The band's founding members were Toby Martin on rhythm guitar and vocals, Danny Lee Allen on drums, Andy Cassell on bass guitar, and Paul Murphy on lead guitar. The band's first show was in November 1997 at the Warren View Hotel in the inner Sydney suburb of Enmore. At this stage, Allen had played drums for approximately two months. Current lead guitarist, Cameron Emerson-Elliott, and bassist, Patrick Matthews, joined in 2004. Martin, the main songwriter, is the grandson of Hungarian-born Australian poet, David Martin. Founding bass player Cassell retired from bass duties in 2003 to concentrate on being one of three partners in the Ivy League Records label and the Winterman & Goldstein band management agency (Youth Group's Australian record label and management, respectively). Cassell is a relative of Australian Test cricketer Geoff Dymock. Founding guitarist Paul Murphy left the band in 2003 due to creative differences. Cameron Emerson-Elliott played guitar with Sydney punk band John Reed Club in the late 1990s and has known Martin since their school days in Canberra, Australia, at Narrabundah College; at the college, the pair wrote songs together as The Morris Brothers. Patrick Matthews played bass in The Vines before joining Youth Group. Johnno Lattin (also of La Huva) played bass in the band during the Skeleton Jar period around 2003.