Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Action-I'll Keep Holding On

THE ACTION-I'll Keep Holding On/Hey Sah Lo Ney U.K. Parlophone R 5410 1966

Few singles by The Action are as famous as their 2nd single released in February 1966, a coupling of The Marvelette's May 1965 A-side "I'll Keep Holding On" (Tamla T-54116) and Mickey Lee Lane's August 1965 A-side "Hey Sah Lo Ney" (Swan 4222)."I'll Keep Holding On" was my first introduction to the Action after hearing The chords version I had read about The Action and their 60's mod connection (where I'm not sure) and took a chance in 1982 with the Edsel 45 of "I'll Keep Holding" b/w "Wasn't It You". To be honest at the time I did not like their version of "I'll Keep Holding On" and it was a year or so before I got my head around it, much preferring "Wasn't It You" at the time.

Of course like most Action interpretations of soul tunes they strip "I'll Keep Holding On" down and rebuild it with trademark high backing vocals, kinetic drumming by Roger Powell and Alan "Bam" King and Pete Watson's layers of Rickenbackers and of course not to mention the soulful lead vocals of Reggie King.  My favorite part is 3/4's of the way through when Roger Powell starts putting his double bass drums to use and doubles the beat which adds to the intensity of the number in my book.

"Hey Sah Lo Ney" follows the same formula in that it's not a carbon copy of the original.  The Action ditch the lo-fi grittiness of Mickey Lee Lane's take and make it slick with some semi jazzy licks by Pete Watson introducing the melody on his twelve string Rickenbacker 330 and the band again bringing up the rear with some high backing vocals not at all unlike their heroes The Association and fluid bass playing by Mike Evans.

The Action onstage at their haunt The Marquee where they
clocked in 25 gigs during '65-'67

Of course both tracks are available on the band's essential CD "Action Packed" which is a reissue of all of their existing material recorded for EMI's Parlophone label during 1965 through to 1967.

Below is a clip the band filming miming "I'll Keep Holding On" filmed in London for American TV's ABC-TV program "Where The Action Is":


 Hear "Hey Sah Lo Ney":

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