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The Durutti Column | The Official Gigography of The Durutti Column

21 May 2014

Wilbraham St Ninian's Church, Chorlton, Manchester, 21 May 2014

Vini Reilly live onstage with Dave Haslam and playing live @ Chorlton Arts Festival 2014

On Wednesday 21 May, Vini Reilly was interviewed on stage by author and DJ Dave Haslam and then made a return to live performance as part of the Chorlton Arts Festival. The venue wss Wilbraham St Ninian's Church in Chorlton, Manchester.

Review by Bryan Burford

The evening began with a brief intro from Dave Haslam, and then straight into an interview with Vini. Slightly shocking to see Vini obviously frail and having to be helped onto the stage, but although his speech is obviously still affected his humour and character are still there. He spoke of having to change the way he plays since the strokes - he can't finger-pick so has to just strum, and can't feel the frets like he could. He spoke also of the frustration of having tunes in his head, and not being able to get them out as easily.

He talked about the making of Return Of, and how it was Martin Hannett's album - the first he knew of what it sounded like was when Tony and Lindsey Wilson gave him a white label signed by them. He talked about first playing with Bruce, on Alan Erasmus's suggestion, and how the connection was immediate, how Bruce knows what Vini's doing before Vini does (the improvisation and 'I don't know what will happen' was a theme of the night). He said something similar about John Metcalfe.

He then introduced Old House Playground giving them a build-up no-one could really deliver on, but they did seem to have something. Three-piece of drum, guitar and double-bass, with a striking vocal sound. They played two tunes, and then Vini took the stage again.

He played three tunes - first Love & Maths with John Metcalfe. It took a minute or so for them to synchronise, but it became a really nice version. Second was a tune with the OHP vocalist Tryfon contributing vocals from poems written by a young women whose name I didn't catch (who was also present), with Bruce sneaking onto the stage after a little while. Vini did appear genuinely surprised when he noticed (that tune is on YouTube). It was wonderful to see that chemistry at work again.

The third tune was preambled by Vini talking about his guitar teacher, Miriam (Mimi, presumably of the LC track), the only one of her family to survive the holocaust and a "second mother" to Vini. He talked about her telling him (I think) of the responsibility of an artists, of people who have a gift, and of looking at the stars and telling him that the light was from long-dead places, and something about Zeno’s paradox - all blowing the 12 year old Vini's mind. He then took out a copy of Maus he'd received anonymously in the post, a synchronicity with his already thinking about Mimi, and began to introduce the tune with a warning that it would take it out of him and he would be helped from the stage afterwards. He said something about the need to balance terrible evil by seeing the goodness in the world, and began.

From the start he seemed traumatised, pausing between each of the first few chords, but starting something that was in the end extremely powerful, very beautiful, and entirely Vini. Tryfon contributed some more vocals that I thought were very effective - reminded me a little of vocals on Sex & Death, and also (oddly) of Liz Fraser in This Mortal Coil mode. Vini finished in tears, to another standing ovation, and the audience left I think probably slightly stunned, as well as moved (if that’s not a contradiction).

It was very raw, and difficult in places, but compared to Bridgewater Hall in 2011, where Vini's desolation about Poppy was uncomfortable to see, there was something more positive here. From what Vini was saying about Mimi, and all that she'd meant to him and taught him, I got the impression that he was reflecting on his place, and his identity, as an artist, and that despite the setbacks of illness, he still has a gift, and a responsibility, and a desire, to make music, and get those tunes out somewhere.

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05.78 | 06.78 | 07.78 | 04.80 | 10.80 | 05.81 | 11.81 | 03.82 | 12.84 | 10.85 | 07.86 | 11.86 | 04.88 | 05.88 | 05.94 | 11.94 | 05.11 | 05.14 | 03.18 |

The Durutti Column Gigography

1978 | 1979 | 1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984 | 1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989 | 1990 | 1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015-23 (no known gigs)

Unknown Dates
Aug/Sep 1981 Melkweg, Amsterdam
?/??/1980 Trinity Hall, Bristol
Brighton, early '80s - David B. recalls that he saw The Durutti Column at the New Regent Hotel, West Street, Brighton, in 1981 or 1982. '(Vini) played at the end of a long room. There were no chairs and so the small audience stood in a kind of semi circle only a few feet away from him. The proximity of the audience didn't seem to affect him. To his left, slightly behind him was Bruce Mitchell - I can't remember if he had a full drum kit or a set of bongos. Vini played beautifully, mostly from LC. I was a huge fan at the time, so this was a very special and unusual gig." It appears this hotel no longer exists but did host shows from at least 1977-1982.
18 September 1982 supporting John Martyn at Guildford Civic Hall? - need confirmation
Late 1982 or 83 University of Essex, Colchester

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The Official Gigography of The Durutti Column was created by Michael Mitchell and was incorporated into on 21 March 2018. It is maintained by John Cooper.
Thanks over the years to Phil Jones, Bruce Mitchell, Rob Stanzel, Frank Brinkhuis, Michael Mitchell and many others.
If you have anything to add or correct on this, please contact
Any input is always welcome!

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