Trees Trees… Bark odes

Interview: Celia Humphris (Trees)

Published on October 17th, 2012 | Jonny Abrams

Trees singer Celia Humphris has contributed vocals to Chris Wade‘s wonderful Dodson and Fogg album, an LP which also features Nik Turner of Hawkwind and Judy Dyble of Fairport Convention, so Rocksucker sent her some questions pertaining to both this new project and her legacy as the voice of Trees’s influential output; and she very kindly obliged us…

How did you come to be involved on the Dodson and Fogg album, and what do you think of the end result?

Chris interviewed me for his online magazine Hound Dawg some time ago. Earlier this year he sent me one of his short stories and asked if I’d be interested to record it – I was – and I guess it seemed natural that I should sing on a couple of his music tracks as well. I like to sing, I have my own voice studio – why not?

Can you hear the Trees influence in there?

Perhaps in the poetry, otherwise, no not really.

Are there any Dodson and Fogg live shows lined up, and if so will you be taking part in any of them?

I don’t know the answer to the first part of the question. Unless he happens to be playing down near where I live, it’s highly unlikely that I’d be able to take part – I live in France!

What do you get up to these days? Does resuscitating Trees in any way, shape or form ever get discussed? Have you noticed a demand for it?

I’ve been a voice over for the last thirty-odd years – hence my recording studio. Yes, Trees were set to play a reunion gig at the Borderline in London a few years back, but sadly our drummer, Unwin Brown, died and we lost the impetus to get started. It was also mooted that we play at a festival at the end of August, but again it wasn’t really feasible due to my being down here. If we could, I think we’d love to, although it might be our inaccessibility that keeps the interest in those two albums going.

Have you read the comedian Stewart Lee’s piece about Trees’s second album On the Shore that he posted on his website?

Yes, I had read it, and it was wonderful to re-read it and return to those heady days, many thanks for the link. Stewart interviewed us during our first meeting all together for thirty years. The interview helped us to remember and focus, and afterwards each of us admitted to not remembering certain bits that others of us had mentioned.

Trees wasn’t around for very long and everything happened so fast that it’s hardly surprising that our memories of events differed a little. I think my favourite part in his well-considered and beautifully written piece is this: its tone of strange, otherworldly, almost sinister ambivalence has remained impossible to counterfeit.

What did you think of Gnarls Barkley’s use of a sample from “Geordie” for their track “St. Elsewhere”?

That he had used it, or the result? I was amazed that he’d used it and made a piece of music that was nothing like the sampled piece – I like it very much and still love “Crazy”. Had he not sampled it, we’d not have got back together as friends at least, and the resulting renewal of interest in our albums would not have happened. What was even better – thanks to David’s hard work we finally received overdue royalties dating back to the early ’70s! Not in any way a fortune, but it gave us a good feeling of achievement.

Do you prefer one of the Trees albums over the other, and if so, why?

I used to think I preferred one, and then the other – so I guess the answer is no. There are elements in both that I love, others that I’m not so happy with, and I was so pleased to be able to add in the harmonies on “Silkie” and “Jane Delawney”. Quite an interesting feeling, singing with my 18-year old self!

Are there any obscure and/or up-and-coming bands that you’d like to recommend or give a shout-out to?

Living where I do I’ve not had the chance to hear much live music. Down here it’s all cover bands playing in bars, that sort of thing. So no, not really – which is why it’s been so good to have been a part of Dodson and Fogg. There’s a lot more where that came from!

Finally, if you had to spend the rest of your days in solitary confinement, with just the entire back catalogues of five different musical artists for company, whose would you choose?

Lord, what a question! Gershwin, Beethoven and Vivaldi for starters, but I imagine you meant contemporary? I think BB King would have to be in there, blues always was my thing and he’s made several great albums with other artists, and then maybe Van Morrison, who I didn’t much care for at the time of Trees but latterly found myself drawn into his music.

Celia Humphris, thank you.

Dodson and Fogg

Dodson And Fogg’s eponymous debut album will be released on 1st November. For more information, please visit , and

Click here to read Rocksucker’s interview with Dodson and Fogg brainchild Chris Wade

Artists: ,

About the Author

Editor of Rocksucker and the website's founder, Jonny is passionate about the music he listens to, both good and bad, as well as interviewing his favourite musicians.

9 Responses to Interview: Celia Humphris (Trees)

  1. Pingback: Albums round-up: Dodson & Fogg, Dr Dog, Man Man - Rocksucker

  2. You could certainly see your enthusiasm within the work you write. The sector hopes for more passionate writers such as you who aren’t afraid to mention how they believe. Always follow your heart.

  3. I just like the helpful info you supply on your articles. I’ll bookmark your weblog and test again right here regularly. I’m quite sure I will be informed a lot of new stuff right right here! Best of luck for the following!

  4. I used to be able to find good information from your articles.

  5. Magnificent beat ! I would like to apprentice while you amend your web site, how could i subscribe for a blog website? The account helped me a appropriate deal. I were a little bit acquainted of this your broadcast provided vibrant transparent idea

  6. Hi there, I discovered your blog by means of Google whilst looking for a similar matter, your site got here up, it looks great. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.
    Hi there, simply become aware of your weblog via Google, and located that it is truly informative. I’m gonna watch out for brussels. I’ll appreciate when you continue this in future. Numerous people will likely be benefited out of your writing. Cheers!

  7. DMC5 says:

    Excellent web site you’ve got here.. It’s difficult to find excellent writing like yours nowadays. I truly appreciate people like you! Take care!!

  8. Fantastic goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous to and you are just too fantastic. I really like what you’ve acquired here, really like what you are stating and the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you still care for to keep it sensible. I can not wait to read much more from you. This is really a great site.

  9. kira escort says:

    Don’t try to guess someone’s age based on their appearance. Seeking beautiful Hungarian women at Hungarian dating sites is just so convenient these days. You have 5 friends who know you in and out through your your twenties prostituierte dresden

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *