Dave Kent talks about Samisen & Farmers Lung

The band before Samisen was Farmers Lung which started out as myself, Graham Barrett and Steve Turner messing around in a room at the back of my parents’ shop at 28 Kings Road. I sang lead and played guitar, Graham sang harmony and played guitar, Steve played bass. We were joined by Richard Walsh playing guitar. After a while, Richard’s brother Roddy joined on guitar and Richard bought a drum kit, quickly becoming a very good drummer; which was just as well as he was a terrible guitarist. In time, Graham became lead singer due to his being rather good at it and I stopped singing because I was rubbish. There’s a lot more I could tell, but one of my favourite memories of Farmers Lung is going to the back of the hall upstairs at the Palace Bars and listening to the rest of the band play a song without me. They were bloody good.

Eileen’s Treasure Chest was at 8 Kings Road and had a basement that had been a night club. Farmers Lung and Samisen rehearsed there, so did several other bands I was in.

Graham left the band half way through a gig, Steve and I took over vocals, and the band went kaput having failed to find a decent singer. Graham then joined Samisen and they were very good. Steve joined Samisen and they were very good. By the time I joined Samisen, Graham had left.

The colour photos of Samisen that you have are from a gig at Herstmonceux but I can’t remember who took them. I may have one or two of those you don’t have. I may have a pic or two from Ore Centre. I’m happy to pass on to you anything I can unearth.
Nearly forgot to mention what a damn fine guitar Dave Shirley was (maybe he still is).

I have fond memories of Osborne House Samisen gigs, one of the residents told me I was s**t.

RIP Roddy Walsh and Graham Barrett. Steve Turner alive and well and living in Brighton. Richard Walsh teaching somewhere in Sussex.

I only found your web site today and it was a bit of a shock to find out that anyone remembers Samisen.

Since those days, I have been busy playing guitar and keyboards with various people. I have recorded stuff as a solo artist and had a tune called “White knuckle ride” played on Radio 1 a few times. I still get royalties but I’ve no idea why. I have been taking singing lessons and hope to be as good as Graham Barrett was in about ten years if I practice all day and all night.

Dave Kent

Len Howard….hi there .I was a founder member of samisen , Len Howard bass. from 1973 to 1976. I have been out of touch for many years

Whisky Mac – publicity folder & ad


photo by John E.Sweet

Andre Martin…..Graham Bradley has sent me a copy of the Publicity Folder that was produced for the rebranding of the group as Whisky Mac, this photo was taken by John Sweet, and before anybody says anything, several years before a group called “Queen” produced a similar image

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supplied by Graham Bradley

Andre Martin…..The publicity description of the group Whisky Mac from Autumn 1968, thanks to Graham Bradley


supplied by Graham How

Andre Martin….Graham posted to be last night some bits and one was this advert I will share – from Christmas 1968

Page Of Ads 1976 Felix, Procol Harum, The Firehills Band


supplied by Sarah Harvey

Sarah Harvey….A whole page of the Observer dated March 13th, 1976. Some things of note…. a good write-up by Stephen Turner about Felix, a preview of the forthcoming Procul Harum gig and not to mention The Firehills band appearing at the Church Cafe in Fairlight. I would imagine they were a pure dance band.

Richard Moore…..I  think the Firehills Band was a one-off gig at the Church Cafe as I seem to think I played there on a Saturday night for Dancing from April to October as well as for coach parties during the week.

Andy Qunta….Felix were really good!  Don’t think I saw this Procul Harum gig, but saw them years later – great show! As a side-note, I wrote several songs with their lyricist, Keith Reid, including “You’re The Voice”.

Alan Esdaile…..Hi Andy, did you make your own recording of ‘you’re the voice’ or did you write it especially for John Farnham?Great track.

Andy Qunta…..Thanks, Alan! I had a bunch of my recent song demos sent to my publishing co. in Sydney, & they sent YTV over to Farnham. Apparently he liked it! Btw, 4 writers on YTV – Chris Thompson, (singer from Manfred Mann’s Earth Band), Maggie Ryder, (backing vocalist for Eurythmics), Keith Reid & myself.

John Wilde……Rousing chorus, goosebumps when the bagpipes come in. A real favorite.

Andy Qunta….Glad you like it, John! Can’t take any credit for the bagpipes, though! That was Farnham’s team’s idea. We had a percussion & bass break-down in that section in the demo. Bagpipes are far better! Got some goosebumps myself when I first heard them!

Perri Ann Haste…….I  did not realise Andy wrote this song – one of my all time faves in the 80’s & it still holds sway now – so many great memories come flooding back…

Mick Mepham….I think it’s a cracker Andy and the bagpipes work well. Like JAW I get goosebumps too.

Yvonne Cleland…..Awwwww. Felix should have made it!