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…