WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO
Dez and Vanessa
The children's music scene is a happy, vibrant, creative place. We love getting to meet so many families and writing new songs. We believe that seeing the joy on the smiling faces of the children as they sing and dance with us, makes this the best job in the world!
The Fabulous Lemon Drops are Dez and Vanessa Staunton, a musical duo based in Brisbane, Australia. They met in London while travelling the world. Dez was a musician with rock band Dubh Chapter and Vanessa was a backpacker on a journey to circumnavigate the globe. After the birth of their daughter they relocated to Vanessa’s home state of Queensland.
Dez's interest in writing children's music was inspired by the imaginations of the children he observed as a music teacher. Before becoming a teacher, Dez played bass in the rock band Dubh Chapter who were signed to Virgin, and recorded an album produced by Steve Hillage, best know for his work with Simple Minds. Dez's band played support to Blur, The Mission and New Order, whilst promoting their critically acclaimed album "Silence, Cunning & Exile".
Vanessa is also a teacher, and her physical education expertise and belief in the importance of movement to aid development has been a crucial ingredient in the creation of their energetic live shows. Her love of words, and in particular the writing of children's stories, provides the lyrical base for the band, which combined with Dez's music embodies the uniquely Fabulous Lemon Drops style.
Their first Fabulous Lemon Drops gig was in the garage of their home for their daughter’s eighth birthday. She wanted to raise money for the Starlight Children's Foundation instead of friends bringing her birthday presents. Dez and Vanessa provided the musical entertainment and it was so enjoyable that what was meant to be a one-off performance soon turned into a new career. They regularly travel around Australia playing for family audiences everywhere, and have performed nationally with a number of notable children's performers including Peter Combe, Justine Clarke and Hi-5.
Their collective experiences have enabled them to write songs that are original, easy to dance to and appealing to families. Dez wanted to make music for children, drawing inspiration from the music he loved such as sixties psychedelia and seventies new wave, and not traditional nursery rhymes. Vanessa’s love of books and experiences as a teacher motivated her to write meaningful lyrics designed to extend children, stimulate their imaginations and open up creativity. Together they have created a unique and highly interactive sound, designed to encourage children to smile, think, laugh and dance.
At a Fabulous Lemon Drops gig it is all about the kids! All performances are highly interactive and children can choose their level of involvement by dancing to the catchy original tunes, joining the band on stage to play a variety of exciting percussion instruments or even dressing up in colourful costumes. Alternatively they can just sit back and enjoy the show. At a Fabulous Lemon Drops show there is something for everyone. Read more about the educational ethos behind their performances.
The Fabulous Lemon Drops have released three CDs and a DVD. Their original songs are in high demand for use by educators, librarians and organisations across the globe, and are played regularly on leading children's radio stations worldwide. "I Love Reading", their song celebrating books and reading, has been featured on ABC TV in Australia, and was played on television across the USA throughout 2016. The song has received over 500,000 views on YouTube, and Dez recently performed the song live on 612 ABC radio.
They were Top 10 finalists in the Songs for Children Category of the Australian Songwriting Contest in 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. The 2018 competition proved to be their most successful year yet with three of their songs, "I Jump", "Frogs Like To Hop" and "Let's Dance", all awarded a Top 10 place. "Frogs Like To Hop" was also Highly Commended in the 2016 Queensland Music Awards, and their song "Let the Children Play" was Highly Commended in the 2018 UK Songwriting Contest.
The band has toured extensively throughout Australia, and has also performed in the United Kingdom. They will be touring China and beyond in 2020 as part of the Hand in Hand International Children's Music Festival. Watch this space!
View the Fabulous Lemon Drops Electronic Press Kit.
2014 Finalist (Top 10) - Australian Songwriting Contest
2015 Nominee (Top 30) - Australian Songwriting Contest
2016 Finalist (Highly Commended) - Queensland Music Awards
2016 Finalist (Top 10) - Australian Songwriting Contest
2017 Finalist (Top 10) - Australian Songwriting Contest
2018 Finalist (Top 10) - Australian Songwriting Contest
2018 Highly Commended - UK Songwriting Contest
2018 Semi-Finalist - International Songwriting Competition
2019 Finalist (Top 10) - Australian Songwriting Contest