Downliners Sect

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Downliners Sect
Origin Twickenham, London, England
Genres British rhythm and blues, rock, R&B, freakbeat, garage rock
Years active 1963–1968
Labels EMI Columbia
Members Keith Grant
Don Craine
Del Dwyer
John O'Leary
Mark Freeman
Past members See: Former members

The Downliners Sect are a British R&B and blues-based rock band of the 60s beat boom era.[1] Stylistically, they were similar to blues-based bands, such as The Yardbirds, The Pretty Things and the Rolling Stones, playing basic R&B on their first album The Sect. Critic Richie Unterberger wrote: "The Sect didn't as much interpret the sound of Chess Records as attack it, with a finesse that made the Pretty Things seem positively suave in comparison." [2]


In 1962, Mick O' Donnell, later known as Don Craine, started a band called the Downliners, who, despite touring France, were unsuccessful.[3] The name of the band came from Jerry Lee Lewis B-side 'Down The Line'.[4] After several lineup changes, the band folded, but in 1963, O'Donnell and drummer Johnny Sutton formed a new band out of the remnants of the previous act.[5] Keith Evans, formerly a drummer, would join in on bass. Shortly thereafter the band would be named the Downliners Sect.[6] At this time some of the members decided to change their names. Mick O'Donnell took the new name, Don Craine, and Keith Evans became Keith Grant.[7]

The band was iconic during its time in the early 60s, partly owing to Don Craine's deerstalker cap which he wore to mock the aristocracy.[8] The band has many fans who have achieved commercial success, including Van Morrison, Steve Marriott, and Rod Stewart, the latter two had even auditioned for a place in the band but were turned down because they both wanted to be frontmen while Don Craine and Keith Grant did not wish to relinquish that role.[9]

They subsequently modified their musical style, and after an EP of 'sick' songs (e.g. "I Want My Baby Back") they experimented with both country ("The Country Sect") and rock ("Rock Sect's In").[10] They later collaborated with Billy Childish's Thee Headcoats, and released two albums under the name Thee Headcoats Sect. They performed regularly at the Studio 51 club in Great Newport Street near Leicester Square tube station in London on a Friday night and Sunday afternoon, from which came the first EP featuring songs like Beautiful Delilah, Little Egypt etc. The EP started off with the sound of the bells of Big Ben, similar to the beginning of a song by The Bulldog Breed called Paper Man on the Nova Deram label album Made in England. The lead guitarist was Terry Clemson (Gibson) who played his Gibson 335. The Downliners Sect were similar in style to Gary Farr and the T bones and their single "Baby what's wrong with you", was released around the same time as Farr's "How many more times". Studio 51 was also known as the Ken Colyer Club and indeed the Rolling Stones made many performances at this club, but according to Rod Harrison, guitarist with Asgaerd and school friend of Terry Clemson, "you could say the Downliners Sect were almost residents." In fact, the Downliners Sect had a residency at Studio 51, usually playing on Friday nights and Sunday afternoons, with the occasional "all-nighter".


Current members
  • Keith Grant – vocals/bass
  • Don Craine – vocals/guitar
  • Del Dwyer – vocals/guitar
  • John O'Leary – vocals/harp
  • Mark Freeman – drums
Past members
  • Al Brooks – drums
  • Barry Cooper – keyboards
  • Rod De'Ath – drums
  • Matt Fisher – keyboards
  • 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
  • Zach Wilson – guitar
  • Paul Martinez – vocals/bass
  • Mike Chapman – vocals/guitar



  • Jun '64 – Baby What's Wrong / Be A Sect Maniac (Columbia DB 7300)
  • Sep '64 – Little Egypt (Ying-Yang) / Sect Appeal (Columbia DB 7347)
  • Nov '64 – Find Out What's Happening / Insecticide (Columbia DB 7415)
  • ??? '65 – Wreck of the Old '97 / Leader of the Sect (Columbia DB 7509)
  • Jun '65 – I Got Mine / Waiting in Heaven Somewhere (Columbia DB 7597)
  • Oct '65 – Bad Storm Coming / Lonely And Blue (Columbia DB 7712)
  • Jan '66 – All Night Worker / He Was A Square (Columbia DB 7817)
  • Jun '66 – Glendora / I'll Find Out (Columbia DB 7939)
  • Sep '66 – The Cost of Living / Everything I've Got To Give (Columbia DB 8008)

7" E.P.s[edit]

  • "Nite in Gt. Newport Street": Beautiful Delilah/Shame Shame Shame/Green Onions/Nursery Rhymes (Contrast RBCSP 001, 1964)
  • "Brite Lites": Bright Lights Big City/I need you baby(mona)/Do the Dog/Roll Over Beethoven (Contrast RBCSP 002, 1964) :Unreleased, finished sleeves exist. Tapes lost in 1964, released in March 2011.
  • "The Sect Sing Sick Songs" – I Want My Baby Back/Leader of the Sect/Midnight Hour/Now She's Dead (Columbia SEG 8438, 1965)


The Sect (1964)[edit]

The Sect
DownlinersSect TheSect 1964.jpg
Studio album by Downliner's Sect
Released 1964
Genre Rock, R&B
Label Columbia Records
  1. Hurt By Love
  2. One Ugly Child
  3. Lonely And Blue
  4. Our Little Rendezvous
  5. Guitar Boogie
  6. Too Much Monkey Business
  7. Sect Appeal
  8. Baby What's on Your Mind?
  9. Cops And Robbers
  10. Easy Rider
  11. Bloodhound
  12. Bright Lights
  13. I Wanna Put A Tiger in Your Tank
  14. Be A Sect Maniac

Columbia 33SX 1658

The Country Sect (1965)[edit]

The Country Sect
DownlinersSect TheCountrySect 1965.jpg
Studio album by Downliners Sect
Released 1965
Genre Rock, R&B, Country
Label Columbia Records
  1. If I Could Just Go Back
  2. Rocks in My Bed
  3. Ballad of the Hounds
  4. Little Play Soldiers
  5. Hard Travellin'
  6. Wait for the Light To Shine
  7. I Got Mine
  8. Waiting in Heaven
  9. Above And Beyond
  10. Bad Storm Coming
  11. Midnight Special
  12. Wolverton Mountain

Columbia 33SX 1745

The Rock Sect's In (1966)[edit]

The Rock Sect's In
DownlinersSect TheRockSectsIn 1966.jpg
Studio album by Downliners Sect
Released 1966
Genre Rock, R&B
Label Columbia Records
  1. Hang on Sloopy
  2. Fortune Teller
  3. Hey Hey Hey Hey
  4. Everything I've Got To Give
  5. Outside
  6. I'm Hooked on You
  7. Don't Lie To Me
  8. May The Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose
  9. He Was A Square
  10. I'm Looking for a Woman
  11. Rock Sect's in Again
  12. Brand New Cadillac

Columbia 33SX 6028

The Definitive Downliners Sect: Singles – A's & B's (1994)[edit]

Definitive Downliners Sect
Compilation album by Downliners Sect
Released 1994
Genre Rock, R&B
Label See For Miles
  1. Cadillac
  2. Roll Over Beethoven
  3. Beautiful Delilah
  4. Shame, Shame, Shame
  5. Green Onions
  6. Nursery Rhymes
  7. Baby What's Wrong
  8. Be A Sect Maniac
  9. Little Egypt (Ying-Yang)
  10. Sect Appeal
  11. Find Out What's Happening
  12. Insecticide
  13. Wreck of the Old '97
  14. Leader of the Sect
  15. I Want My Baby Back
  16. Midnight Hour
  17. Now She's Dead
  18. I Got Mine
  19. Waiting in Heaven Somewhere
  20. Bad Storm Coming
  21. Lonely And Blue
  22. All Night Worker
  23. He Was A Square
  24. Glendora
  25. I'll Find Out
  26. Cost of Living
  27. Everything I've Got To Give
  28. I Can't Get Away From You
  29. Roses

See For Miles SEECD398


External links[edit]