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Trees

Based not in some rural retreat, but in the hippie hothouse of Notting Hill, Fairport-wannabes Trees squeezed out a pair of albums in a single long hot summer in 1970, with debut LP The Garden Of Jane Delawney followed by On The Shore.

The quintet laboured shamelessly under the influence of Fairport Convention’s Liege & Lief, their swirling guitars fronted by the scarifying falsetto of singer Celia Humphris, with traditional pieces like She Moved Through The Fair alternating with original compositions (the album’s title track was later covered by goth stalwarts, All About Eve).

Sales were poor but the band was championed by Melody Maker, and the On The Shore LP is indeed a splendid fusion of austere English folk and the fluid guitar lines of America’s west coast, and as good as anything produced by their contemporaries in the field.

The album includes traditional material (Polly On The ShoresStreets Of Derry) alongside the enigmatic originals that were their trademark (MurdochFool) – but many believe the highlight of their entire oeuvre to be the epic, ethereal rendition of Cyril Tawney’s Sally Free And Easy that closes side one.

Sadly, when On The Shore also failed to sell and a US tour supporting The Byrds fell through, the group fell apart. While they did regroup in various configurations over the next few years, few bands have won the posthumous acclaim of Trees.

Boshell joined Kiki Dee‘s band and wrote her biggest hit, I’ve Got The Music In Me.

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Celia Humphris
Vocals
Barry Clarke
Guitar
David Costa
Guitar
Bias Boshell
Bass, guitar, vocals
Unwin Brown
Drums