Section 25 / Pony And Trap
15th June 2013
Live appearances by Section 25 seem to be getting less frequent. We crossed The Pennines to catch their mix of tracks from their brilliant 2013 album Dark Light and classic tracks from their Factory days.
This is the first time I've seen Section 25 with their new slimmed-down line-up. They're now operating as a four-piece with founder member Vinny Cassidy on drums, Steve Stringer on guitars, Beth Cassidy on vocals and keyboards and newcomer Joanne Cassidy on backing vocals, keyboards and percussion.
This line-up, like their music, represents the past, the present and the future of the band. It's also potentially their problem - their history means they're not going to picked up as a new band, which they are in some ways, yet the presence of Beth and Joanne in the band is going to put off the Factory purists too ignorant to actually consider that Beth fronting the band is continuing and enhancing the musical legacy of her parents rather than diminishing it in any way. Dark Light is one of the albums of the year and deserves much more than the cursory recognition it's been given in the music press.
The Dark Light songs prove conclusively though that they are, at this stage of their evolution, a band of the now more than they are of the past. Colour Movement Sex And Violence should be the upper benchmark for anything classed as electronica. It's dark enough to pass the alternative test yet has enough "pop" elements to it that it could, and should, be played by radio. Live, it takes on a new lease of life, freed from the constraints of studio production. Vinny and Steve aren't the obvious focus of the band, but they provide a ferocious yet robust frame for the songs.
The great thing about Section 25 today is that they've cast off that dour, dark and depressing image that Factory bands of the eighties have been associated with and which, given the fact that Larry and Jenny are no longer with us, it would be understandable if they didn't shake off. Watching them is a joyous experience these days, a celebration of their past but also a confirmation of a present and a future that's producing vibrant, exciting relevant music in an environment that's not conducive and supportive of it.
They're aiming to secure a slot at Reading and Leeds Festival by winning the Centre Stage final at Leeds Academy on the 17th July. As well as trying to secure that opportunity, all the proceeds from the demo CD they're selling at the gigs goes to Martin's House Children's Hospice near Leeds.
Section 25 played:
Beating Heart, Love Cuts, Process, My Outrage, Inner Drive, Memento, Colour Movement Sex And Violence, Pitch Black Box, Wretch, Early Exit and Dirty Disco
Section 25′s official website can be found here. They are also on Twitter and Facebook.
Pony And Trap's website can be found here. They are also on Twitter and Facebook.