Obits, Video — February 27, 2010 at 3:31 pm

Larry Cassidy of Section 25, classic Factory Records postpunk act, 1953-2010

Larry Cassidy of Section 25

Larry Cassidy, co-founder and frontman of Factory Records postpunk outfit Section 25, has died, British music journalist John Robb reports today on his blog. The circumstances surrounding Cassidy’s death are not yet known.

Robb eulogizes, “Section 25’s records stand the test of time and they deserve to be re-appraised … They captured the darkness of the period and were psychedelic renegades with freaky music that they somehow shoe horned into a tough disco punk of their own.”

UPDATE 2/28/10: Cerysmatic Factory, an unofficial Factory Records blog, today posted what appears to be a statement from Cassidy’s family, reporting that the musician was found dead Saturday in his Blackpool, England, home, and adding, “Though the cause of death has not yet been confirmed there appear to be no suspicious circumstances.”

Cassidy and his brother Vincent formed Section 25 in Blackpool in 1977, and, with guidance from Joy Division singer Ian Curtis and manager Rob Gretton, recorded their first single, “Girls Don’t Count,” in 1980, and their debut, Always Now, the following year. By the mid-’80s, the band took on a more electronic sound with its best-known single, “Looking From a Hilltop,” off the Bernard Sumner-produced From the Hip.

The group fell apart in the late ’80s and reunited in 2001, but plans to record a new album were foiled by the death of Jenny Ross, one of the band’s members and Larry Cassidy’s wife, from cancer. A reconstituted version of the band released Part-Primitiv in 2007, with two tracks featuring Ross. The band had continued to perform, and, according to a posting earlier this month on its website, was nearly finished with Retrofit, “a collection of 10 re-recorded, re-mixed, re-nourished and re-imagined songs” to be released in May.

The Everything Starts With A… blog mourns Cassidy’s passing, writing, “In the summer of 2006, I was lucky enough to spend an hour or so in Larry’s company after the second Section 25 comeback gig in Salford. He was a truly charming man with an infectious personality and wit. Today is a really really sad day.”

Cassidy leaves behind a partner, Lesley, and two children, Nathaniel and Bethany.

According to the statement posted at Cerysmatic Factory, Peter Hook, who played with Section 25 in 2008, said: “I am so deeply shocked to hear about Larry, and very upset.” Cassidy’s brother Vin added: “My brother Larry wasn’t always the easiest person to be in a band with, but he was the best.”

Hear Section 25’s ‘Girls Don’t Count’ and ‘Looking From a Hilltop’ after the jump…

2 Comments

  1. Sad day indeed. Section 25 were vastly underated and overlooked legends of the Post-Punk era and were one of the cornerstones of Factory. It was fantastic to see them putting out new albums (last year’s Nature + Degree was fantastic) and their recent retrospective, Dirty Disco, is a must have for fans and newcomers alike. I myself was introduced to the band via the classic From The Hip LP and from there was introduced to a vast back catalogue including the classic early album Always Now (featuring the classic Forest Fires, covered brilliantly by For Against on their 2008 gem Shady Side Sunny Side). Their follow up to From The Hip, Love and Hate In the English Countryside, was another classic release and solidified the band’s status as one the very best indie acts in the world.

    In recent years, Bethany Cassidy, daughter of Larry & the late Jenny Ross, assumed vocal & keyboard duties, and with new albums and gigs in recent times, were one of the few classic Factory bands still remaining. Credit must also be given to LTM Records for doing a majestic job curating the remastered back catalogue and releasing the new albums and whose support the band obviously appreciated.

    Recommended listening: Always Now, From The Hip, Love & Hate in the English Countryside, Nature + Degree. For newcomers, start with Dirty Disco (The Best Of) and then seek further discoveries.

    RIP Larry – you will be missed.

  2. As for further discoveries: don’t pass on their second lp “The Key Of Dreams” too easily, it’s really sophisticated in its production, mixing wave, dub, psychedelia with the odd funky touch! (Links to it via my website.)

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