Queensland Music Awards Finalists

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 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. Their original music videos have received over 900,000 views on YouTube.

They have been Top 10 finalists in the Songs for Children Category of the Australian Songwriting Contest for a number of years. The 2018 competition proved to be their most successful year yet with three of their songs all receiving a Top 10 place. More recently they were named as finalists in the 2021 Queensland Music Awards.

The band has toured extensively throughout Australia and has also performed in the United Kingdom. In 2020 the Fabulous Lemon Drops were invited to be part of the Hand in Hand International Children's Music Festival in China but this was postponed due to the international health emergency. They recently released a commission for ABC Kids Listen and are working on new material for their latest album due out in 2021. Watch this space!

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Songwriting Awards


ABC Kids Listen, Kinderling Kids Radio and Little Rockers Radio.

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