Thursday 24 March 2011

The Lemon Trees

Let me tell you about Ralph Dodger. As well as having a truly kickass name, he hosts a Blog called ‘Shoulda been huge’, where he talks eloquently and with passion about bands that ‘Shoulda been huge’ Neat eh? “Yeah, but what’s yer point?” I hear you cry. Well, it’s this – talk to any music fan and they will come up with at least one band who shoulda been huge. Talk to any Blog-toting, music-obsessed uber-nerd and they’ll come up with dozens. Here’s one of my dozens.

The Lemon Trees were a 1990s UK pop band consisting of Guy Chambers, twin brothers Paul Stacey and Jeremy Stacey, Alex Lewis and Paul Holman. The band formed in 1993 and recorded two albums, but the second was not released. They disbanded in 1995. (I just copied that from Wikipedia, can you tell?) I thought they were ace and tipped them for big things. This of course was the kiss of death (see Nyack and Belltower for proof). I saw them a few times, supporting bands like Jellyfish (oh my, what a gig) and others and they were always great. Tight playing, great songs, harmonies…they had the lot. Well, not everything – record sales evaded them and they sold about 20 records, unfortunately.

(Child Of Love)

I have no idea why they failed – maybe being a Psychedelic Pop band in the era of Nirvana was a bit of a drawback. When everyone was tearing holes in their jeans, The Lemon Trees were diligently polishing their Cuban Heels and Hofner basses and wondering where they’d put their love beads. They’ve left behind some great tunes tho’ – most of ‘em collected here. I’ve included their one and only album ‘Open Book’ and all the singles with non-album tracks I have. I am missing a few things, so if you’ve got anything that’s not here, please let me know and I’ll add it to the list. This was the era of the multiple format single, which meant that you had to hoover up a stack of different versions of the same song to get everything. What kind of loser does that? This kind of loser.  

I’d really urge you to check this band out. Anyone with a love of quality Pop-Rock with a 60s feel will love this stuff. There are echoes of tons of cool stuff in their music – Byrds, ‘Oranges and Lemons’ era XTC, Lilac Time, Diesel Park West….It’s ace, really.

Oh…and yeah, Guy Chambers went on to rescue the career of a certain Bob Williams, a former member of a former boyband or something…..

Love the sun
Love is in your eyes
Everything I want to feel
Child of love
The way I feel
Tidal wave
Let it loose
I can't face the world
Bad scene
Open book

Let it loose (edit)
Let it loose (Bedroom demo)
Loose mutation
This is my confession
Bittersweetness (live)
Sitting at my window
Open book (live)
Submerge (live)
Child of love (acoustic live version)
Child of love (bedroom demo)
Child of love (bittersweet mix)
Child of love (edit)
Back where I belong
Why does the pressure follow me home?
Captain Mission
Live and learn (bedroom demo)


  1. I agree - great band. Got several of the singles but as far as I was aware the album never got released - at least not in this part of the country! The Stacey brothers later went on to work with the Finn Brothers on tour - gear still in Lemon Trees flight cases!

  2. Is it wrong that I got quite excited by the thought of Lemon Trees flight cases...?

    Someone MUST have a copy of that second album. I wannit, I wannit, I wannit........

  3. Thank you very much for the non album tracks.
    I have the CD of "Open Book". This disc got a good review (i believe in 'Q') and that is how i knew the band.


  4. Great post, great album. I had my Open Book (cassette) signed by all the band when they played in my local record shop. Great to be able to listen to it again on my mp3 player.

    I think I have all their singles (on a mixture of
    CD single and cassette). I'll look to see if there are any other non-album B-sides and share them.

    The thought that there is an unreleased second album is frustrating, but like you say ... someone must have a copy.

    Also ... Seeing them supporting Jellyfish must have been cool - (I can't remember who supported JF when I saw them on the Spilt Milk tour, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't The Lemon Trees).

  5. Jellyfish AND The Lemon Trees - too right, what a gig that must have been. I saw them at The Water Rats in King's Cross. There was talk of the venue doing a live compilation including the Lemon Trees but I didn't see anything appear. 2 non-album tracks I remember them playing were 'Tanya' and 'Why Are You Trying To Kill Me?' - Never did hear them anywhere else. All your links are dead. Any chance of re-uploading or did the lawyers insist you don't?

    I have some other B sides if you're interested:
    Coming Down
    Drop The Bomb
    I Can't Face The World - bedroom demo
    Child Of Love - extended.
    Tomorrow's Here
    Feels So Nice
    The Way I Feel - acoustic version

    Did you ever stumble across the 2nd album?

  6. Did anyone ever get hold of the second album? Parkingstevenage - can you possibly drop mp3s of those extras in a shared dropbox folder?

    Any of you Lemon Tree fans use Twitter?

  7. Hi This page is great. I saw them live supporting Tim Finn in Wolverhampton, and was blown away. Vastly under-rated band. Still listen to Open Book regularly. I have just spotted some 'videos' on You Tube...well mp3s with an album pic to look at. Get sharing via facebook everyone!!! Such a shame they never went on to release the 2nd album. I'd heard there was an issue with the record company, so I guess we'll never know!