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One of the more eclectic bands to emerge from Manchester's punk scene, Vini Reilly and his Durutti Column combined elements of jazz, electronic and even folk in their multitude of releases. However Vini Reilly's musical beginnings were as guitarist in more standard 1977 hopefuls Ed Banger And The Nosebleeds. Two other groups from 1977  Fast Breeder and Flashback  had since merged into a new group, who were being managed by Tony Wilson
Tony Wilson invited Vini Reilly to join guitarist Dave Rowbotham and drummer Chris Joyce in January 1978, and together they became the Durutti Column (after a political cartoon strip used by the SI in Strasbourg during the 60s). They were joined by vocalist Phil Rainford and bass player Tony Bowers and recorded for the famous A Factory Sample double 7" with the late Martin Hannett producing. These were the only recordings made by this line-up and the band broke up. Vini Reilly carried on with the Durutti Column alone, while the others (except Phil Rainford) formed the Moth Men
The debut The Return Of The Durutti Column appeared on Factory Records in 1980 and was largely recorded by Vini Reilly, although
Martin Hannett, Pete Crooks (bass) and Toby (drums) also contributed. Durutti Column soon established a solid cult following, particularly abroad, where Vini Reilly's moving instrument work was appreciated. Live appearances had been sporadic, however, as Vini Reilly suffered from an eating disorder and was frequently too ill to play. The album was notable for its sandpaper sleeve, inspired by the anarchist movement Situationist Internatiside. Vini Reilly and producer Martin Hannett helped out on Pauline Murray's first solo album later in 1980
The Durutti Column's own recordings over the next few years were a mixed barch recorded by Vini Reilly with assistance from drummers Donald Johnson, then Bruce Mitchell (ex-Alberto Y Lost Trios Paranioas), Maunagh Flemin and Simon Topping on horns, and much later further brass players Richard Henry, Tim Kellett and Mervyn Fletcher plus violinist Blaine Reininger and celloist Caroline Lavelle. Dozens of other musicians have joined the nucleus of Vini Reilly and Bruce Mitchell over the years and the band are still active today

Albums: The Return Of The Durutti Column (1980) | Another Setting (1983) | Live At The Venue London (1983) | Amigos En Portugal (1983) | Without Mercy (1984) | Domo Arigato (1985) | Valuable Passages (1986) | Circuses And Bread (1986) | The Guitar And Other Machines (1987) | The Durutti Column - The First Four Albums (1988) | Vini Reilly (1989) | The Sporadic Recordings (1989) | Obey The Time (1990) | Lips That Would Kiss From Prayers To Broken Stone (1991) | Dry (1991)

Dates when they played with Joy Division:
Thursday 27 July 1978 Fan Club (Roots Club) Leeds (UK)
Friday 4 April 1980 Moonlight Club London (West Hampstead) (UK)



Line-up: Tony Bowers (bass) | Pete Crooks (bass) | Maunagh Flemin (horns) | Mervyn Fletcher (brass) | Richard Henry (brass) | Donald Johnson (drums) | Chris Joyce (drums) | Tim Kellett (brass) | Caroline Lavelle (cello) | Bruce Mitchell (drums) | Phil Rainford (vocals) | Vini Reilly | Blaine Reininger (violin) | Dave Rowbotham (guitar) | Toby (drums) | Simon Topping (horns)

Link to their website



When Factory pressed the first Durutti Column album, Return of the Durutti Column, Tony Wilson needed someone to glue the sheets of sandpaper to the sleeves and Joy Division were drafted in. Ian did most of the job himself because the others became engrossed in the porn movie hired to alleviate the boredom and Ian needed the money for his cigarettes
(Source: Deborah Curtis Touching from a distance)