Farmers Lung – around 1975/1976



supplied by Sarah Harvey


Support at the caves in 1976.

Sarah Harvey…..Farmers Lung – Probably from around 1975/76 – Farmers Lung played some gigs locally such as at The Palace Bars although probably little known in Hastings. Photo is the handsome David Kent and left to right Steve Turner (Bass), Richard Walsh (Guitar and latterly drums), Graham Barrett (Vocals and Guitar – RIP) and (hiding) Dave Kent (Keyboards and Guitar. There was also Richard’s brother Roddy Walsh – (Not pictured – Guitar – Roddy). Steve, Graham and Dave went on to join forces and form the 2nd or 3rd line-up of Samisen. Particularly liked their rendition of ‘Pearls A Singer’ …. a good band but little known.

Alan Esdaile…..How did you come up with the name ‘Farmers Lung’?

David Kent….It was my idea. I’d seen a documentary about this particular occupational disease and thought it would be a good band name. Astonishingly, the rest of the band agreed to it. I’ve made a bit of a speciality of being in stupidly-named bands that no-one remembers. Anyone remember The Twice Amorous Maniac Douglas Baders? Thought not. When that picture of the band was taken, we were called Westland Bone Circus and had previously been Johnny Sprogg & The French Letters. Just to prove that I still have no talent for picking good band names, I am thinking of releasing some songs using the nom de plume “One Magnificent Eye Wobbles”. No wonder I still have a day job. Incidently, If you’d heard Steve and me taking lead vocals after Graham left, you’d have thought we may have been suffering from Farmers Lung. I’d forgotten to mention The Sprouting Love Bumps.

Sarah Harvey… Great find with the Caves ad.

Mick O’Dowd…. Is this the same Dave Kent who worked for John Humphries at one time?

Karen Sweatman was Blackman… That’s him Mick, although I never knew him with hair! 🙂

Mick O’Dowd… No Karen he was nearly as sparse as I am now.

Dicky Walsh… Wow! This brings back memories!  I did play some guitar, but mostly drums. Dave came up with some great names, didn’t he?! I am also now follically challenged! Dicky Walsh

Sarah Harvey… I remember you playing some guitar Dicky. Also remember your dad who was my manager for 13 years at Senlac Metal Casements in Battle

Roy Penfold… What about ‘Cunning Stunts’? I remember sitting in with them for a gig or two and seeing them in the Crypt in the early 80s.

Wendy Weaver… Flat Battery and the Jump Leads. Early 80s local lads.

Richard Walsh… Hi Sarah, I am trying to track down pictures of Roddy playing with the Dave Holt Swingtet. They played a lot locally, especially the Black Horse Telham. Can you point me towards anyone? Grateful thanks. Dicky

Mick O’Dowd… Model Crundelweed & The Knock-Kneed Windmills was toted for Deep Purple (Hastings) but iy wouldn;t fit on Ian McGilvray bass drum.

Conan Howard… I think the date was more like 72 or 73 only we got Graham Barrett to join Samisen in 74 or 75 .. Conan bass .. Samisen , founding member


The Cast – Gallery cassette 1986




supplied by Mick O’Dowd    

photo of Dave Kent & Keith Rodway. 

Mick O’Dowd… Here’s some blasts from your past Dave Arnold. You are listed as “Treatments” Should you be called DR Dave? What are “Treatments”?

Dave Arnold… A little bit of magic in the mix mick:)

Alan Esdaile… Good find with the cassette Mick. I know Dave Kent has talked about multi storey car park before.

Mick O’Dowd… I used to work with Dave Kent at Music Master where I obtained these two cassettes. I also frequented Keith Rodways’ Unnormality Record shop in High Street . I couldn’t ever understand why. It sold RECORDS! DOH! Aah the legendary Multi Storey Car Park. I think this is one of the best names for a tune ever!

Keith Rodway… The track list seems to come from another tape. It has Monster Mash on it! Does anyone have this?

Dave Kent… is that Dave Arnold’s typing? A couple of those titles remind me of my beloved Vox Jaguar

Mick O’Dowd… That’s how my copy came/is. All importantly is both lists name the ultra famous MSCP

Keith Rodway… That’s curious Mick, as the typed sheet has tracks not on the tape. Quite a few tracks by Dave Kent and Ges Waite too. Intriguing. Wish my memory was better!

Samisen – final line up around 1976



supplied by Sarah Harvey

Sarah Harvey….One of the later line-ups of Samisen (and I think the final line-up). Probably around 1976…The percussionist I still cannot identify, or indeed the vocalist in the earlier photos I posted. Dave Kent is the man on keyboards and also played acoustic guitar. I believe that the bass player at this time was Steve Turner (Not the Steve Turner who wrote the Observer column)… still trying to find more photos of the band.

Ken Dengate…..hat looks very much like my old school friend, Dave Kent. His mum and dad ran ‘Eileens Treasure Trove’ in Kings Road, and much later a shop in Tower Road. A Graham Barrat was also an old schoolfriend (don’t know if it’s the same one). His dad had the pub in St. Georges Road that was where the Jehovas Witnesses place was built. Later on his parents had The Inn At Crowhurst. There were also two Steve Turners in my class, again not sure if it was either of them. Don’t suppose any of that’s any help to you. I did a bit of ‘rehearsing’ with Dave in the basement of the shop in Kings Road in the late 70’s. Cheers

Sarah Harvey….You have got it spot on I believe …. this version of Samisen also rehearsed in the basement of the Treasure Trove in Kings Road…. Graham Barratt also, I knew his dad had a pub although I knew him when he lived in flats in Bohemia Road. Steve Turner lived in Baldslow Road and had an older brother who I have seen about town relatively recently. The drummer is still a mystery.

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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