The Action

Mike Evans the ActionFrom: North London, England

Legendary manager of the Beatles, George Martin was also responsible for signing of The Action to EMI in the mid 1960s. The Action are one of those bands that had no luck in terms of a promising act making it big. While several other bands of lesser quality managed to sell thousands of singles, they failed to chart even once in a two year span. Considered the second most impressive band signed by EMI, industry fol were baffled.

Forming in 1963 and naming themselves the Boys, the band released one single, backing for Sandra Barry. After that, they would receive the chance to release a piece of their own on the Pye label. The song “It Ain’t Fair” was released, and in 1964, The Boys were finished. The band didn’t split up though. In their time off, they reformed and came back as a five-man outfit. Calling themselves the Action in 1965, the initial lineup consisted of Alan “Bam” King (guitar), Reg King (vocals), Mike Evans (bass), Roger Powell (drums), and Pete Watson (guitar).

The Action had a harder sound than the Boys did, making them favorites with the mod audiences. The sound of the Action has been compared to a slightly toned down version of the Small Faces. Discovered by George Martin in 1965, the Action signed to Martin’s newly founded AIR Productions, and got a recording contract at Parlophone Records.

The debut single from the Action was the great “Land of a 1000 Dances”/”In My Lonely Room”. The fact that this release, as well as others from their early days, failed to garner any interest is confusing. The Action had a lot of promise, and today, their music is considered some of the greatest of the time. Never getting the exposure they rightfully deserved, such as opening for the Beatles, the Action never got beyond playing clubs.

In 1966, Watson left the band and was replaced by Martin Stone, previously with Savoy Brown and Stone’s Masonary. Maintaining their original sound, the Action evolved when Stone joined the band. However, in late 1966 and early 1967, the Action delved more into more of a soulful R&B style, eventually forming a progressive folk-rock sound. EMI would go on to drop the band from the label.

Ian Whiteman (keyboards) was added to the band in late 1967, bringing the Action closer to the sound they envisioned. Reg King left to pursue a solo career and Whiteman took over, renaming the band Azoth. After hooking up with Giorgio Gomelsky and cutting vast amounts of material, the band transformed into the pure psychedelic group Mighty Baby.

The collection Rolled Gold was released in 2002, and it featured the forgotten works of the Action. This release features the material that should have been successful but wasn’t. It’s release was well overdue, but at least more people got to hear the magic that was the Action. ~ Bruce Eder at Allmusic.com

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Tracks played on Psychedelicized…

From the 1981 album The Ultimate Action
Ultimate

  • Shadows And Reflections
  • Something Has Hit Me

From the 2002 release Rolled Gold
Action

  • Brain
  • Climbing Up The Walls (See Me)
  • Come Around
  • Follow Me
  • I’m A Stranger
  • Icarus
  • In My Dream
  • Little Boy
  • Love Is All
  • Really Doesn’t Matter
  • Strange Roads
  • Things You Cannot See

From the 2007 album Cries from the Midnight Circus Ladbroke Grove 1967-1978
Cries from the Midnight Circus Ladbroke Grove 1967-1978

  • A Saying For Today