Section 25 frontman Larry Cassidy dies

Peter Hook 'deeply shocked' to hear of Cassidy's death

Section 25 frontman Larry Cassidy has died, aged 56.

The singer passed away in his home town of Blackpool on Saturday (February 27). Although a cause of death is yet to be confirmed, reports that there appear to be no suspicious circumstances at present.

Born Lawrence John Cassidy in April 1953, the singer and bassist initially studied art in London in the late 1970s, which gave him first-hand experience into the capital’s burgeoning punk scene. Upon returning to Blackpool he formed Section 25 with the band joining Factory Records‘ roster in 1979.

Section 25‘s first single, ‘Girls Don’t Count’, was released on the Manchester label in July 1980, and produced by Joy Division‘s Ian Curtis and manager Rob Gretton. Debut album ‘Always Now’ followed in 1981.

The band changed musical direction from post-punk to proto-techno for their third album, 1984’s ‘From The Hip’, which New Order‘s Bernard Sumner produced. By this point, Cassidy‘s wife Jenny had started singing with the band, most notably on 1984 single ‘Looking From A Hilltop’.

Section 25 effectively split in 1986 (though Factory did posthumously release their fourth album ‘Love & Hate’ in 1988), with Cassidy retraining as a schoolteacher during the band’s downtime. Despite the death of Jenny Cassidy in 2004 (following a battle with cancer) Section 25 reformed to release a new album, ‘Part-Primitiv’, in 2007. A further album (‘Nature + Degree’) followed in 2009, and the band also toured frequently.

Before his death, Cassidy was working on an album of Section 25 remixes called ‘Retrofit’, which was due to be released in summer 2010.

New Order‘s Peter Hook paid tribute to Cassidy, saying: “I am so deeply shocked to hear about Larry, and very upset.”

Cassidy‘s brother and Section 25 drummer Vin said: “My brother Larry wasn’t always the easiest person to be in a band with, but he was the best.”

Meanwhile, journalist and founder member of The Membranes John Robb wrote of Cassidy on his blog: “Another great lost genius – maybe Larry Cassidy‘s sad death will wake everyone up to how great his band was.”

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