Farmers Lung – around 1975/1976

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supplied by Sarah Harvey

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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.

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…. 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… 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 – thinking, when I saw Samisen a few times before I joined, they were Hastings home-grown – 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’ve lost touch but truly hope some of us can meet up soon. I remember all the gigs well – albeit 35 years ago!! Once we (almost) had a Summer tour – 4 gigs in about 10 days. Rehearsals at Ore Centre and at Dave Kent’s parents’ 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… 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! 🙂

Wendy Weaver… Great video Sarah, ‘specially the last bit 😉 x

Samisen – final line up around 1976

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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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