Factory – Time Machine

 

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from davies511bis

Recorded 30 January 1971 – Oak single RGJ718
No relation to the late 60’s CBS/MGM group of the same name, this particular Factory were based around the talents of the Qunta brothers – Andy on lead vocals and acoustic twelve string guitar and Tony on lead guitar and electric violin, supported by a rhythm section of Geoff ‘Jaffa’ Peckham (bass) and Laurie Cooksey (drums). Andy and Tony had previously visited R.G.Jones, the owner of Oak Records, in October 1968 and March 1969 as prime movers in a school band called Perfect Turkey, who recorded an Oak acetate coupling ‘Stones’ and ‘Perfect Turkey Blues’. Factory recorded four songs – ‘Time Machine’, ‘Castle On The Hill’, ‘Mr. Jones’ (no relation) and ‘Road Sweeper Joe’ – in a three hour session on 30 January 1971, with the first two tracks issued as a single that sold out its limited pressing of 99 copies within a few weeks. With its science fiction-derived lyrics,prototipe heavy metal sound and harsh,metallic vocal (an extraordinary performance from Andy Qunta), ‘Time Machine’ eerily predicted David Bowie’s forthcoming album ‘The Man Who Sold The World’, although the opening chords were surely borrowed from Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Green Manalishi’. During their lifespan, Factory attracted considerable interest within the music industry: their live performances were attended by such luminaries as Mickie Most, Robin Gibb, former Hendrix drummer Mitch Mitchell and Roger Daltrey, who was sufficiently impressed to invite the band to record at his home studio. By the time Factory shut down in 1976, Geoff Peckham had been replaced by Steve Kinch, who joined the Quntas in a new band called Head On. When this project fell by the wayside of 1979, Kinch and Andy Qunta played with Hazel O’ Connor before the bassist joined Manfred Mann’s Earthband in 1985. Tony Qunta has been a session guitarist since 1982, although he still finds time to lead a band called High Level Drive, whilst brother Andy had a six year spell with Australian group Icehouse, co-writing their hit single ‘Crazy’ and John Farnham’s anthemic ‘You’re The Voice’. One of Factory’s final gigs, incidentally, had featured a support set by a bunch malcontents bearing the unlikely name of the Sex Pistols. Within a matter of months, punk would seek to reverse the excesses of the progressive rock dinosaurs, signalling a return to three minute pop songs and more intimate live venues as well as a comprehensive demystification of the musical process. With punk inspiring media outrage to match coverage of the Stones’ emergence, ellied to the obvious generic antecedents provided by mid-1960’s R&B and garage bands, it genuinely appeared that, however fleetingly, the musical wheel had turned full circle.

Phil Gill …”With its science fiction-derived lyrics,prototipe heavy metal sound and harsh,metallic vocal (an extraordinary performance from Andy Qunta)…”. What great write-up – he’s right.

Glenn Piper… Oh the memories 🙂

Andy Qunta… Not sure what that “harsh metallic vocal” was all about! Maybe I was just trying to make up for the fact that I wasn’t playing an instrument, and wanted as much “air time” as poss!

Robert Blackham… Hi, am I right in thinking that Andy Qunta, Tony(or Mendy?)Qunta and Dick Bloom were Epsom College’s Velvet Hush band in 1969? “Broken Heart” and “Lover Please” were the songs on their Oak single. Bob Blackham (Epsom 67-72).

Geoff Peckham… I thought your band was called Perfect Turkey at Epsom, Andy and Tony?

Andy Qunta… We were originally Perfect Turkey, but we changed it to Velvet Hush later on.. Hi, Robert Blackham! How do you know about such things?  And by the way, do you by any chance have a copy of Broken Heart/Lover Please? The latter is on the double album, Best of Oak Records, but none of us have a copy of Broken Heart, and haven’t heard it in decades!

Andy Qunta, Terry Pack & Tony Bird – Wing Studios 1981

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supplied by Pete Prescott

Phil Thornton… wow ! – I know all 3 of these splendid chaps, never expected to see them all in the same room together though !

Peter Millington…I  didn’t realise this dynamic duo did a version of “I Go Ape”

Terry Pack… 1981: Recording backing vocals (and ‘dancing’) on a session of Pete Prescott’s with the marvellous Andy Qunta at Tony Bird’s Wing Studio

Amber Young…  LOL, love it (the dancing).

Pete Prescott… My first attempt at recording songs “wot I rote”. They were not very good. The boys (with Pete Shaw on drums and Andy Caine who played wonderful guitar) played well, fun day. I have them on tape. I play them once every five years or so then find a quiet place point North and howl for ten minutes. Seemed a good idea at the time. Now a GOOD one to hear is my very first band VILLAGE (with Andy holiday who runs the p.a. At Beatles day on bass) on our first time in a studio. I was 16/17.  My daughter Poppy used to beg me to put it on.  She used to scream with laughter (yes THAT good) I remember the guy left the talk back button on. I heard him say to Andy “yes I can put reverb and echo on . . . And it will still be out of tune with reverb and echo on it ! ” followed by “yes sounding good Pete ! Lets try it again !” That tape is buried in a secret place and no I can’t remember where it is ! I wake up in cold sweats when I remember it. Village did get better by the way.

Nick Hibberd… So, you were a Village person then Pete?

Phil Gill… “I’d, errm, give it a couple of minutes before going back in there, Ray….”

Chris Baker… I’m guessing the Funky Chicken?  

Factory Reunion reviews – The Carlisle 16th October 2015

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photo by Jim Breeds – Hastings and Area, Past and Present

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photos by Sarah Harvey

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photos by Chris Meachen

Alan Esdaile… WOW! They smashed it! What a brilliant night. Well done to Andy, Tony, Jaffa & Lol. Now when’s the next one?

Jim Breeds… Awesome.

Andy Qunta… Thanks, Alan & SMART! We had a great time, and we are working on a “next one”! Will keep you posted!

Lucy Pappas… A fabbie night! When’s the CD coming out? xx

Andy Qunta… We’re hoping the album will be out in a couple of months or so, Lucy!

Mike Curtis… Wonderful night! Factory are still soooooo good.

Yvonne Cleland… Factory blew the roof off. Incredible!!! So glad I was able to be there, wouldn’t have missed that for anything!

Chris Meachen…  It was truly magnificent! I’ve taken hundreds of pics which I’ll have to go through & then upload a few, but it’s been a fantastic evening, meeting up with so many old friends too! Just brilliant. With the number of local musicians in attendance, you could probably have reassembled several other bands!

Pete Prescott… Great night. And great seeing some old faces. It was like a SMART meeting with a fantastic band.

Dave Nattress… Totally astonishingly brilliant gig by Factory last night – just about 2 hours of incredible stuff. World class. 41 years apart and this – can’t wait for the album!!! To anyone who missed it – you really shouldn’t have. Very best wishes to all the guys and thanks for a truly wonderful show. A great sound as well.

Andy Qunta… Thanks, Dave!

Tony Davis… A great gig guys. So nice to see a good crowd full of old friends! Looking forward to the album and next gig – please make it soon.

Mick Mepham… What a great evening chaps!!! What 40 years????  Magic stuff.

Colin Bell… Forty years melted away, you boys set the place on fire! It was a pleasure to introduce you.

Andy Qunta… Thanks, Colin!

Sarah Harvey… What a brilliant night. Nostalgia, memories, emotion, wonderful music and wonderful people.Factory are true legends. Not forgetting Chris Meachen who has photographed so many bands and artists down the years. If it wasn’t for Chris a lot of memories would have been lost forever. Yet another legend.

Clare Bennett… It was so brilliant! Xxx

Kev Towner… A tough night for me getting up there – but worth the effort ten times over!!

Michael Pannell… Hear hear Chris the legend….

Wesley Magoogan… Great show indeed.

Geoff Peckham(Jaffa) & Andy Qunta 2014

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photo by Yvonne Cleland

Geoff & Andy meet up again at the SMART meeting after nearly 40 years!

Mick O’Dowd….This is what these meetings are about. Renewing and making friendships.

Andy Qunta….Great to see the guys hanging out again!

Mick Mepham……’Twas a most convivial meeting Andy.

Alan Esdaile…..Clive Richardson reminded us of when Jaffa played the whole set with ‘Factory’ sitting in a deckchair!

Andy  Qunta….Jaffa was always a relaxed kind of guy, but playing the set from a deckchair was unusual even for him! The tall drink with the cocktail umbrella by his side was a nice touch too!

Geoff Peckham….I don’t recall sitting in the deckchair for the entire set – I’m sure I got to my feet when the music took off. I had plans to bring a large armchair, coffee table, standard lamp and teasmaid on stage but the boys thought it clashed with our macho image!

Andy Qunta…..Oh yes, we were very macho!