RESCHEDULED FROM 30TH MAR, 30TH JULY ’20, 14TH JAN & 26TH MAY ’21
AGMP presents JANUARY BLUES FESTIVAL featuring
+ special guests: THE MASONICS
+ support: THE FALLEN LEAVES
+ DJ: Lee Grimshaw
‘We were quite influenced by the Downliners Sect’ – David Bowie
‘The first British R&B I heard was the Downliners Sect. I heard the Pretty Things later but the Downliners Sect were IT’ – Van Morrison
Contemporaries of The Rolling Stones and The 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 51club 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 10.
The group went on to record many classic R&B singles as well as three albums, ‘The Sect’, ‘The Country Sect’ 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’ the group disbanded.
The Masonics were formed from the ashes of Thee Milkshakes and feature Mickey Hampshire (vocals), Bruce Brand (Drums) and John Gibbs (Bass) with guest vocals from Miss Ludella Black. Musically, The Masonics are influenced by Chuck Berry, Link Wray, The Sonics, Bo Diddley, Johnny Moped and The Beatles.
Their 1991 eponymously titled debut album on Hangman Records carried on the sound and the spirit of Thee Milkshakes who were founded by Mickey Hampshire and were originally known as Mickey and the Milkshakes. More albums have followed on Sympathy for the Record Industry, Vinyl Japan, Damaged Goods and Dirty WaterRecords.