The original line-up featured Jack Stradwick on bass and vocals, his brother Dan on guitar and vocals, John Bisset on rhythm guitar, then organ and Bryan Harris drumming.
The Action worked the Queen City’s busy club circuit through 1966 into 1968. As they progressed musically, the band picked up streetwise singer Evan Silva and guitarist John Kristian (replacing Dan Stradwick).
Evan Silva grew up in at Bastion Point in Auckland. Galvanised by a lunchtime Ray Columbus and The Invaders show, he joined The Mockers in 1965, who then split to form the Silva-fronted hardcore soul act Nobody’s Children. The new band could be found at The Blue Stars’ Gallows club at 283 Remuera Road and the Galaxie in Customs Street West. An offer to join the professional The Action was too good to let pass.
The sound The Action’s fans heard during residencies at Top 20 then the Galaxie and on frequent C’mon TV slots and live shows captured at Radio New Zealand in Durham Lane evolved with the new members from chart R&B to Tamla Motown and Atlantic soul.
Peddling a popular, mod-influenced take on soul, the slick Auckland group’s first single was a fine interpretation of New York band The Vagrants’ ‘I Can’t Make A Friend’, which dropped the original’s psychedelic veneer for dance floor punch. They tapped their London namesake for the second, ‘Never Ever’, and even covered Otis Redding’s ‘Try A Little Tenderness’ for their final release.
With new drummer Brett Neilson (ex-La De Da's), The Action hopped the Tasman in April 1968 for shows at Sydney’s Whiskey A Go Go and a residency at Hawaiian Eye. Neilson was replaced by Andy Anderson of The Missing Links and Running Jumping Standing Still and Jack Stradwick and John Kristian soon departed. Gus Fenwick and Mike Wilson (The Layabouts/The Apple) were summoned as replacements before the group split for good in 1968.
Silva joined Reno Te Hei (guitar), Paddy Beach (drums) and Ben Kaika (bass) in Australian-based New Zealand supergroup Compulsion and Bisset joined Levi Smith’s Clefs and progressive rockers Fraternity.
The Action were frequent performers on New Zealand pop TV show, C’Mon and appeared on Australia TV show, Bandstand.
They had residencies at Top Twenty and Galaxie Ballroom in Auckland and toured heartland New Zealand.
Evan Silva and Jack Stradwick are now Christian pastors in Auckland. Both still play and record.
John Bisset joined Australian prog-rockers Fraternity where he performed alongside a pre-AC/DC Bon Scott. He also played for a short time in Mungo Jerry.
Jack Stradwick - vocals, bass
Dan Stradwick - guitar, vocals
Bryan Harris - drums
John Bisset - guitar, organ
John Kristian - guitar
Mike Wilson - guitar
Brett Neilsen - drums
Gus Fenwick - bass, vocals