THE FANZINE THAT FEATURES SMALL AND UNSIGNED BANDS
Sunday, February 28, 2010
ANOTHER FACTORY DRAMA (SECTION 25 FRONTMAN LARRY CASSIDY PASSED AWAY)
The older you get, the more you see people passing away. That says something about yourself, getting old yourself is the keyword, but it’s shocking to see people you admire getting away from this globe. With Factory Records it’s like our economics, one factory closed after another and it all seems like little dramas (from Anthony Wilson to Ian Curtis to Martin Hannett) and Saturday 27th February was another black day when co-founder from Section 25 Larry Cassidy passed away. It’s perhaps perverse to raise someone’s music after his death but so works the musicindustry and as it, sadly enough, will only be the undergroundpress that will report his death I feel the urge to say some things about Section 25. If you thought all bands on Factory were from Manchester, you better know that they were from Blackpool. According to journalist and musicencyclopedia John Robb, Section 25 are the best thing from Blackpool ever. The band was formed by the two brothers Larry and Vincent Cassidy in 1977, later joined by Paul Wiggin. The band soon got the attention from Factory Records (bear in mind, that even if the label is a household name there weren’t that many bands on the label : A Certain Ratio, Crispy Ambulance, Stockholm Monsters, Tunnelvision, The Wake and of course Joy Division). They immediately were loved by Joy Division and Ian Curtis would produce their debutsingle “Girls don’t count” in 1980. You can divide the history from Section 25 in three parts. There is the post-punk sound from the first two albums, the electronic new wave sounds from “From the hip” and the comeback 20 years later. From the moment Section 25 were signed they got all the “Factory-bonuses” as their debut “Always now” got released in 1981 there wasn’t only the production from Martin Hannett which gave it that typical cold Factorysound but there was as well a sleeve designed by Peter Saville which gave it its typical Factory-look. The yellow sleeve with the marble innersleeve must have been very expensive these days, and as said by John Robb one of the highlights of the Factory-art. Later followed their 2nd “The key of dreams”. Both albums are examples of genius British post-punk and even if these albums were loved by all die-hard Factoryfans, they also were a bit the victim of the Joy Division-curse cos face it, how genius Wilson’s label was, all signed bands were compared to Joy Division or later to New Order. A total different sound came with their third album “From the hip” which was produced by Bernard Sumner, and just like Joy Division were becoming the death-discoperformers from New Order , Section 25 also got involved in electronic sounds. With this, the addition of female vocals came as well (Angela Cassidy and Jenny Ross, who later would become Larry’s wife). It’s a stupid discussion to say which period was best, simply as it are two different sounds, but “From the hip” must be the most dark electronic sounds from the 80’s and it even gave them a minor hit “Looking from a hilltop” which today can be heard at various new wave partys. But from then on, it all went backwards with just the 4th album “Love and hate” being released in 1988, but this album was in fact nothing more than a collaboration between Larry and Jenny. The band had great plans for the new millennium as there would be a comeback being planned but sadly enough it all seemed without sense as in 2004 Jenny passed away. Anyway, in 2006 the two brothers Larry and Vincent decided to give it a go and Section 25 would become a four-piece band with the addition of both Ian Butterworth (Tunnelvision) and Roger Wikeley. They also had a new album out “Part-Primitiv” released on LTM, the label that is re-issuing great post-punkalbums from the 80’s (Crepuscule, and recently even a compilation by Belgian coldwave band Isolation Ward). Some gigs followed and here played Belgium a big role. Organisator Les Nuits Fantastiques organised those famous Factory Nights at Plan K in Brussels. Joy Division-fans from all over the world will know that Plan K is a very special venue for Factory as not only it was the sole place in Belgium where Joy Division ever played but it was also there that Ian would meet Annick Honoré, rumours say she was even there during the Section 25-reunion. One year later in 2008 Section returned to Brussels but this time they were joined by Peter Hook who played bass with them (a year before Hook was DJ during the Factory Night), but then again Hookey never has hidden his admiration for the band. With the death of Larry another drama happened in the Factory-history. A sad fact and all that’s left behind is the wonderful music Section 25 gave us. Just like with every other death from a musician, people start rediscovering the art, and in the case of Section 25 I hope it won’t be any different as this band should have been more than a footnote, it should have been an institute. Respect is due. RIP Larry.