Handling the big jets
And so The Action played our first real gig. Because we had ideas above our station (that's youth for you) we had it all worked out.We would have a bit of intro music; Handling the big jets, the instrumental B side of The Members' generic Sound of the suburbs. On clear vinyl no less. At the end of our set we left the stage one at a time leaving the drummer with the final word. All very clever clogs if you ask me.
So it was that we took a nice big crowd with us to Black boy Lane. We had cobbled together some posters and with word of mouth added we had a nice little audience.
The band we were supporting,Chance, stood at the back in their white suits like an Elvis circa Vegas Identity parade. They barracked us during our attempt at a serious performance, but we still managed to do OK. My friend George filmed the event and 'laid it down' on cassette. Hopefully this historical record has been lost in the sands of time, as the thought of seeing and hearing a young me fills me with a certain amount of dread.
And so our first show was over, leaving us all in high spirits (except for our guitarist Keith who, as the most proficient of us, was unhappy) we had the last laugh on Chance as we took all the audience with us leaving a couple of their fans to make up the front middle and back row.
We made our way to Pebbles night Club in Golders Green for an evening of celebration, alcohol and possibly a bit of pulling.Well we got the alcohol anyway.
So this was what it was like to be in a proper band. Rehearsals, gigs, songwriting,getting hold of equipment, sorting out publicity, arguments, boozing; hard work!
It didn't last long though. For me the beginning of the end was a small matter; We used fender amps which gave a clean sound that fitted the sort of music I thought we should be playing. Keith wanted to change to Marshall amps for, what he called "that dirty sound". In hindsight we were quite good and with a bit of hard work and application we could have done alright. Who knows? But the very youthful idealism that got us to this point was countered by youthful stupidity. So rather than work through our differences we split. The irony was that at this time we were managing to put together some pretty good songs. One of them, Clean (one word title again) was recorded properly in Halligan's recording studio. By this time Tony Halligan had split with his partner Heape; going so far as to chisel the Name Heape off of the shop front.We were going to (incredibly naively) send copies of Clean to record companies. But it wasn't to be.
So I went on to form another Band with me playing drums (not sure why, I just fancied it) George on Bass and a new friend Neil on guitar/keyboards, we were called That Group, which I thought was a masterful name. We needed a singer though, and in true Rock 'n' roll cliche style we decided that we would stop the first interesting woman we saw on the street and ask her to be our singer. Which we did!
TO BE CONTINUED...