Named after the car, The Cortinas were a 1970s Bristol-based punk rock band who developed a large and enthusiastic local following. They frequently visited London and became one of the pioneering punk bands that played live in the first few months of the Roxy Club. They supported The Stranglers in January 1977 and then headlined twice the following month. In June 1977 they had their first headlining show at the Marquee Club. Later they played as the support act for Blondie and Chelsea.
The Cortinas' first two singles both appeared on Step Forward, the label run by The Police manager Miles Copeland and Mark Perry. On 16 July 1977, a few weeks after releasing their debut single "Fascist Dictator", the band recorded a session at Maida Vale 4 studio, for John Peel at BBC Radio 1. Later the Cortinas signed for CBS Records and released one album, True Romances. Their guitarist Nick Sheppard went on to play with the Clash.
In 2001, the band's debut single, "Fascist Dictator" was included in a leading British music magazine's list of the best punk-rock singles of all-time.