Section 25

Section 25
Section 25
Origin Blackpool, England
Genres Post-punk, Alternative dance, Electro, Alternative rock
Years active 1977–1988, 2001–present
Labels Factory (1981-1988), LTM (reissues) (1991-present).

Section 25 is an English post-punk band, best known for its single "Looking from a Hilltop" and its association with the Manchester record-label, Factory Records.


Early recordings 1977 - 1982 (Always Now)

Section 25 was formed in Blackpool, Lancashire in November 1977. Initially it was a duo, consisting of brothers Larry Cassidy (bass, vocals) and Vincent Cassidy (drums). In June 1978 they made their live debut and were joined by Duncan Jowitt (now with UFX) on guitar. Jowitt left after only a couple of gigs to form his own band, and in November the Cassidy brothers were joined by guitarist Paul Wiggin. Their first record release was a single track on the Blackpool Rox EP released on John Robb's Vinyl Drip label in 1979, which also featured The Membranes, Syntax and The Kenneth Turner Set.

Their debut 7", "Girls Don't Count", was released in July 1980 on Factory Records, produced by Ian Curtis and Rob Gretton of Joy Division. All Section 25 releases would be released through either Factory Records (until the demise of that label), or the subsidiary label Factory Benelux . Their debut LP, Always Now, was released in 1981 and produced by Martin Hannett. It was rumoured to have been housed in the most expensive and elaborate sleeve in the label's history (designed by Peter Saville) utilising an exclusive 'marble' effect design printed on the inner jacket and a fold-out cover that resembled a match-book similar to the cover used by Cabaret Voltaire for their 2x45 album.

The three-piece group played many gigs in Britain and Northern Europe between 1979 and 1981, both as a headline act and with other Factory Records artists, such as Joy Division, A Certain Ratio, Blurt, The Durutti Column, Crispy Ambulance and New Order. The group also released a self-produced second album, The Key of Dreams. However the original line-up split in September 1981 shortly after Paul Wiggin declined to fly to a concert in Helsinki supporting New Order, swallowing up most of their fee by travelling overland. With a North American tour already being planned, this fear of flying made his departure inevitable. Factory label boss Tony Wilson then tried and failed to recruit then-unknown guitarist Johnny Marr as a replacement.[1][2]

Abandoning much of the existing live set, the Cassidy brothers prepared for an upcoming European tour with backing tapes and an extra percussionist. Following a warm-up date in London, the group visited Belgium, Holland and Germany in January 1982 in tandem with Factory labelmates Crispy Ambulance. The band then undertook their first North American tour.

1983 - 2006 (From The Hip to Love & Hate)

Joined by percussionist Lee Shallcross, Section 25 gradually evolved a more electronic-dance direction, a process which culminated in the album From the Hip and single "Looking From A Hilltop", both released in 1984 and produced by Bernard Sumner of New Order. This new version of the band also featured Angela Flowers aka Angela Cassidy (vocals, keyboards) and Jenny Ross (vocals, keyboards). This line-up completed a second tour of North America in 1985 and the single "Looking From A Hilltop" achieved modest sales as a result.

In 1985, a single, "Crazy Wisdom", was released on Factory Benelux as a 12". The other tracks on the EP are "Dirty Disco 2", a reworking of a song on the album, Always Now, and "The Guitar Waltz". Initially the single was planned as a 7" on Factory Records (FAC 132) but was shelved. Once again, the harder electronic sound developed on the From The Hip album, was continued with the appointment of Bernard Sumner and Donald Johnson as producers.

In 1986 the group again splintered, leaving husband-and-wife team Larry Cassidy and Jenny Ross to complete a fourth album, Love & Hate, finally released by Factory in 1988. Section 25 then fell silent for more than a decade, although its entire catalogue was reissued on CD on LTM as well as an archive DVD, So Far. There have also been several live and rarity CDs released by the same label.

In 2001 the band regrouped and started composing new material. It was originally expected that this would form the basis for a new album but these plans were derailed by the death of Jenny Ross in 2004.

2006 - 2009 (Part-Primitiv & Nature and Degree)

Now with Ian Butterworth (formerly of fellow Factory act Tunnelvison) on guitar and Roger Wikeley on bass and keyboards the band performed its first live show in nearly two decades at their hometown Poulton-Le-Fylde in May 2006 followed by dates in Blackpool, Paris, Brussels, Leicester, London and Athens.

A new studio album by the quartet, Part-Primitiv, was released by LTM in April 2007, together with Communicants, a DVD assembled from live performances in 2006.

Larry and Vin Cassidy also featured in the 2006 Factory documentary film Shadowplayers.

Interest in the band began to increase with the release of the new studio album Part-Primitiv in 2007. Its back catalogue has since risen in stature with much of it being featured in their live appearances. They played at Plan K in 2007 as part of the Factory Night (Once Again) event, being joined onstage by Peter Hook of New Order for a cover of "Temptation". Further dates were announced in 2008 across 4 venues across Europe including Brussels - Peter Hook joined them on each date for several songs before retiring to the DJ booth for a couple of hours for the after-shows.

Roger Wikeley left Section 25 in 2008 and was replaced by Stephen Stringer. With the new line-up Section 25 performed a set of dates in November 2008 in Paris, Brussels, Oss in the southern Netherlands and Krefeld in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany with former Joy Division and New Order bassist Peter Hook.[citation needed] Ian Butterworth parted company with the Section 25 in 2008. Stephen Stringer moved on to guitar and Section 25's Sound engineer and programmer Stuart Hill moved on to Bass guitar. Both were no strangers to Larry and Vincent who had helped them record some demo material in 1983 and 1985.

The band released a new album in 2009 called Nature + Degree on LTM recordings. Many of the album's songs featured family member Bethany Cassidy on vocals. Four of the songs on the new album were also written,(or part-written), by previous members Wikeley and Butterworth,and they also perform on several of the songs,keeping a link with their work on "Part Primitiv". Section 25 appeared at the "Factory Night (And Then Again)" event at La Raffinere, Molenbeek, Brussels on 12 December 2009.

On 27 February 2010, it was announced that founding member, singer, and bass player for the group, Larry Cassidy, had died at the age of 56.[3][4][5]

2010 - present (Retrofit)

Before Larry Cassidy's death, the band had just completed a new album, Retrofit, which was released on September 14, 2010. The album is composed of electro reworkings and updates of previously issued Section 25 tracks, as well as one new song "Über Hymn". Bethany Cassidy, Larry's daughter, sang much of the content which was interspersed with some of her father's last recorded vocals.

Limited copies came with an extra CD of a 16 minute recording of Larry Cassidy reading selected lyrics of Joy Division's Ian Curtis. This was recorded in January 2010 and would be Larry's last visit to a recording studio.

The band have opted to continue to perform with their current line up. They played the recently-founded FAC251 club in Manchester on 20 November 2010.

In 2011, Section 25 issued their first release without Larry Cassidy. The "Invicta" EP, featuring Bethany Cassidy on vocals, appeared on Hacienda Records.



  • 1981: Always Now
  • 1982: The Key of Dreams
  • 1984: From the Hip
  • 1988: Love & Hate
  • 2007: Part-Primitiv
  • 2009: Nature + Degree
  • 2010: Retrofit


  • FAC 18 "Girls Don't Count"/"Knew Noise"/"Up to You" 7" (With tracing paper sleeve)
  • FAC 18-12 "Girls Don't Count"/"Knew Noise"/"Up to You" 12" (3 different sleeves ft 3 different girls)
  • FAC 66 "The Beast"/"Sakura"/"Sakura" (Matrix Mix)/Trident" 12"
  • FAC 68 "Back to Wonder"/"Beating Heart" 7" (There is also a test press 12", FAC 68-12)
  • FAC 108 "Looking from a Hilltop"/"Looking from a Hilltop" (Megamix) 12"
  • FAC 132 "Crazy Wisdom" 7" (Cancelled - also FAC 132(T) should have been the 12". Released by Factory Benelux instead)
  • FAC 157 "Bad News Week"/"Bad News Week 2" (Cough Mix) 12". Produced by New Order's Bernard Sumner[6]
  • MP3 Invicta EP (digital) - 4 tracks. "Colour, Movement, Sex & Violence" (Song Mix), "Inner Drive" (Chaos Mix), "Colour, Movement, Sex & Violence" (Alternative Mix), "Inner Drive" (Song Mix)

Other selected releases

  • FACBN 3 - 006 "Charnel Ground"/"Haunted" 7" (produced by Martin Hannett) (Picture sleeve)
  • FACBN 5 "Je Veux Ton Amour"/"Oyo Achel Ada" 7" (produced by Martin Hannett) (Picture sleeve). The A-side is a French version of "Dirty Disco", a song issued on the album Always Now
  • FBN 45 "Crazy Wisdom"/"Dirty Disco 2"/"Guitar Waltz" 12". This was initially intended for release via Factory Records. Produced by Dojo / Be Music
  • FBN 14 The Key of Dreams LP (Reissued on CD via LTM)

Compilation albums

  • Deus Ex Machina (1998) (Some of this material was previously released as a mail-order cassette in 1984)
  • Live in America and Europe 1982 (1998)
  • From the Hip / In the Flesh (2000)
  • Dirty Disco (Best Of) (2008)

Various artists compilation

  • Hicks from the Sticks (1980)


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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