With a host of vigorous young musical oddness in support at this multi-headed underground extravaganza, it's nearly 2am by the time Action Beat make it to the central mini-amphitheatre that counts as a stage here at the Flying Duck. Even at such an ungodly hour, the proudly Bletchley-based multi-piece rock ensemble are certainly not lacking in energy and dedication to the instrumental art-rock cause. Playing tonight in a relatively stripped down 6-man incarnation consisting of 1 bassist, 2 drummers and 3 guitarists (though sadly lacking their occasional violin, trumpet and saxophone augmentation), they blaze through a set of balls-to-the-wall melodic riffage and high-intensity rock action. What they do may be simple, with a heavy debt to the discordant accessibility of early Sonic Youth and the massed instrumental rock orchestrations of Glenn Branca and Rhys Chatham, but there's no doubting that they play it like they mean it, broken strings, bleeding hands and all, and their passion and well-toured tightly-honed assurance gives an infectious delight in the sheer, simple power of guitar-based rock.
Photos of this gig available here.