RAVE girl Maureen O’Grady goes where the Action is to bring you bang up-to-date on the most switched-on group in London Town!
ALL THE fans in London know the Action are one of the greatest groups around. Now the word is spreading and the boys are ready for national success with their great new record, ‘Baby You’ve Got It’.
Even their recording manager, George (Beatle) Martin, thinks this might be the one, and he knows a thing or two about hits! And after the time and devotion these boys have put into their records, they deserve one. Every spare moment not spent on stage, they can be found practising in the Marquee Club, Wardour Street. Even on their days off, supposedly to be for resting!
Their Second Home
The Marquee, in fact, is the Action’s second home. “It’s the place where you really have to work hard. We could never live down a bad show there,” said singer Reg King, which is understandable when people like the Beatles, Spencer Davis and the Small Faces sometimes drop in to see them play! But although the Action enjoy playing the Marquee, they’re determined to be known around the country, too.
“We plan exactly where we’re going to play,” said Mick, the bass guitarist. “We get a map of England, divide it into sections, and play twelve days in each area to get ourselves known all over. Posters are sent in advance to let everyone know we’re coming.” Once onstage the Action really live up to their reputation.
“But,” said Roger, “a club’s got to have something. There are a couple of clubs we could never play again. They just didn’t have the right sort of atmosphere. We’re not a group who can play just anywhere. The place has got to be right.” The Action rate the Birdcage Club, Portsmouth, as one of their favourite clubs.
Although London is still the place for them, and even now, they still play at least once a month at the Marquee, an EP has been issued in France, where they hope to make a short promotional trip.
They could almost definitely do an American Ed Sullivan Show, too, but their manager Rikki Farr won’t let them go until they have had at least three big hits in this country.
Chris Mercer, producer of Wales and Western England’s popular T.V. pop show Now, said after the Action’s first appearance on the programme, “I’ve never met such dedicated professionalism in a pop group,” and promptly booked them for a return appearance!
The Action say of each other. “Having been together so long, we know exactly what each other is going to do onstage. This means we can completely improvise. If we sing the same song every night for a week, we will never sing it the same way twice.” Though, usually, if the boys know they are going to a club they’ve played before, they work out a different set of songs,.
The Action’s appeal is probably their simplicity. They walk on stage, give a friendly nod to the audience, with a ‘Ta’ in between songs.
The Action never get flash with fans. They know fans put them where they are and they’re the ones who matter. Even if they’ve been really tired, I’ve seen them sign autographs with a smile.
Audiences Go Crazy!
Their audiences love them. Reg, the singer, is a very sexual mover on stage, yet lots of their fans are boys. They don’t seem to make boys jealous, although nearly all their girlfriends go wild over them.
But back to their all-important record. “Rikki reckons our next release is a No. 1,” said Allen. “But we think ‘Baby You’ve Got It’ has got a fair chance, too.”
The Action think money and popularity are nice to have, but their money is spent within a couple of days. Money is nice, but not all-important. “We’ve managed without it,” said Pete.
Nothing matters as much as their music. It’s all they really live for.
So next time you want to see some action, take our tip, see the Action!
© Maureen O’Grady, Rave, August 1966