 1996 along with original bass player Mike MacDonald, cousin of James. The name of the band came from realizing not only where they usually ended up playing, but is also a homage to the long standing Maritime (and really, world) tradition of the same name. They played their first ever full length show at the 1997 Georgetown Highland Games and have not looked back since. When Mike decided to retire temporarily from active duty in 1999, Jon Gallant (of Billy Talent fame) was recruited from the "Knights" hockey team, forming the lineup that you saw from 1999 until 2001. Mike re-entered the fold once again to hold down the 4-string duties in 2003 (as Billy Talent had rocketed to superstardom during the bands two year hiatus) and stayed for another five years, until 2008.
Who knows what the future holds for these guys. With Kevin taking up residence in Phoenix these days, they don't get together as much as they would like, but the boys are very happy to be playing live again and look forward to performing whenever possible. How often they're not sure of, but they are sure of one thing - that they will continue to do what they love best, which is making sure that you go home from one of their shows just a little happier, drunker, and more tired than you were when you came.