The Rowdies – A.C.A.B.

7th August 2023 · 1970s, 1978, Music, Punk

As far as I know this lower-league punk single was the only release by The Rowdies, released on Birds Nest Records in 1978. You may be able to hear the sound of barrels being scraped.

The band consisted of Alan Emms on vocals, Steve Sharp on lead guitar, Alan’s brother Rob on rhythm guitar, drummer Richard Kershaw and Kevin Ellison on bass.

These Rowdies are not to be confused with another band of the same name, who were more of a pub-rock outfit led by another Alan.

Alan Anger was a journalist who wrote for Zig Zag and had his own fanzine called Live Wire. As a fellow fanzine editor myself, I vaguely remember him from the era.

Purely a studio group, Anger’s rival Rowdies had a ghastly 1979 single on the Teenage Depression label, an acoustic pub singalong called She’s No Angel with lyrics about a punkette on the scene.

The rest of the non-existent band consisted of John Plain (who wrote it) and Jack Black, both from The Boys – who also recorded it – plus Phil Spalding and Mark Harrison from the Bernie Tormé Band – backed by a Faces cover, Had Me A Real Good Time.

In order to avoid confusion, their band name was changed when the single was reissued in 1980 on Beggars Banquet – altered to the truly terrible moniker Cockney’n’Westerns.

Adding to the confusion around the two Rowdies and their two Alans, there are also two Steve Sharps – this one being no relation of Stevie Sharp and the Cleancuts, who released the 1980 single We Are The Mods.

Confused? Don’t worry, no one will remember any of them.