The Fabulous Five

Fifties skiffle group in Norbury, south London, featuring the three Sarstedt brothers – Richard, Peter and Clive – who became The Saints, at which point Richard was offered a contract to go solo and did so, reaching No 1 in the UK in 1961 (by which time he was known as Eden Kane) with Well I Ask You. Peter followed suit, topping the charts with his song Where Do You Go To (My Lovely) in 1969. Baby brother Clive, a sometime member of the Swedish group The Deejays – and yes, here they are – reached No 3 in the UK with My Resistance is Low  in 1976.

The Factory

The great Lowell George’s first band. Richie Hayward, another future member of Little Feat, was the drummer. Here they are, improbably, as The Bed Bugs in a 1967 episode of the sitcom F Troop. They also sound pretty good playing in the background of another US sitcom, Gomer Pyle USMC.

The Fink Brothers

Angel and Ratty Fink, better known as Suggs and Chas Smash of Madness, released one single, Mutants in Mega-City One, in 1985; it reached No 50 in the UK charts.

The Flee-Rekkers

Early 1960s instrumental group, previously known as The Ramblers and The Statesiders, who finally decided to name themselves after their leader, tenor saxophonist Peter Fleerakkers, although on their biggest success in 1960 they were billed as The Fabulous Free-Rakkers. Green Jeans, produced by Joe Meek, which reached No 23 in the UK charts, is a speeded-up version of the 16th-century hit Greensleeves (not, contrary to myth, composed by Henry VIII). The group disbanded in 1963, three members going on to form an outfit called The Giants while drummer Micky Waller enjoyed a successful career as a session musician and member of various important R&B bands, playing with the likes of Cyril Davies, Brian Auger, Long John Baldry, Jeff Beck and Rod Stewart (that’s Micky on Maggie May). He also formed a band called Silver Metre, with guitarist Leigh Stephens of Blue Cheer, in LA in 1969.

Flo & Eddie

Having come to regret calling themselves The Phlorescent Leech & Eddie, ex-Turtles Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman shortened the name and made several albums, including Illegal, Immoral and Fattening (1975). More than four decades later, they headlined the Happy Together Tour 2016.

The Flowerbuds

Fictional group whose appearance at the campsite scandalises Kenneth Williams in the climax of the 1969 film Carry On Camping. Improbably, Brian Hodgson, a member of the experimental electronic band White Noise – and the man who created the voices of the Daleks and the sound of the Tardis in Doctor Who – is thought to have been involved as The Flowerbuds unleashed their brand of cheesy instrumental mayhem on the Carry On team. As with most music featured in 1960s films, from Hollywood to Pinewood, it bears almost no relation to anything young people of the time might actually listen to.

The Fortunes

Birmingham beat group who had a huge international hit with You’ve Got Your Troubles in 1965. They began life as The Clifftones (who became The Merrie Men, backing a singer named “Robbie Hood”). Meanwhile The Fortunes Rhythm Group, renamed The Fortunes, had a series of hits and continued playing and touring with various lineups, led by original lead singer Rod Allen, for more than 40 years.



The Free Design

Group of New York siblings comprising Chris Dedrick, the main songwriter, with his brother Bruce and sister Sandy (later joined by two more sisters). They are best known for their first single, in 1967, the charming, if slight, Kites are Fun. They made several albums that have been critically reappraised in recent years, with their songs covered by Wondermints and other soft-pop revivalists. Three Dedricks were later members of The Star-Scape Singers, a Canada-based classical ensemble.

The Frozen Noses

David Crosby and Stephen Stills, pre-Crosby, Stills & Nash, recorded three demos, including a version of 49 Reasons, under this name.

The Fuck-Offs

Nick, the hero of Rachel Cohn’s novel Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, is the straight bass player in this queercore band whose name was changed to The Jerk-Offs for the charming 2008 film version, set against a backdrop of the New York indie band scene with a terrific soundtrack to match.

The Future

Sheffield proto-synthpop band for whom a pre-Heaven 17 Martyn Ware recruited a pre-Human League Phil Oakey as lead singer by leaving a note on his door because “he looked like a pop star”. This catchy number is called Dada Dada Duchamp Vortex.