Paul was born on January 17, 1956 in Luton, England, as the younger brother of Mark, and the elder brother of his sister Joanne. After school, he went to work at the Vauxhall Motors factory, but in his spare time, would play in several bands as a bass guitarist. The first group for which he became lead singer was Kat Kool & The Kool Kats. In the 1970s he joined the Streetband, who had one Top 40 hit in the UK with the humorous track "Toast", reaching No. 18 in 1978. In December of 1979 the Streetband broke up, and Young formed the Q-Tips, who established their name by playing live, but never had any hits in the UK. In Europe, however, their single "Letter Song" enjoyed some minor success.