Gary Farmer in Attila
While his older brothers Tom and David were off pursuing fame and fortune in Blackfoot Sue, Gary Farmer was finding school just as unenthralling as they had. Thus, in mid-1972, he dropped out and formed his own band, Attila, along with some like-minded mates. Tom Farmer Senior, the boys' father, was more than ready to support his third son on the same quest, having been manager, van driver, gig booker, promoter and everything else besides for Blackfoot Sue in their earlier incarnations as The Virus and Gift.
Attila
Attila
Gary, just like older brother Tom, played a Rickenbacker bass guitar

Growing up, Gary had certainly been influenced by constant exposure to music in the household, with brothers Tom and David constantly gigging and rehearsing, and Alan Jones recalls teaching Gary some of his first chords. Little wonder then that the allure of becoming a rock musician was so much more enticing than any other potential vocation.

Attila did not, however, score a recording contract, and the band eventually went their separate ways. However, like his brothers, Gary wasn't going to give up on the music business so readily.

After the demise of Attila came Firefly, lasting from the summer of 1976 through to the summer of 1978. Drummer Graham Martin is still drumming today, and still in the Midlands. The rest of the line-up consisted of Pete Lowen and Malcolm Bowcock on guitars, and all four members of the band sang vocals, just like Blackfoot Sue. Roadie for the band was a guy called Arge, who, Graham reports, in exchange for beer and cigarettes, drove them to gigs in his battered Bedford CF van, complete with beer stained seats and overflowing ashtrays!

Firefly played a mixture of covers and original material, much as Attila had, and used to rehearse in the Quaker rooms in Edgbaston, Birmingham. As Graham recalled, "We used to call it "The Thieving Quakers" because for a religion, they were not very charitable to musicians using their hall!"

After Firefly came any number of bands, with the versatile Gary able to play both guitar and bass as well sing vocals - including some lucrative trips to Dubai to entertain the expats working there. It was there that he began a clothing tradition which soon carried over to his brothers and Eddie Golga - ripping the sleeves out of T-shirts to create D.I.Y. muscle shirts. (This is why, they tell me, that few or no intact Outside Edge T-shirts exist.)
Attila
ATTILA were: John Overton (guitar), Tony Boden (drums),
Gary Farmer (bass), Mick Smith (rhythm guitar)
Gary even very nearly ended up in Black Sabbath! However, he was pipped at the post by the ever-so-slightly more well-known Neil Murray. He spent the best part of 8 years with B.C. Sweet (Brian Connolly's post-Sweet gigging band), from 1984 to 1992, in later years with brother David in the drum seat, and simultaneously also spent a six-month stint with Mud. Their paths had first crossed when B.C. Sweet played on a double bill along with Les Gray's Mud, promoted as "Monsters of Glam Rock". Gary declined, however, to make the job more permanent when it was offered to him. This decision might well have had something to do with the fact that he was juggling no less than three bands at the time!

Gary and David, along with fellow Brummie bandmate Steve Turner, jumped ship from B.C. Sweet in 1992, and didn't take long to join forces in a band with brother Tom on bass. The result of their collaboration was the Blackfoot Sue album first released (in Germany only) as Talk Radio in 1995, and subsequently reissued in 1998 as Red On Blue. Gary was the only guitarist who played all through the subsequent tour. In 1996, he also recorded with Manfred Mann on the album Soft Vengeance.

In 1997, after many, many years of playing in other people's bands, Gary joined Cry Wolf, formed by his brothers Tom and David, contributing both their musical virtuosity and their rich trademark three-part vocal harmonies, the line-up perfectly completed by ace guitarist Pars Evrenos.


Many thanks both to Gary Farmer, of course, and also Graham Martin!
Gary - BC Sweet

Gary in B.C. Sweet: smiling in anticipation at the many entertaining stories he was going to be able to tell about this in later years

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