More from Samisen 1976

Sarah Harvey…¬†I have received some lovely comments about the recording I made with my first band Samisen, which is really nice….so here is another one from my musical past and another from the 1970s….I am often quite shy about posting these things up because I ain’t one for making a song and dance about things…. but here goes anyway! I definitely wrote the main riff for this one!! Its another prog rock offering, this time an instrumental and a prog thrashy one called ‘Commercial Cash-In’. Another one that I may re-work one day and perhaps perform…. if I can find anyone who wants a go at it. Its SAMISEN again. I think this one was recorded at Ore Centre in 1976!! ‘I have no idea why I called it ‘Commercial Cash-In’. Its prog rock….. what do you expect…. anything goes
– Sarah Harvey (Lead Guitar – Happy Maureens)
– Ralphy (Rhythm Guitar and backing vocals)
– Bernie Smirnoff (Drums – Kingbathmat)
– Conan Howard (Bass Guitar)
Just remember, its 1976…. reel-to-reel tape…. I am still proud of it and love the people I have been in down the years, and proud of the band I currently play with, The Happy Maureens.

Pete Fisher…¬†sounds great Sarah! The wonders of reel to reel tape! Sounds similar to the recordings I did on reel to reel back in ’72-’74 – that wonderful rehearsal room reverb, and of course the same noisy drummer…some great guitar happening here too though…a real feast of good riffs!

Sarah Harvey…¬†Thanks Pete. Coincidentally I thought about you and Pueblo playing in the 70s. My current band this weekend have been asked to play at Bexhill Community centre at a function in October and my thoughts went back to you Roger Carey and Bernie playing there at their Youth Club. Really happy memories and some great tunes you played along with some great musicianship, not always appreciated by the youthful attendees that night…… but I loved it

Pete Fisher…¬†You’re welcome Sarah! Nice that you have such good memories of us back then…we were a very raw outfit, probably under-rehearsed and still lacking confidence in front of audiences – lot of strong competition around back then…I actually still have a “little red book” full of lyrics and chord charts, but also a kind of gig diary for Mae West and Pueblo. When I get a few spare minutes I’ll scan it and post it here!

Who remembers this toilet roll?

supplied by Andrew Clifton

Andrew Clifton… Who remembers this bog roll?

Joe Knight…¬†Smooth & ruff

Dennis Torrance…¬†Bloody nightmare thanks won’t be using that again schools days

James Turner…¬†It only pushed it about was not kind to the nether regions at all.

Jeff Belton…¬†I do, didn’t use it, but came useful for tracing paper lol.

Glenn Piper…¬†Unfortunately, yes, I do remember these

Jacqueline Marsh…¬†Ouch yes I do!!

Aileen Mathieson…¬†Tracing paper! Vey rough all it is good for lol!

Peter Brazier…¬†Still got the Blooming scratches after 40 odd years! Devils Work That Stuff! Burn It! Burn It I Say!😂😂😂

Chris Jolly…¬†IZAL The POINTLESS, USELESS, last resort paper..

Mark Gilham…¬† Invented by a major in the Boer War if I remember rightly..

Eric Harmer…¬†Not Major Bumsore ?

Michael Wilson…¬†A piece of Izal and a comb made a great homemade Kazoo when you were seven

Chris Meachen…¬†Arse polish: totally evil stuff & completely useless..

Read moreWho remembers this toilet roll?

A Brief History of Samisen by Sarah Harvey

Sarah Harvey… A brief history of Samisen. Thank you Peter Thomson for providing this rare recording playing live during the 1970s. This is a video featuring local Hastings band Samisen who played in the area during the latter part of the 1970s. It tells of a brief history behind the band and includes a rare recording of them playing live. The venue of the recording is unknown as is the line-up of the recording but it is thought to be, Graham Barratt on vocals, Dave Shirley on lead guitar, Bernard Jeffery on drums and Steve Turner on bass.

Alan Esdaile… Well done Sarah, great information. The last comment made my smile, about some of us have changed over the years.

Pete Thomson‚Ķ.¬†Further to Sarah’s video accompanied by Hard Monkeys, I can confirm that the track was recorded by me on a tin-pot, little, one-track machine during a practice session at Ore Centre. I have also been in touch with Steve Turner who confirms he was the bassist at the time.

Dave Nattress‚Ķ This is a wonderful little video history. Although I was vocalist in the last line-up of Samisen for a couple of years or so, I actually never knew the history of the band ‚Äď thinking, when I saw Samisen a few times before I joined, they were Hastings home-grown ‚Äď but not so! Even when I was in Damaris, Samisen,along with Stallion of course was a local band to look up to and after the demise of Damaris, I was delighted to audition for Samisen after Graham Barrett (RIP) left I was delighted ¬†to get the gig. I remember all the guys well, although regretably I‚Äôve lost touch but truly hope some of us can meet up soon. I remember all the gigs well ‚Äď albeit 35 years ago!! Once we (almost) had a Summer tour ‚Äď 4 gigs in about 10 days. Rehearsals at Ore Centre and at Dave Kent‚Äôs parents‚Äô shop in Kings Road, St Leonards and support to Hat Trick at Ore Centre. Great days, re-lived again thanks to this piece of history. All power to this website, Alan Esdaile, Peter Thompson and my old friend, Sarah Harvey.

Sarah Harvey‚Ķ¬†Well I am trying (thus far in vain) to organise a reunion gig which would if nothing else be great fun. So if any of the many past Samisen members want to have a go….you know where I am! If I don’t hear from you then just remember I am a great nag-bag nowadays! ūüôā

Wendy Weaver‚Ķ¬†Great video Sarah, ‘specially the last bit ūüėČ x

Rediffusion colour television advert – August 1976

Judith Monk…¬†Got my first colour tv from them as a result of this ad!

Roy Penfold…¬†Fond memories (not) of working for them when they became Granada and removing all of the big 26″ valve sets for upgrade to the ‘new’ transistorised ones….


Ian Quinnell…¬†Lots of memories from working there in the 70’s. Workshop was HOT in the summer (esp ’76!) and cold in winter when heating failed, but coffee topped up from a bottle of rum and scotch helped

Nigel Ford…¬†I wonder if the (redundant?) cables are still underground all over the town? How many towns had Redifusion, was it a southern thing only?

Roy Penfold…¬†Many of the cables are no-doubt still in-situ. I have noticed a couple of houses that still have the outside boxes, although painted over now.
There is a website at that states they were global!¬†Tony and Ian probably can remember my uncle (now deceased) – David Turner who worked as one of the techs. He was a bit of a strange one and disassociated himself from everyone in the family when his mother and father had passed on. I only found out that he was working in the same firm as me (on Ponswood) when I had left and had to collect his possessions from Brighton hospital once he had passed away. The house is still in my family – my parents, Mick & Gill (David’s sister) now live there. It was like a time-warp back to the 1960s when we first opened the house up to clear it out and sort things for probate etc.

Ian Quinnell…¬†I was at Rediff from 1971 to 1977. I have a vague notion about a Dave Turner, seemed to be a bit of an odd character.but can’t be certain. However, I remember a Bill Penfold – was he related to you Roy?

Barry Newton…¬†Good times working out of Ponswood. I think I did 7+ years with mainly a good crew. Worked Hastings, Rye, Eastbourne and Lewes, happy days. We liked to think of ourselves as erection speciatists, LOL it also had a good social side

Martin Richter…¬†can you ask them to come and get their box – it’s still on the wall

Jacqueline Marsh…¬†Do any of you remember Ron Kettle? he was a manager who came back from Hong Kong and ended up managing the Southern Region, based I believe in Ponswood. I seem to remember going there to collect him in the car when his was being serviced.

Josie Lawson…¬†I rented a Rediffusion TV From a shop in Ore village…

Tim Moose Bruce…¬†Used to work at Buss Foods opposite Rediffusion site at Ponswood. I remember an incident when the night shift were working at one part of the building while at another part,thieves were helping themselves to stuff! I think they tried to break in to the Buss food retail shop that night too, and some other places on ponswood got hit too.

Yvonne Cleland…¬†We got our first tv from Rediffusion in Robertson Street! Used to have to go there every week for the payments. I remember when they first displayed colour tvs! They later had a shop in London Road, St. Leonards, as I remember.


Talking of Kazoos. Who used to play one or maybe still does?

Andy Morrison…¬†Had one as a kid, great fun

Dennis Torrance…¬†About the only thing I could play lol third man theme good to see

Jeff Belton…¬†I used to own one of those . Can you still get them ?

David Wilkinson…¬†and then there’s a jew’s harp

Phil Little…¬†Steve Waller always used to play one onstage.

Arthur Sutherland…¬†Comb and tissue paper.

Joe Knight…¬†The same

Eddie Larnerd Lane… I¬†still have one somewhere

Joe Knight…¬†Izal toilet paper and a com

Arthur Sutherland…¬† It is about all Izal toilet paper was any use for.

Joe Knight…¬†even newspaper was better 😂 have a good day!!!!


St Johns Wood – 1969/1970

St. Johns Wood

supplied by Colin Fox

L to R: Ray Harper, Colin Pierce, Dave Shaw, Robin Sargent, Colin Fox and Rod Pittam sitting below.

Robert Searle….Nice one Colin

Andre Martin….Found this from my Hastings Pier Files


Andre Palfrey-martin collection

Peter Millington…..I make the date as being 7th February 1970

Rob Sargent…¬†I remember the photo session, on the beach just below the Wish Tower. Hope you‚Äôre all still rocking and enjoying it as much as I am.

Lynne Norris…¬†I found this site accidentally and it triggered many memories of my teenage years and some really good music. I remember The Spooks and 4-Bidden well when they played upstairs at Club Continental. As a 16-year old, I absolutely adored Dave Shaw and I was beside myself when we moved to Burrow Down and Dave Shaw and his family lived just over the road from us at Den Hill. ¬†Dave had this big old tank of a car and he would give me a lift sometimes. ¬†I am pleased that he kept on rocking and am I sad to hear that he has passed away.

Farmers Lung – around 1975/1976



supplied by Sarah Harvey


Support at the caves in 1976.

Sarah Harvey‚Ķ..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‚Ķ..How did you come up with the name ‘Farmers Lung’?

David Kent‚Ķ.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‚Ķ.¬†Is this the same Dave Kent who worked for John Humphries at one time?

Karen Sweatman was Blackman‚Ķ That’s him Mick, although I never knew him with hair! ūüôā

Mick O’Dowd‚Ķ¬†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.

Billy Fury – ABC Cinema Hastings 30th October 1962


Andre Palfrey-Martin Collection

Andy Qunta‚Ķ¬†Must have been great to see so many artists on one night, but it looks like they would each only be able to play for about 10 minutes! Also, that’s a lot of people to share the takings!

Mick O’Dowd‚Ķ It was good Andy but it meant they could each play their greatest hit at least which is what most people in those days went to see artists/groups for anyway. When I saw the Who on the Pier they played Tommy (it had just been released) to much silence until they played their hits and the place went wild. Same when I saw Elton John/Beach Boys/ Eagles etc. at Wembley Stadium about 72 The BB’s played all their well known stuff and blew the place away. Elton came on last and proceeded to play “Captain Fantastic ” album which is pretty dirgy, and the place emptied and you could stroll up the pitch to the stage. As soon as he played old tunes WHAMMO!