Section 25 > Live > Concert History
By Vincent Cassidy Oct. 2005 with contributions by Lawrence Cassidy
1. Lancaster City Football Club 1st June 1978
The first gig. It was an Anti-Nazi League benefit supporting aged hippies China Street Our fee was £10.00.
2. Imperial Ballroom, Blackpool June and July 1979
Our first Imperial gig, playing for the Blackpool Sixth Form College Dance. Ian Donaldson the singer of Screwdriver came up to us after our show and told us “You need to rehearse more”. I later helped them out by drumming for Screwdriver at a few rehearsals. Ron Hartley, one time Screwdriver guitarist also auditioned for same position in S25 but was turned down. The second Imperial concert was a Year of the Child benefit and we asked Joy Division, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Glass Torpedoes and Final Solution to play. After the gig Ian Curtis and Rob Gretton asked us to go to Cargo Studios to record our first single. It was to be produced by them as a Fractured Production.
3. Old Library, Poulton le Fylde Summer 1978
This venue was hired by us several times from the Council. It was about the size of your average front room. We played here with good local bands like Zyklon B , Final Solution and the Pose (Tunnel Vision). The last time we were there skinhead skirmishers turned up and put the windows through. The Council banned us after that.
4. Russell Club, Manchester Spring 1979
Great big cavernous bus drivers social club, the booming sound suited us though. Slightly marred when some poor sod had a bottle smashed over his head by the 'door staff'.
5. Capital Theatre, Aberdeen , ABC Edinburgh 1980
Supporting Talking Heads in the granite city. Drove 340 miles from Blackpool to Aberdeen in a transit, played then slept on the college room floor of a kind fan. Eddie Smith, our roadie, kept pestering Tina Wey mouth, the Heads bassist for cough medicine. She said “I love your English bands names they’re so scientific”. Singer David Byrne didn’t utter a single word the whole time except when he was told the tickets for the Edinburgh show had sold well, “About time” he grumbled. He also had a special padded white suit to wear on stage, very wide at the shoulders. It gave the audience the impression that he had a large body and a small head perched on top of it. Psycho Killer qu’est-ce que c’est ?. It was Eddie who made suggestions about what name we should use. Because where we rehearsed was next to a small tidal river called Skippool Creek he said “What about the Skippool Creeps”. We said no and used Section 25 instead because he and Paul our guitarist had recently been sectioned, it seemed more appropriate.
6. Derby Hall, Bury
Interesting one this. I can remember drumming away and wondering what the stuff was that was landing on my head. I realised it was glass from the disintegrating light fitting above me. S25 and JD’s did a sort of combined gig because Ian Curtis was poorly. Bad reaction by the crowd who then literally laid siege to us in the dressing room.
7. Civic Centre, Brighton 1981
This one supporting New Order. Gig was fine, but after this bloke who was the partner of Radio One DJ Anne Nightingale turned up back stage. His name was Binky Baker. He told us it was his job to introduce The Who at their concerts, titters all round. People started to take the piss a bit and then somebody said “Roger Daltry is shit”. Christ it really kicked off then, and he had to be dragged off by an embarrassed Nightingale, while he was shouting “Right I’ll phone Roger and tell him he’s shit should I?”
8. Co-op Social Club, Blackpool July 1979
When we played here the flat capped concert secretary refused to pay us the agreed £10 appearance fee. He said “Do you call that music?”. I was quite chuffed by that.
9. Hall of Culture, Helsinki, Finland 1980
Supporting N.O. We all flew to this gig except for Paul our guitarist. He had set off overland 1 week earlier because he said he had a fear of flying. He ended up going via Lapland and the Arctic Circle, probably by dog sled. Anyway it completely blew our budget and he left the band soon after.
10. SO 36 West Berlin
We were touring Europe with ACR when we detoured about 500 miles to do this one. The gig was named after its postcode and had about as much character. A cold draughty shithole I thought. The concert went all right but the best bit was looking round Berlin pre wall being knocked down. There was a huge concrete tower in the suburbs with the 1st Russian T34 tank to enter Berlin perched on the top. I thought it was pretty good but why did they paint it pink?
11. Rainbow, London
Supporting The Stranglers minus Hugh Cornwell. It was supposed to be a benefit for him because he was in prison on drugs (heroin) charges. I never could figure out the logic in that. I think we just did it because it was a big gig. Hugh’s girlfriend starlet Hazel O’Connor of “Breaking Glass” fame came on stage and made an impassioned speech about the injustice of it all.
12. Community Centre, Bispham, Blackpool 1979
We played this one with a full on tartan wearing mohicaned punk support band who announced they were “The Fuckabouts coz we fuckabout”, they did. Punks an attitude not a dress code surely?. Now punk seems to be confined musically, a bit like really fast trad jazz.
13. Asylum, Detroit 1 - 26 - 1985
Christ what a heavy gig. The town was bereft of any redeeming features. I asked a local why homeless men were lying flat down in the middle of the road. “They’re vent men” he said “they do that to keep warm from the plumes of steam coming out of the vents in the road”. How naive I was.
14. The Meat Rack, Washington
This night the ‘Tufty Club’ were in. Not real skinheads you know, just Americans dressing up. I had been intimidated by the real thing at a gig at the Bedford Boys Club the year previously so I knew the difference. This lot just needed a firm hand from Larry so it was OK. We had to reverse our van down a narrow back alley to get the equipment out to the backstage of the club. I was in the alley doing the right hand down bit etc. for our driver, when I noticed a cardboard box in the way. I wasn’t bothered about moving it but at the last second I decided to pull it out of the way. Christ when I did the man who was in the box told me it was his home and then screamed “Go fuck yourself”. I didn’t attempt to do as he instructed, but his alienated anger left a lasting impression of Reagans America.
15. Electric Ballroom, London
Here we had the joyless task of supporting Toyah Wilcox, that was before she had her hit. We were allowed just about an 8 minute mini sound check. She would only use her mic even to talk through if there was loads of echo put on by her manager / boyfriend / sound mixer. Bernard Sumner used to fan his fingers out over his forehead to mimic her fringe and do a good impression of her lisping her way through “Its a Mystery”.