Guide to British Music of the 1960s

August 2005

CD Review

The Downliners Sect - The Sect

The Downliners Sect's first album is a piece of classic British R&B. While the band was disowned in some parts as not being true to R&B, this is raw and pure in a similar style to the Pretty Things or early Rolling Stone or Yardbirds. Maybe this is the sound of south-west London!

The album consists mostly of cover versions of tracks by the likes of Bo Diddley, Jimmy Reed and Chuck Berry and this was pretty much a similar approach to the Downliners' contemporaries. However, there are a number of originals written by band members such as Keith Grant and Terry Gibson's Lonely and Blue as well as stand-out originals Be a Sect Maniac and Sect Appeal. The latter two show how an element of humour was creeping into the Downliners Sect and this may be part of the reason why the band was shunned by the blues purists. However, with some hindsight, this humour which was most evident on the later EP The Sect Sings Sick Songs acted to make the Downliners Sect different from the other bands who were basically playing the same or similar live sets. Even with a more humorous approach, this music remains raw British R&B.

Written by Collier, Sect Appeal is almost the band's theme song, While a Sect original, this is heavily influenced by Bo Diddley with the trademark rhythm guitar and drum sound. Be a Sect Maniac and Sect Appeal had been on the b-sides of the first two singles.

Bonus tracks on the CD release include the first two singles, Jimmy Reed's Baby What's Wrong and the Coasters' Little Egypt. The latter became the group's first number one single - in Sweden! The third single Find Out What's Happening and its b-side Insecticide are included. Bo Diddley's Cadillac and Chuck Berry's Roll Over Beethoven were originally demo tracks though they did appear on a European single during the 1970s. The final tracks are taken form the very rare live EP Nite in Newport Street which had been recorded with two hand-held microphones at the Studio 51 Club.

Release Date: 1963

CD re-release: 2005

Essential Tracks:

  • Be a Sect Maniac
  • Sect Appeal
  • Cops & Robbers

Track Listing:

  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

Bonus tracks

  1. Baby What's Wrong
  2. Little Egypt
  3. Find Out What's Happening
  4. Insecticide
  5. Cadillac (Demo from 1963)
  6. Roll Over Beethoven (Demo from 1963)
  7. Beautiful Delilah (Nite in Newport Street EP)
  8. Shame, Shame, Shame (Nite in Newport Street EP)
  9. Green Onions (Nite in Newport Street EP)
  10. Nursey Rhymes (Nite in Newport Street EP)

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