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!

Conan Howard…¬†Conan here, I seem to remember this tune went on for at least 20 minutes , with slow bits and fast bits.. what a journey that number was at the time. probably a good idea to wind it up short of the ejaculation point

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.¬†I am a prog rocker at heart and I write songs and have done since the 1970s…..and here is the proof!! In the 1970s I wrote many prog rock songs, and most of them were in the epic prog-rock style. In those days that’s what you did as a band. One day I will rework them and perhaps perform them…. who knows. This video depicts the various line-ups of my very first band SAMISEN. The song was recorded at THE BOX in Silverhill in 1976!! ‘Rock-A-Nore’ is a prog rock piece written by Sarah Harvey and Conan Howard based on Conan’s story about where he lost his virginity rather than any sentimental connection with the iconic Hastings location.
– Graham Barrett (Vocals – RIP)
– Sarah Harvey (Lead Guitar – Happy Maureens)
– Ralphy (Rhythm Guitar and backing vocals)
– Bernie Smirnoff (Drums – Kingbathmat)
– Conan Howard (Bass Guitar)
I am proud of the songs I have written down the years

Jan Warren…¬†Me too Sarah, I am Prog and Psychedelic Rock too, I remember meeting you at the SMART meet in Hastings, hope to meet you again soon!

Conan Howard…¬†sorry SARAH, you only helped to write this, as it was my original idea.. CONAN HOWARD , as proved by all the bass work.. now go to the back of the class and sit on the naughty step you bad girl ‚Ķ love Conan x

Sarah Harvey…¬†Conan has become such a grumpy old wotsit in his old age 😂 I did say we co-wrote it and ok, if you want the rights to the original idea I won’t get my lawyer on to you this time. 😜 xxx

Peter Thomson…¬†Always enjoyed hearing (and watching) you lot knock this one out.

Conan Howard…¬†must admit though Graham Barrett did come up with all the words,, good old Graham ,bless you where ever you are now. WHAT a Hoot ¬†SARAH ,good stuff indeed . all meant in good fun.. I have the right to be grumpy at 70 years old , what else is there? love Conan xx

Curved Air – Hailsham Pavilion – November 4th, 2017 review by Sarah Harvey

photos by Sarah Harvey

Most concerts I go to, I generally have an idea of what I am expecting and it was no different with Curved Air at Hailsham Pavilion on Saturday 4th November, 2017. The last time I had seen Curved Air was almost 43 years ago on Hastings Pier, coincidentally almost to the day, and in all realism hadn’t expected to re-capture that 1970s flavour since the only member of the band who remains from those days is the wonderful vocalist Sonja Kristina. So what, I wondered, would this concert deliver for me? Hailsham Pavilion is a wonderful intimate venue with wonderful acoustics, and clearly an ideal setting for a band who deserved some concentration, since this was progressive rock in its purest form.

I cast my mind back to a few weeks before when I made the mistake of paying to go and see WASP at the White Rock Theatre. I had never been a great fan of WASP but thought I should go and support a concert by an internationally-renowned band in my home town. As it turned out, they appeared apathetic and seemed to have some contempt for the audience, and that was after they turned up late and without as much as a ‘sorry’. They then continued their contempt by dishing up just 75 minutes of mediocre music.
I know this isn’t a review of WASP, but I just wanted to highlight the difference with Curved Air, whose approach to the audience was entirely different. There was no such short-changing from these wonderful musicians and they produced a stunning set of music for a full two hours.

The set flowed through a complex mixture of old and new music that thoroughly demonstrated the wonderful playing of the various band members and of course the mystical singing and movement of Sonja Kristina. Golden oldies such as ‘Stay Human’, ‘Metamorphis’, ‘Back Street Luv’, ‘It Happened Today’, ‘Marie Antionette’, ‘The Purple Speed Queen’, ‘Vivaldi’ were interspersed with newer offerings such as ‘Time Games’ and new compositions generated with the current line-up in mind. Every song performed was played incredibly tightly and the togetherness of the band was something to behold. One of the key elements of Curved Air has always been the violin and if Paul Sax’s facial expressions were anything to go by, he put his heart and soul into his playing. Paul’s violin came through so powerfully hence ensuring it remained a key element in the band.

Kit Morgan’s sensational guitar playing left me with that feeling I have felt so often since the 70s, in that I should probably give up playing the guitar. I was spellbound. I am not an expert on Bass Guitarists, but he looked pretty good. Happily I had an expert in Iain Cobby sitting right next door to me. His colourful adjectives left me in no doubt that Chris Harris knew his stuff. I am also not an expert on keyboardists, but I know what I like to hear and the keyboard pieces in Metamorphosis were something quite special . Happily another area of Iain Cobby’s expertise although probably didn’t need the colourful adjectives this time around to verify. A special word for drummer and percussionist Andy Tween, only his second gig with the band having replaced Florian Pilkington-Miska who had recently left the band after nine years. His timing was spot on all the way through all compositions, some of which were amazingly complicated .

All in all a thoroughly enjoyable and satisfying concert. I referred earlier to the apathetic WASP concert some weeks ago and the contrast that was served up by Curved Air. The band members of Curved Air all made a point of coming down to meet the concert-goers after the show and how nice it was to briefly speak to the thoroughly pleasant violinist Paul Sax, who made a point of thanking us for coming to the show. I said at the beginning of this review that I hadn’t expected to re-capture that 1970s flavour of going to prog rock gigs. In the end, Curved Air took me right back and beyond into the future. WASP? Look and learn. Curved Air? Legends indeed! ¬†Sarah Harvey – 09/11/2017

Andy Qunta…¬†Thanks for that great review, Sarah! Would love to see Curved Air again. Love their stuff!

Phil Thornton…¬†thanks for posting Sarah !

Jim Breeds…¬†A Phantasmagorical review!

¬†Peter Fairless…¬†Thank you, Sarah

Tony Davis…¬†Wish I’d been there. Excellent review Sarah

Alan Esdaile…¬†good review, wish I had gone.

Jim Breeds…¬†SMART delegation needs to go en masse to the next one

Colin Norton…¬†Great review, Sarah!

Tim Moose Bruce…¬†If they come to this venue again I will definitely be there.

Pete Fisher…¬†good review Sarah…saw them in London in 1974…btw there will always be people who are better than you on whatever instrument you play, so don’t let that discourage you, let it inspire you to carry on enjoying playing…it’s not about how good you are!

Dave Nattress…¬†Sarah, loved that review of Curved Air. I too saw them at the pier ‚Äď maybe the same concert as you. I‚Äôm unsure whether they did the pier more than once. We‚Äôre not really old enough are we for it to have been 43 years ago?¬†Regards to Mr Cobby as well.

Iain Cobby…¬†Thank you Dave, and your good self. Spot on Sarah, great review, I couldn‚Äôt agree more. Sorry Mr Davis, your loss was my gain, but this was truly meant to be. One of the best gigs I‚Äôve been to in many years and as I recall tighter that the original band.

J Morris…¬†Last saw them in 76 have tickets for them early in the new year , I can‚Äôt wait , thanks for the review . Sometimes disappointing to see old bands but doesn‚Äôt seem to be an issue with curved air

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!

Carnival Fm Radio 87.9fm – 30th July to 7th August 2016

13731938_10208450272112380_1680735005019461209_o 13686653_921928394619285_7764422749139144282_n

Andre Martin… Chris Gentry Show, quite a mixed selection this year – Sunday early evening The Wine Show, Monday 8.00pm TimeMachine has a wizz round the musical world. Friday 8.00pm SMART, 9.00pm-12.00 The Weekend Starts Hear, and last Sunday 5.00pm – 2hours of anything goes !!

Tony Davis comments…¬†Carnival FM is back on air for Hastings Old Town Carnival week. We start transmitting on 30 July 2016 until 7 August 2016.¬†Tune in to listen to some great sounds with shows from Andy Knight, Dawn Wildman, Richard Stack, Andy Gunton, Sarah Harvey and myself, Tony Davis along with a host of others.¬†I’ll be on air on Monday 1 August at 1pm until 4 pm and then every weekday afternoon at that time. Then on Carnival Day 6 August, Sarah Harvey and I will be presenting a retro show¬†featuring music from bands and singers that have played in Hastings over the years. Same format as our Hastings Rock show except this time we’ll be featuring more mainstream music.¬†Please listen in on 87.9 or stream the broadcasts via the internet. Look forward to hearing from some of you whilst I’m on air.


Andre Martin…¬†The Team is waiting for the start of this years Carnival FM Broadcast – Starts Saturday July 30th 2016

Sarah Harvey…¬†On Carnival Night…. share your memories. Do you remember when the carnival started from the Bathing Pool and ended up at Alexandra Park? Tony Davis¬†might but I couldn’t possibly comment¬†ūüôā

Alan Esdaile…¬†Looking forward to it Sarah. Early memories of the carnival were, remember seeing and waiting for the old woman on a real horse. How about playing America Horse With No Name. Now that’s messed up the playlist!

Iain Cobby…¬†Good luck you guys! Sorry but I‚Äôm down here in Cornwall so won’t be able to be there or hear you, but thanks for the publicity for my bands song ‚ÄúAutumn Song‚ÄĚ which is now included on this months free CD in PROG magazine. Without you Tony and Sarah ‚Ķ‚Ķ‚Ķ‚Ķ well. Album now being finalized, title ‚ÄúHark, a Vagrant‚ÄĚ watch this space.

Heidi Franklin…¬†Gary Glitter in the park!

Sarah Harvey…¬†Tina and her Boyfrends in the Park…… who remembers them?

Alan Esdaile… Don’t forget to tune in on Friday 5th August 2016 for The Chris Gentry Show. 8.00pm – 9.00pm chat about SMART and 9.00 -12.00 The Weekend Starts Hear.


Here’s what Chris was up to in 1975.

75 CG Stage One July

Hastings Rock Radio 2016 and Sarah Harvey’s Retro Rock Show.

2016flyerv1jpg-smaller-2 12573832_815178488627610_7665507711532301491_n

Hastings Rock is back air Saturday 30th April to Friday 27th May 2016

Sarah Harvey…¬†Hastings Retro-Rock is a new weekly specialist show on this year’s Hastings Rock broadcast.¬†The music featured will be those bands and artists that played in the Hastings area during the 60s, 70s and 80s. So it’s not just about the Pier, it’s about other venues in the area as well (many of which have now passed into history).

The show will feature music of the likes of Genesis, The Who, Saxon, Gong, Osibisa, Wolf, etc. etc. , with the music played reflecting what the bands and artists may have played when they played at their concerts in those days (i.e. no modern tracks by those bands or artists).¬†In addition it is hoped to obtain some good studio recordings of local bands from that era (60s, 70s and 80s), and this is where your help is needed. If you have any good ‘studio’ recordings that are suitable for broadcasting (i.e. not live recordings), please do let me know along with a little bit of background to the band and the recordings.

Bear in mind that Hastings Rock is primarily a Rock station although this definition could be stretched a bit depending upon the recording.¬†The show is intended to be interactive in that people are welcome to share their memories of the music, gigs and concerts they attended.¬†If you can have any recordings of local bands and artists then please let me know. Email me at ….. remember only 60s, 70s, 80s! The local music of modern day still remains with Andy Gunton’s weekly show on Hastings Rock.

Alan Esdaile…¬†This sounds great Sarah¬†and looking forward to it. Can anyone help with recordings?

Peter Fairless…¬†Fab and groovy!

Paul Dove…¬†Brilliant , im sure Jon Mc Callion has a recorded 45 from the sixties of MULLER, a song Jon & I wrote called Messing Around, think its on Youtube, hope this helps.. Dovey.

Tony Davis…¬†Nice job Sarah ‚Äď glad to see that you have managed to get your idea up and running. I can hardly wait to listen.

Wendy Weaver…¬†Sounds good.

Sarah Harvey…¬†Its nice to be able to share my collection of music from that era.

Sarah Harvey…¬†Just one week to go until Hastings Retro-Rock hits the airwaves on Hastings Rock. Music and memories from the bands and artists that shaped the music in Hastings and surrounding areas during the 60s, 70s and 80s, . Music from bands you remember, and some you may have forgotten about. Share your memories. Join me and Tony Davis from 7pm each Thursday on 87.7 FM and online. Hastings Retro-Rock is sponsored by SMART, Seventies Music and Retro Talk.

Iain Cobby…¬†Alas Sarah, I only have one recording of Damaris and that was recorded in mono on Hastings Pier in the ballroom. The quality is not that good, but hey‚Ķ‚Ķ‚Ķ‚Ķ if only we knew then ‚Ķ‚Ķ‚Ķ‚Ķ thanks Mr Davis for the tape to CD job!

Sarah Harvey…¬†Don’t forget Thursdays (starting 5th May 2016) on Hastings Rock 87.7 FM or for the retro rock show with Tony Davis and Sarah Harvey. Between 7 and 9 pm we will be playing music from bands that have played venues in Hastings over the years. Please listen in and share your memories with us.