Rainbow Ffolly - Ffollow Up! album review

A ffine return ffor the psychedelic British pop heroes Rainbow Ffolly, 48 years on.

Rainbow Ffolly - Ffollow Up! album cover

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The debut album by High Wycombe’s Rainbow Ffolly, Sallies Fforth, was released in 1968. It’s since gone on to attain almost mystical status in psychedelic pop circles, spoken of in reverential tones and changing hands for up to four figures in shady backstreet transactions. Forty eight years later the band have reconvened (minus the member who’s mining gold in Nevada, naturally) to make the cleverly titled Ffollow-Up!, and it’s much better than it has any right to be.

Featuring tracks written across the intervening years, it runs the full musical gamut, from prog anthems to lightly twisted psychedelia, and is stuffed with sound effects and Pythonesque asides. That the album can leap from the epic, Abbey Road-ish Noah to the wistful pop of Slow Down Zone — a song written 45 years later — with nary a glitch speaks volumes for the consistency of the material, but what shines through most is the absolute joy with which the band has approached the recording.

From the conversational jazz blues of Shoes to Tour de Fforce’s comic skiffle, Ffollow Up! sounds like an album made by musicians who’ve never been apart. It’s possible more bands should take half a century between releases.

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.