The Durutti Column is an English band, formed in Manchester in 1978. Originally an actual full band, it quickly became a vehicle for guitarist (and occassional pianist) Vini Reilly, often accompanied by drummer Bruce Mitchell. After a short stint in the punk rock band Ed Banger & The Nosebleeds (1977), Factory Records founder Tony Wilson invited Reilly to join a group dubbed the Durutti Column in 1978 (the name inspired by the Spanish Civil War anarchist Buenaventura Durruti and a Situationists Internationale comic strip of the 1960s), making Reilly the first signing to Manchester’s iconic label, Factory Records. Reilly has released some 28 albums from the 1980 debut The Return Of The Durutti Column to Paean To Wilson released in 2010 (a tribute to Tony Wilson who had passed away in 2007).
I’m not even sure I remember how I came accross such an odd, interesting band. Many of the releases were primarily atmospheric instrumentals, with Reilly occasionally attempting quiet, shy vocals. A couple of albums explored chamber music (1982’s Another Setting and 1984’s Without Mercy). By the mid-80s electronic rhythms would appear, followed by a return of his densly constructed guitar textures.
In 1988 Reilly backed his former Nosebleeds bandmate Morrissey on his debut solo album after the breakup of The Smiths, Viva Hate.
Though he suffered what was described as a minor stroke in September 2010, in early 2011 it was reported that Reilly was working on a new album.
Jacqueline (LC, 1981. Recorded live in 1988.)
Without Mercy (Without Mercy, 1984)
The Room (Without Mercy, 1984)
Missing Boy (LC, 1981. Recorded live in 2006.)