Wielka Brytania / United Kingdom
Date of establishing :
Band members:Joel Heyes - Vox, Guitars
Charlotte Winchombe - Guitars
Huw Davies - Synths
Pinka Belle - Bass
Biography:1997-2000: The Situationist Years
Action Directe formed in LS6 by flatmates Joel Heyes and Phil Hanlon, alongside guitarist Paul Kirov. Formative influences were punk rock, rap, drum and bass and post-rock, with The Clash, the Manic Street Preachers, Primal Scream and Public Enemy prevalent amongst them. Early recordings include 'The Red Album' (including early punk rock version of A.D classic 'Home'). The spirit of May '68 and the ennui of insurrection proved elusive, however, and after a disastrous recording and performing trip to Germany. the original line-up split.
2000-2004: The Industrial Years
Joel and Phil regrouped in 2000 and set about making more aggressive and political industrial music for the 21st century. The debut gig of this formation at the Royal Park Cellars saw the band release the 'Legitimate Military Targets' EP and give away 50 copies of their EP of communist cover versions, 'Songs From The Revolutionary Era' (including 2nd A.D classic, 'The Internationale'). This formation got off to great start with their combination of hard techno beats, serrated punk guitars and cold humanism amongst the hardline rhetoric. First album 'Cognitive Dissidents' (2001) voted runner-up best demo in the Meltdown Magazine readers poll of 2001. A.D supported Chaos Engine and Man(i)Kin amongst others. In October 2001 they recruited Paul Kirov back into the set-up on guitar, and by the time they released the 'Bloc Rocking Beats' EP in 2002 they were on the bill at the Whitby Gothic Weekend. 2003 saw the release of the 'Oktober'/'Compatriot Games' AA-single but little else of note, and Paul Kirov departed the band in June 2003, to be replaced by Scott Preston. This line-up regained momentum and released the acclaimed second album 'Counterculture' in 2004. The pinnacle of this period was the band's appearance at the Infest 2004 festival in August.
2004-2006: The Industrial Punk Years
Restless at the contradictions in the bands approach and sound between the gothic and punk elements, Action Directe made a back-to-basics industrial punk record, the 'Action Directe' EP, in Feb 2005, which was preceded by regional gigs around the UK. This release, including 'Better Dead Than Red' and 'Spirit of ‘89’, was extremely well received and opened up a whole new audience to the band. At this point Scott left the band, but momentum was maintained as the band recruited John Kind on guitar for the 'England'/'State Violence State Control' single which kept up the consistency of previous releases. The aggression, urban realism and tension of the new sound were consolidating the bands reputation in both the punk and industrial scenes internationally. This was sealed when, after the band recruited second guitarist Spider in 2006, the band released their '60 Million Guns' single to universal acclaim. The new quartet played several great gigs and released their long-awaited third album 'Intervention', which was accompanied by a UK tour. This proved to be the culmination of the industrial-punk project, as personal differences saw the band implode at the end of 2006.
2006-2010: Split and Reformation
Although now reduced to a core duo of John Kind and Joel Heyes, the band did recruit Corin Zero (guitars) and DJ Dead Guy (synths) for more shows and remained a formidable live act. These shows included an appearance at the 2008 Woolstock festival in Leeds. But a lack of forward momentum meant that the band announced they were splitting up in 2008 and made their final appearance at the 1 in 12 Club, Bradford in July. However, penury is a hard itch not to scratch and Joel and John were tempted out of retirement to work on new material and gigs, with the 'Slavs To The Rhythm' EP in April 2009 being there first new material for 3 years. This was followed by a free online best of release, 'Under The Pavement, The Beach'. The fourth full-length Action Directe album 'Vanguard' was released in October and was accompanied by great performances from the newly augmented line-up which included Charlotte Winchcombe (guitars), Danny Carnage (synths) and AntiAndy (drums). After this, both John and Andy have since left to pursue other projects.