West London



Mick Foley - Guitar

Steve James (Wright) - Bass

Mark Williams - Vocals

Stuart Russell - Drums


Ack Ack were originally formed as 'Dirty Mark and the Stains' in 1977 by Mark Williams (vocals), Mick Foley (guitar) and Lawrence "?" (bass) who were all school friends from the Twickenham/Isleworth area of W. London.  They were joined by Alan Spencer on lead guitar and Stuart Russell on drums. Stuart was a work colleague of Marks older brother and was a few years older than the rest of the band himself, it was he that introduced the Northern Soul and Reggae aspect to the group. The name DMATS was changed to Ack Ack. At this time they were simply a 'garage band' and had not perform any gigs.

As the bands skills improved it became clear that Lawrence was falling behind the rest of the members so in 1978 I was drafted in on bass guitar. Shortly afterwards the band played it's first gig at Chessington Rugby Club. Thanks to a quite aggressive poster campaign by the band the gig was very well attended and this was the beginning of Ack Ack's strong local fan base.

Alan Spencer left the band shortly after as he was more contemporary rock influenced and not comfortable with the punk scene. He was replaced by John Fuller. The band now had it's final line up of:

Mark Williams - Vocals
Mick Foley - Guitar
John Fuller - Lead guitar
Steve James (Wright) - Bass
Stuart Russell - Drums

The band continued to build up its local fan base by playing local venues such as The Grove in Kingston and The Winning Post in Twickenham plus many of the local colleges. At this time the band was being managed by Mark's older brother Tony.

In early 1979 the band recorded a five track demo tape at Spaceward Studios in Cambridge. Copies of the demo were used to secure gigs at some of the more prestigious venues around London such as The Pegasus in Stoke Newington and The Starlight Club in Hampstead. It was also passed on to former Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera guitarist Paul Brett. Brett became the band's manager later that year. Many gigs, both local and in or around London, followed both as main act or support act to more established bands such as The Adverts and The Specials.

In 1980 work began on recording the band's debut album 'Trouser Tricks'. It was recorded over a six day period in a small studio on the Fulham Palace Road near Hammersmith, W. London.

The tracks that were recorded were:

When Love Strikes Again

Trouser Trick

I Can't Accept It

Wave The Flag

I Fall In Love So Easily

James Brown

Television Screen

Public Concern

Saturday Night

Winning Hearts

(We Hate You) Neil Diamond

Stand Up And Be Counted

Interest in the album was quite good at first with a few record companies, including a couple of the majors, showing interest. But as a recession had just kicked in, money was tight and it was felt that punk had run it's course by 1980 so unfortunately the album was never released. Stuart Russell was offered a chance of a good job in the advertising industry so he left the band to pursue his career there. As he was the bands biggest creative force the damage done by this was irreparable. Ack Ack disbanded a few months later.


Steve Wright, circa 1980


Steve Wright
May 2005


Read the John Fuller Interview



The below article was taken from the above issue of the 'Jamming' fanzine from 1980



Above is an original 5-Track Demo Tape that was sent into the "Bridge House", Canning Town
to try and secure a gig there!



Page Two



Thanks goes out to Ruth Bonnet for the live band photograph.



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