Arts & Culture Music


  • March 31, 2022
  • 4 min read

You need to join me at the Bread and Roses to see ROWSIE. To make it in the music business you need two talents: integrity and luck. ROWSIE has the former in spades.

Describing their music as the best Indie-Rock, the band are a former factory worker from New York, an English baroque pop singer-songwriter, a Canadian filmmaking composer and a London jazz musician who got together in the summer of 2021 to play. Main man Richard Rothenberg moved to London from the USA five years ago and through Sixty Sixty Sounds on Denmark Street he met drummer Jess ‘the roller’ Rollason. Next he met producer and writer Alan D Boyd who was writing with Vaccines guitarist Freddie Cowan. Boyd brought in Kent’s finest baroque pop songwriter and lead guitarist Holly Henderson. ROWSIE are playing shows in and around London. Their first single, Fertile Fields/Liverpool Girl, is out on Ivy RecRods and available from BandCamp. In May 2022 they will travel to Mexico to play and record with Freddie Cowan of the Vaccines (who will be an Ivy RecRods artist) and is a close friend of the band.

This exciting exponent of the best modern music, tells me it “plans to start streaming our songs on Apple, Spotify Etc on April 15but you might want to do your prep before the gig by hearing what they’ve already posted on:


You’ll be drawn in by the infectiously enthusiastic welcoming pages, and the easily accessible studio tracks and two or three excellent videos. You’ll be able to hum a tune and enjoy a great evening.

If you like what you hear and you’re reading this on 1 April 2022 today is the day BandCamp waives all fees for selling. Best time to buy ROWSIE’s stuff.

As we emerge from the health crisis, and the Rentrée challenges us to reinvent normal, there is a sense of rebirth, after the flood. It’s time to use cleansed palettes to reflect on the state of Rock’n’Roll, inherently defiant, a sword of truth in its intrinsic rebellion. It’s a fitting coincidence that editor Emma and I are on our way to Clapham, to the surprisingly convenient venue that is the Bread and Roses, worth a visit if only to explore the origins of its name, echoing the very soul of workers’ revolt against the Victorian establishment’s crimes against humanity.

Elsewhere in the Enquirer I’ve argued that musicians in the 2020s are producing music every bit as beautiful as in the 1960s and 1970s. The 1980s were ushered in by none other than Joy Division, the 1990s dominated by Oasis at the noisier end and Radiohead perhaps more cerebral, or my own favourite band of the era, Spiritualized. Into the twentieth century we have the Strokes and Grandaddy and more recently we’ve waited for the Blackheart Orchestra to receive the commercial rewards reflect their critical acclaim. So the sixties and seventies were never going to get it all their own way. Innovation is at once infinite and irrelevant. Either way there’s still plenty to go around.

This epic journey, lasting perhaps for Bowie’s advocated five years, begins at a pub whose name reverberates with political and social integrity, the Bread and Roses. And it’s fitting that I’m off to see ROWSIE, because I think we’ll be hearing a lot more of the band. Their music is at once classic Rock in the same tradition as Tom Petty, with deceptively clean lines revealing hidden complexities announcing satisfying crescendos. Each set is a command performance. It’ll be an evening to remember. I’m trying to resist the Iggy Pop meets Creedance Clearwater Revival but you know what I mean. The clean lines of the one and the raw power of the other, if you’ll forgive the pun.





© James Douglas

About Author

Douglas Shanks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *