the story of The Sect so far.......
Contemporaries of the Rolling Stones and Yardbirds, the Downliners Sect was formed by deerstalker-hatted rhythm guitarist Don Craine in the spring of 1963. Their brash and exciting brand of R&B soon gained them a residency at London’s Studio 51 club where they recorded their first E.P. ‘At Nite in Great Newport Street’, now a rare collectors’ item. A version of Jimmy Reed’s ‘Baby What’s Wrong’ became the unit’s first single for EMI and entered the charts in its first week of release. This was followed by ‘Little Egypt’ which brought international interest and took the band into the Swedish top ten, a success they consolidated with a major tour.
The group went on to record many classic R&B singles as well as three albums, ‘The Sect’, ‘The Country Sect’ (on the Canadian pressing of which they are credited with the creation of Country-Rock Music) and ‘The Rock Sects In’ which is notable for the inclusion of ‘Why Don’t You Smile Now’ which was part-composed by Lou Reed and John Cale prior to their founding of the Velvet Underground. A ghoulish E.P. ‘The Sect Sing Sick Songs’ also gained them much notoriety and a blanket radio ban. After the release of the Graham Gouldman penned ‘ Cost of Living’, a one-off Pye single ‘I Can’t Get Away From You’ and four studio tracks later to crop up on a Swedish jukebox E.P., the group disbanded.
In the wake of the 1976 Pub Rock/R&B phenomena the Downliners Sect reformed to much acclaim, recording a new single ‘Showbiz’ and reissuing their first album ‘The Sect’, both of which figured in ‘Sounds’ new wave charts. This was followed by the albums ‘Showbiz’ and ‘Live In The 80’s’, a limited edition U.S. single ‘Colour Coded Red’ and the 1989 release of the ‘Yardbird-Downliners Sect’ and ‘Downliners Sect Story’ videos.(This led to the formation of the British Invasion Allstars, featuring the Sect’s Don Craine and Keith Grant, Yardbird Jim McCarty, Nashville Teens’ Ray Phillips and Creation’s Eddie Phillips, for the recording of the album ‘Regression’ for Promised Land and the ‘United’ LP which also included the talents of Pretty Things’ Phil May and Dick Taylor, Procul Harum’s Matt Fisher and Pirate Mick Green. Contributions also came from the remaining Sect members Paul Tiller, Del Dwyer and Alan Brooks. This was followed by the ‘Yardbirds Experience’ album ‘British Thunder’, featuring the Allstars plus contributions from Noel Redding and Alan Brooks.
he Downliners Sect went on to record ‘Savage Return’ (1991), described in ‘Union Jack’ as ‘the best album of the year’, and L.P. ‘A Light Went Out In New York’, in partnership with Matt Fisher, for U.S. label ‘Endangered Records’ (1993).
Don and Keith, in conjunction with Medway band Thee Headcoats, recorded the ‘Deerstalking Men’ album in 1996 (under the name Thee Headcoat Sect, on Hangmans Daughter Records). The twain then went on to take part in the recording of Art Wood’s ‘Quiet Melon’ project titled ‘Money Due’ for Ron Wood’s Rockyarch Ltd., through ’97.
In 1998 the Downliners Sect studio album ‘Dangerous Ground’, with guest artists Art Wood, Ray Majors, Sandy Dillon and ‘Horror Master’ Brian Lumley, hit the streets, receiving much press and media attention. The dawning of the new millennium saw Don and Keith performing with Thee Headcoats in London, Glasgow and Tokyo, promoting the release of Thee Headcoat Sect’s ‘Ready, Sect, Go’ album (on Vinyl Japan), and the Downliners Sect touring and recording in Sweden, resulting in the release of the band’s latest live album, ‘Burning Snow’, in the spring of 2001. The summer of 2007 saw former Savoy Brown stalwart John O’leary take over the harmonica position, and with concerts in Italy, Germany, Spain, Sweden, the USA and the UK, and the recording of a much awaited new studio album, the Downliners Sect rocks on.
Compilations of the Downliners Sect’s 60’s material can be heard on ‘The Birth of Suave’ (Hand of Glory Records), ‘The Definitive Downliners Sect A’s and B’s’ (See for Miles Records) and ‘The Sect/The Rock Sect’s In’ (See For Miles Records).
on home territory..the bridge to Eel Pie Island!
Ex Sectarian Roll Of Honour
Al Brooks (drums)
Barry Cooper (keyboard)
Rod De'Ath (drums)
Matt Fisher (keyboard)
Kevin Flanagan (drums)
Terry Gibson (lead guitar)
Pip Harvey (harmonica)
Paul Holm (drums)
Mel Lewis (lead guitar)
Nat Maynard (keyboard)
Ray Sone (harmonica)
John Sutton (drums)
Bob Taylor (lead guitar)
Paul Tiller (harmonica)