The first gig
It must have been sometime in 1991 or thereabouts that the original line-up (Pete, Mitch and Arun) took a two song set to the Napier hotel in Fitzroy and somehow persuaded them to let them play an acoustic set in the pool room on a Wednesday night.
Pete recalls in the lyrics of Recreate, "Wednesday comes, the car won't start. So they bludge a lift off this chick named Lisa." Pressed upon to come up with a name, they make a dedication to the stranger who got them to the gig on time - to this day she has no idea she had a band named after her, and no-one can remember what she looks like so she'll remain safely anonymous.
The line-up changes
The gig went alright, no-one got lynched or disappeared mysteriously, and to their surprise they were asked back. A violin was added to the line-up when Annie joined and it was discovered that harmonica and violin actually sound pretty good together.
After Mitch's departure, Ted found a second hand Takamine and joined as a second guitarist/bass player to play a uni-student event with the others. Only the song Whalebone used the bass and eventually the bass part was translated to acoustic guitar. We had a few goes at finding a backing singer (neither Pete or Ted were putting their hands up for it) but it never really happened.
The next step
We wanted some more serious gigs and so we got together a few more songs and played a practice gig for friends in Pete's backyard. The best thing that can be said about that is the audience had drunk a fair bit. But this got us to the next step and we started playing some gigs at 1C1 and also as support for Gus, a band that Arun's brother Paul played in. The photo on the front of the Salad Days CD is from one such gig at the Central Club in Swan Street, Richmond. Another highlight was the Mallacoota music festival where the song Nicest Vices was polished up for it's debut in the pub's beer garden.
The line-up changes again
Then Annie left to go traveling for an extended period and suddenly we were short an instrumentalist. Luckily, Dave steps up with his tooter (clarinet) and saxophiphone (saxophone) and the tone of the band changes - for starters, his clarinet is 1/4 tone flat (being French) and us poor, humble guitarists had to keep tuning down to accommodate it. Dave also had a voice on him and so the backing vocals problem was solved. Only one problem remained and that was trying to keep in time - we needed a drummer/percussionist! So Cony joined us and at last the final line-up was realized.
More gigs and new friends
Just in time too. In 1994/5 Gus had also gone through a transition and had changed their name to Aspirin. They started getting better gigs and therefore so did we - playing regularly at the Evelyn Hotel in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy. Another band newly arrived on the scene was Carbine (Luke, Matt and Anthony having brought Irishman Mark to Australia to give the band thing a go) and the triple line up was a powerful combination. Lisa's Friends also played a regular Sunday afternoon at the Rochester Castle around the corner in Johnston Street.
A few people started asking us if we had a recording of our music and so we made several efforts to record some of our songs. Truth be known, this was more so that we'd have a demo tape for prospective venues and for our own gratification but the result was three CDs.
We found a studio in Brunswick where we did some very rough recordings - these weren't used for long and were quickly replaced with improved versions when we went down to Rye back beach. But we were always very much a live band too so we hired some equipment and sat Matze in the band room to record the gig we played on the 31st August 1995. Much of that was later mixed down to form the majority of tracks on the self titled CD. We'd also won some recording time in the La Trobe University studio following a Battle of the Bands effort.
Careers and the last gig
We had a good run but announced at the start of 1996 that we'd be playing our last gig since we were all going to go off and get careers. Actually we played three more gigs, each about three months apart. One was to launch the self titled CD that we'd put together. The last gig was at the Folk, Rhythm and Life festival at Eldorado in December. Tragically, Arun was killed in a car crash the following month.
Two final CDs
The song Shine was recorded at the Folk, Rhythm and Life festival and was chosen as a song to go on the Folk, Rhythm and Life festival's compilation CD. We also pressed it as a single along with the tribute Rubber Man and Arun's Leaving Song. At the same time, the Salad Days CD was put together from a collection of rough recording that mostly pre-dated the self titled CD.
Ted started playing guitar with Mark from Carbine who'd scored a weekly Thursday night in the front bar of the Dan O'Connell hotel in Canning/Princes St Carlton which was both musical and instrumental in getting into the 100 pint club. Dave took off on his bike for Western Australia and recorded some songs over there. Ted left Australia to tour Ireland and Germany with Mark's cousin Peter. After a while Dave and Ted found themselves back in Melbourne and since then they've teamed up with Pete and Jules (and on one occasion Paul) to play a variety of gigs: pubs, birthdays, weddings. Dave and Ted also played a half year residency as Drop Dead Lazy at Woodend's Holgates Brewery and played their last gig at Sharkey and Rhonda's wedding in December 2003.