Friday, 23 October 2009

The Durutti Column - A Paean To Wilson, Kings Place, London 9/10/09

Two weeks ago my old favourites The Durutti Column played at Kings Place, one of the newest and plushest venues to open in the capital for some time. Tucked away around the back of Kings Cross on York Way, this is one more nod towards the ongoing and eventual regeneration of the Kings Cross area. From grotty to snotty, if you like.

This was no normal gig for DC. Previewed in Manchester back in July over three nights, "A Paean To Wilson", Vini Reilly's personal tribute to his late friend Tony Wilson, who died in 2007. Wilson managed DC for many years, and yet Reilly claims the only payment his manager ever took for the job was an old car stereo and a raincoat.

Along with Reilly and Bruce Mitchell and current Durutti regulars - Poppy Morgan on Fender Rhodes and Keir Stewart - keyboards and bass, they were complemented by two members of DC's mid 80s lineup, namely violinist and arranger John Metcalfe and trumpet player and former member of Simply Red and Olive - Tim Kellett. Together they played an hours worth of - for me, of very captivating and moving pieces of music. The only familiar tunes to my ears were a keyboard/guitar duet between Poppy and Vini which sounded very much like "Royal Infirmary" from "Circuses and Bread" album from 1986 and the encore which consisted of a wild loud feedback-drenched instrumental version of "Requiem For a Mother" from the 2003 album "Someone Else's Party". The keyword in that last sentence was "instrumental", because Tony Wilson was never a fan of Vini's vocal talents and did everything he could to stop him from singing, so it was a fitting tribute that this this tribute is vocal free.

An album has been recorded and a "A Paean To Wilson" will be released early 2010 on Kooky Records. However, copies were available in advance at the Kings Place concert and I have to say the album is a corker, and to my reckoning the first album without any vocals from Vini since the 1979 debut "The Return Of The Durutti Column".

Above are some low quality pictures I took on the night of the concert in London two weeks ago.

Also, to give you a taster, here is a clip from the London gig, below that, a clip from one the aforementioned gigs in Manchester from September and for a very interesting interview with Vini Reilly click here.

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