Psychedelic-Rock'n'roll: Cops 'N Robbers - Cops 'N Robbers (RAW RHYTHM AND BLUES UK 1964-1965)

20 March 2009

Cops 'N Robbers - Cops 'N Robbers (RAW RHYTHM AND BLUES UK 1964-1965)


cops_n_robbers,psychedelic-rocknroll,distortion,coral,smith,pye,front"COPS 'N ROBBERS - COPS 'N ROBBERS" (RAW RHYTHM AND BLUES UK 1964-1965)

Formed in Watford, Hertfordshire, England, "Cops 'n Robbers" were a locally popular Rhythm and Blues/Beat group of the mid-60s, whose live show won many admirers.
"Cops 'n Robbers" were "Terry Fox" (organ), "Henri Harrison" (drums), "Brian 'Smudger' Smith" (vocals) and "Steve Smith" (bass guitar).
"Cops 'n Robbers" was a cool and underrated "Rhythm and Blues" band.
A little-known from the Rhythm and Blues wing of the British Invasion, the "Cops 'n Robbers" (named after a "Bo Diddley" song) issued just three singles in the mid-'60s, as well as a French-only EP.
Their sound was pretty similar to early Animals and "Pretty Things".

cops_n_robbers,psychedelic-rocknroll,distortion,It_s_All_Over,US,coralCops 'N Robbers: "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" / "I Found Out ", Coral 62473, UK 1965

Their chief claim to fame is recording (and writing) the original version of "You'll Never Do It Baby", a cool, nasty Rhythm and Blues-Rock raver that was covered by "Pretty Things" on their second album.

cops_n_robbers,psychedelic-rocknroll,distortion,NL,PYE"Cops 'n Robbers" were indeed rather similar to "Pretty Things" in their Punk-Rhythm and Blues-Rock and Roll approach, yet even punkier than "Pretty Things".
Singer "Brian 'Smudger' Smith" had an unrefined, sullen leer in his delivery, and the band was picked up by the same management team that signed Donovan (a friend of "Cops 'n Robbers").


They issued a good version of "St. James Infirmary" on "Decca Records" in late 1964 (Decca Records F 12019, UK 1964), but after its failure moved to "Pye Records" for the rest of their meager recorded output, which included a bizarre, ill-chosen cover of the "My Fair Lady" standard "I Could Have Danced All Night" / "Just Keep Right On" (Pye Records 7N 15870, UK 1965).

cops_n_robbers,psychedelic-rocknroll,distortion,UK,PYE_7N_15870All 14 songs known to exist by the "Cops 'n Robbers" -- both sides of their three singles, two tracks that only appeared on their French-only EP ("I Could Have Danced All Night", "Just Keep Right On", "You'll Never Do It Baby" and "I've Found Out", Pye Records PNV.24148, France 1965), and six Blues-Rock covers rescued from an 1964 acetate.

cops_n_robbers,psychedelic-rocknroll,distortion_Records,pye,coralBy 1966 "Cops 'n Robbers" had disbanded, with drummer "Henry Harrison" subsequently forming the "New Vaudeville Band".

In memory of the great Steve Smith, RIP...

15 Comments :

Harrison said...

Thank you so much! This is a real master piece! greetings from pepperland

PetcheysPatch said...

As well as rhythm and blues they branched out into jazz doing Jimmy Smith blues standards like Dow at the Chicken Shack. They also covered a lot of James Brown numbers. But when Smudger left, his replacement was a disappointment.

Anonymous said...

Pete Townshend was raving about this band in a talk he gave at a theatre in Ealing the other week. He wanted to know what happened to them

John Ricks said...

I was a group photographer in the early 60's and have over a hundred unpublished photos of the Cops n' Robbers mostly taken at the Studio Jazz club in Westcliff. If anyone is interested in a bit of nostalgia, Just contact me on johnrickstralee@hotmail,com.

Terada said...

I was a big fan of the group and remember the night Donavan turned up at the studio club in Westcliff as we had a chat and I bought him a hamburger. He played a great session on his guitar with a 'This Machine Kills' sticker

Angela said...

This is so lovely to read my brother is Steve Smith .. He still lives in Southend .. Such nostalgic days .. Thank you ..

Paul Smith said...

My Dad is Steve Smith the bass player. I have a few of his singles and some photos that I have collected over the last 5 years. My favourite is St James Infirmary.

Psychedelic-Rocknroll said...

Hello Paul, if you want to share some of your pictures you are welcome!
psychedelic.rocknroll@gmail.com
best regards
alessandro

Paul Smith said...

Hi,It is with a heavy and sad heart that I must tell you that my Dad, Steve Smith from The Cops n' Robbers passed away today. The music will live forever xxx

Angela said...

It is with such sadness that I have to say that my dear little brother Steve Smith passed away last Thursday 14th May ...
He is remembered with so much love by his sons Paul and Barry and myself and so many friends who knew him ... Xx

Psychedelic-Rocknroll said...

Paul and Angela, I'm so sorry for your loss. My most sincere condolences...
alessandro

Angela said...

Thank you ...

Paul Smith said...

Thank you...

DAVID BROOKES said...

Great group COPS N ROBBERS met them quite a few times in the sixtees at the place HANLEY STOKE ON TRENT Also in London TERRY FOX lives around here. DAVE

Paul Smith said...

On the 30th April and the 1st of May 2016 there will be a weekend of live music at the Riga Club in Southend-on-Sea. The Steve Smith Memorial Weekend. The Cops n' Robbers singer Bryan "Smudger" Smith will be performing at 2pm on the Sunday afternoon....also there is a good chance that Terry Fox and Henri Harrison will be there also and a reunion could be happening.....I hope to join them on stage if this does happen to fill in for my Dad Steve...hard shoes to fill I might add.....