Samisen – early 70’s



supplied by Sarah Harvey

Sarah Harvey….Local band Samisen – 2nd Line Up – Early 70s rock…. with Dave Shirley on guitar, an unknown vocalist and percussionist (anyone know them?)… there were actually three line-ups – The first was a made up of three members from South London + Dave – The third included Bernard Jeffery on drums, Steve Turner on Bass and Graham Barratt on vocals.

Bernard Jeffery….Where did you find this? I started off in the band with the London line up which turned into the third line up and I think there was another one after that

Sarah Harvey…..You are absolutely right…. you jogged my memory…. the original drummer was from Catford and you joined when he left…. I think the London band members names were Ralph, Den and Graham… no idea of their surnames. Graham was the original drummer.

Bernard Jeffery…..Ralph and big Len on guitar and bass, probably got some pics somewhere.

Sarah Harvey….right again….. I misread my scribbled diary notes of yesteryear.

Dave Nattress…..These photo’s show Samisen’s line-up comprising Mick Bridgeland, Drums, Dave Shirley, Guitar, Dave Kent, Keyboards, Steve Turner, Bass (I think Steve, it was a long time ago) and me on vocals having taken over from Graham Barrett.  I remember the gig at Herstmonceux Castle well where Mick worked at the Observatory!!  Actually I recall well also my audition at Ore Centre – House of the Rising Sun was one track I had to do,  We played a good few gigs with this line-up. The Archery Eastbourne, The Caves, Ore Centre with Hat Trick more than once.  Lost contact with all the guys, if any of you read this give us a post!!

Sarah Harvey….Thank you Dave for filling in the blanks of the missing band members names…. apart from Graham (RIP), everyone is live and kicking albeit changed somewhat in 40 years. Some more than others.

Bobby Walker…..If memory serves, did they not originally call themselves “Sleary’s Horsemanship”? Remember they did a cracking instrumental which was, I believe, called “Rock-a-Nore”

Read more

Felix, Samisen & This Side Up – The Carlisle Hotel 3rd Oct 1975

felix 1975

felix 1975 ad

supplied by Roger Carey

Felix press cutting … Wesley Magoogan, Roger Carey, Den Wootton, Will Thomson and Mike Tanner.

Wesley Magoogan… Amazing looking at the past ! Hard to believe this was 40 years ago, seems like yesterday !

Martin Curcher… Is that Mike Tanner on the right?

Liane Carroll… Fab picture. My hubby looks sooooo cute!!!

Yvonne Cleland… Remember this night well! xxx

Samisen – Hastings News write up 6th November 1975

supplied by Sarah Harvey

Sarah Harvey….Amazing what you find clearing out your loft. A cutting from The Hastings News (A free delivered paper in the 70s) November 6th, 1975. One of the Samisen Line-ups… this time with two members of the band from Bromley. From left to right, Ralph Lee, Bernard Jeffery, Big Len (now Conan) Howard, Graham Barrett and Dave Shirley. Fresh from a gig supporting Felix at The Carlisle.

Bernard Jeffery….yeah I remember the gig as well

Pete Fisher… nice to see Pueblo get a mention!

Yvonne Cleland… Felix!

Felix write up & Samisen photos – 29th July 1975

cutting and photos supplied by Sarah Harvey

Sarah Harvey…..Article about Felix and a preview of their forthcoming gig at The Carlisle, which I remember very well. I was talking to Conan Howard about this very gig at Friday’s SMART meeting and how he had a very lucky escape afterwards.


Sarah Harvey…..The Carlisle in 1975 when supporting Felix – Conan (Len) Howard (Bass) , Ralph Lee (Rythm) and  (although not too clear) is Dave Shirley (Lead Guitar). Health permitting there is hope of a reunion over the coming months

Ritz with Hat Trick and Samisen – Ore Centre 8th July 1978

supplied by Roger Carey

 Sarah Harvey… My artwork….. on my birthday. I organised all of the Ore Festivals in the 1970s and created the posters during my lunch-hours at work. I was a design draughtsperson in Battle. Also played in Samisen on the night.

Alan Wood… Wow !!

Mike Mitchell… I went to that one. I was obviously very keen. 75p entry and I was only earning 50p an hour at Dickies Discount at the time.

Samisen – Felix

Sarah Harvey…This Samisen song is called ‘Felix’. The recording is from 1976. It was first played at the Carlisle gig where we were supporting Felix and was written in tribute (a.k.a. mickey-take) of their complicated and off-the-wall music. We wrote this song all in good humour in our more mischievous days and when we played it at the gig the members of Felix told us they thought it was really good. Felix were, and still are a great bunch of guys and took it in all good humour.

Wendy Weaver… Nice presentation How you have all changed 😈😈😁x

Pete Fisher.. excellent drumming Bernard Jeffery!

Samisen Return to Rock A Nore – The lost recordings 1976

Sarah Harvey… Recorded at THE BOX in Silverhill. Samisen ‘Rock-A-Nore’ in 1976!!
The background to this song was actually based on Conan Howard’s (Bass Guitar) story about where he lost his virginity rather than any sentimental connection with the iconic Hastings area.