DOWNLINERS SECT – Dangerous Ground [1998]

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The Downliners Sect were the ragged, rocking real deal, blasting out of England in 1964 on an early British wave that took their contemporaries the Rolling Stones, the Yardbirds, the Kinks, and the Pretty Things to rock and roll heights and history. But unlike their friends, the Sect stayed true to their rhythm and blues roots and the grungy glory of the two and a half minute record. Cool tracks like “Baby What’s Wrong” and “Little Egypt” gave them stardom in Sweden, Denmark, and Norway and an enduring cult
status everywhere else. Half a century later, they’re still true to those roots and still fronted by founding members Don Craine and Keith Grant. The Sect survives, and SteadyBoy is thrilled to bring this album of tracks that only saw limited release in the nineties.

Dangerous Ground presents the band true to the spirit of American blues-based rock and roll with a British twist, sounding like early Rolling Stones, had they never abandoned the raw sound of their first several albums. Speaking of the Stones, Ronnie Wood’s brother Art Wood painted the inspired Dangerous Ground cover. Blues rock gets no more authentic, no more psychedelic, no more
unrepentant than the Downliners Sect. [Rush Evan, SteadyBoy Records]

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The Sect returns! But in order to venture forward they had to, first, go back. This, the first-ever US release of a Sect studio album, was actually recorded and released in Europe back in 1998, utilizing the same lineup that performed, to date, their only two live concert appearances in America, in 2001 AND 2004, respectively. I was at both shows, and they killed! Harmonica player Paul Martin left the band a few years ago, and, sadly, drummer Alan Brooks left this world recently. The band is still killin’ ’em on the homefront, and who knows? Maybe we’ll still have our chance to see them again Back in The U.S.A. (Uh-huh , EE – VUN!). Not surprisingly, the fiery Rhythm ‘n’ Blues sound of days gone by is all still there, from the Bo Diddley beatin’ rhythm section to the warm, bluesy tone of the slide guitar. Apart from a nod to their Skiffle roots, “Working on The Railroad,” this is an otherwise all-originals collection, and their songwriting skills are as strong as ever. There’s been another studio LP, not yet available in the states, but this is easily their best studio effort since “Showbiz,” the band’s comeback album and call to arms, not against, but with, the pub and punk rock bands they inspired. “Dangerous Ground” is just a great album, whether you’re already a fan, or whether you only know them through Billy Childish, who picked up much of his sound, dress sense and Snagglepuss phraseology from the Sect, or if you’ve never heard ’em at all but know the blues don’t have to be a drag, and Rock ‘n’ Roll does’nt need to sag. Their work here is fun. My work here is done. Exit, stage right!(GUEST REVIEW BY JOHN BATTLES)

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The Sect strikes again! This time with their best slab since 60’s freakbeat classics. Raw garagey Rhythm’n’Blues mixed with pub rock, reminds me on DR.Feelgood early stuff but it’s kinda… Dangerous! Fav tunes: Keep On Rocking, Escape From Hong Kong, Dangerous Ground, Little Queenie (C. Berry), I Just Want To Make Love To You (W.Dixon), Daemon Lover,Midnight ShiftDig !!!