Band History

Papa Falloon

Maybe it’s the way he plays fiddle in a silk smoking jacket and cowboy boots,or perhaps it’s the faraway look in his eyes when he picks up an instrument and lets the music flow.

But whatever the secrets behind those twinkling baby blues, there’s a touch of the mystic about Papa Falloon, the feeling that he exists on a slightly separate plane from the rest of us.

Bob Falloon

From first acquaintance with Papa – Bob Falloon Senior – you know you’re dealing with a larger-than-life character. Bob has lived in Sussex for 20 years, earning himself a certain cult status and a reputation as one of the top live acts around. Anyone who knows Bob or has seen him perform will tell you a night out when he’s around guarantees a “good crack”.

Underneath the levity though, there’s a serious musician, a man with all the experience and qualifications to prove his worth. The relevant piece of paper is an ALCM – Associate of the London College of Music. But for Bob, whose musical dexterity results from a lifetime of self-taught practice, exams were a means to an end, taken to show prospective pupils he had the right letters after his name.

He said “They don’t mean all that much when it comes to teaching or playing, but it’s always nice to have the letters because people ask for your qualifications when you teach. Basically I decided to equip myself after I finished session work.”

Two of his best known “students” are his eldest sons, Bob Junior and Jason. The younger Bob’s mastery of the guitar and bass regularly captivates audiences, while brother Jason has played as lead guitarist in the band of the former Queen drummer, Roger Taylor. Jason’s now living in Germany and has an enthusiastic following.

It was back in Glasgow in the early 1950’s that Papa cut his teeth as a live performer, strumming away at a ukulele in working men’s clubs. From there he progressed to the guitar and a move with his parents to Coventry meant a new live circuit. Bob remembers “I used to sing “The Wild Colonial Boy” for sixpence and a packet of crisps and I thought that was marvellous. Some of the old dears used to cry when they saw this little lad singing away – even at
that age I was breaking hearts!”

You expect a few yarns from a man with such a mischievous wink, and Papa doesn’t disappoint. Ten years as a session musician in London saw him laying down tracks for many artists, including The Kinks, Cleo Laine and Sacha Distel. Yet life in the studio was ultimately unfulfilling, and “round about 1972” Bob and best mate
Micky Egan took off to the South of France in a VW camper. This was clearly a golden time for Bob. He recalled playing to a party of
wealthy guests on board a Chinese junk owned by Oliver Reed – “a
production chick puller” – as Bob described it.

Eventually Bob and Micky went their separate ways, and back in the UK Bob resumed a solo career. His work had TV exposure with credits including Play Away and Rentaghost. A few years on and the move to Sussex saw Bob and Jason forming a live duo.

Now Papa appears with a full Band – Bob Junior, Jon Wigg, Adam Gellibrand and Alex Kitchener – all great players. For Papa though, the bottom line is a love of music. It’s as simple as that. He plays guitar, fiddle, flute, saxophone, mandolin, banjo and penny whistle in styles ranging from blues and soul to jazz, even with occasional detours into Greek and Bolivian …….

He says “As long as it feels right you can play anything – when I play music it’s just the best moment because there’s nothing else on my brain – no bills, no ducking and diving, you’re just concentrating on one thing and you feel good!”

The Falloons

The Falloons – a travelling dynasty with music in the blood! Papa Falloon and his Band – Bob Falloon Jnr. on bass/vocals, together with fiddle wizard Jon Wigg, Alex Kitchener on guitar, and drummer Adam Gellibrand, combine their international origins to conjure up a unique style of music. Papa Falloon and Bob Jnr. have been performing together for over a decade and it shows. They were then joined by the immense talents of Jon, Alex and Adam – the Band had been born!

The Falloons’ range, both in terms of music and instrumental scope, is beyond compare. Everything is stamped with their great trademarks of fun, love, spontaneity, wit and a truly vast abundance of talent, coupled with precision timing, flair and natural intuition.

They have performed throughout the British Isles, playing such
prestigious venues as Cowdray Park in Sussex and Wintershall,
where they supported Ringo Starr and the All Starrs, Roger Taylor, Bob Geldof and Mike and the Mechanics. They have also spent many years touring in Germany, where they have an enthusiastic following. Appearances on TV, including “Uncle Silas” with Albert Finney, have made them highly regarded as professional musicians.
One cannot help but be captivated by the magical and electrifying atmosphere of their live performance. Audiences are left with that very special warm glow, crying out for more!