Friday, 17th September 2004
Durutti Column @ Bridgewater Hall
LIFE OF REILLY: Durutti's Vini in action
IF you only know Vini Reilly as the semi-reclusive guitar virtuoso who co-wrote Morrissey's Viva Hate album, it's time to acquaint yourself with his intricate work as the heart and soul of The Durutti Column.
For Reilly may now be 50 years old, ghostly thin with grey hair sprouting all over, but he is currently enjoying what may be the most vibrant purple patch of his 26-year career.
Two consecutive albums have managed to satisfy even Vini's harshest critic - himself - while musicians from U2, The Verve and the Red Hot Chili Peppers have named him as their chief inspiration.
Last night's gig served to unveil Durutti's forthcoming greatest hits CD - the album which could finally help to usher them in from the music scene's margins.
And while the home of the Hallé might have seemed an unlikely venue for a band born in the punk era, it wasn't as odd as last year's decision to launch Someone Else's Party, a hugely poignant LP, chronicling the death of Vini's mother, at The Comedy Store.
The Bridgewater Hall's crystal-clear acoustics helped long-serving percussionist Bruce Mitchell provide a faultless foil for Reilly's ambient guitar workouts, while frequent injections of bass, keyboards and viola staved off any hint of repetitiveness.
But somehow those melodic guitar chords, with heavy Spanish and Eastern influences, dominated no matter what was layered on top of them.
Perversely, though, the band reached their highest point on Requiem For My Mother, a track embellished with heartbreakingly personal lyrics delivered in a flat, almost shell-shocked voice.
Nevertheless, the clutch of instrumentals proved that Reilly really can change your mood with a flick of his plectrum. And after being immersed in his luscious and evocative guitar-playing for 80 minutes, you can almost hear colours.
When Vini met Mozza (10/09/2004)
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