Vini Reilly’s first album, The Return Of The Durutti Column (1981), was more notorious for its sandpaper sleeve than the music contained therein. Inspired by the anarchist movement Situationist Internatiside, the sleeve was a Factory Records joke designed to destroy neighbouring LPs.
Follow-up album LC released the same year and named for an Italian leftist slogan meaning “continuous struggle”, was recorded by Reilly in just seven hours on a four-track machine bought from fellow North-western guitarist Bill Nelson.
Featuring sparing use of piano and beats by simpatico drummer Bruce Mitchell and a rhythm box, the album contained songs such as Jacqueline, Messidor and Ian Curtis tribute The Missing Boy which brought a meditative, melodic splendour that simultaneously encompassed the melancholy and life-affirming.
Guitarist Dave Rowbotham was discovered dead in a pool of blood at his Burnage, Manchester home in January 1992. He had been murdered with a plasterer’s hammer.
A murder hunt followed but no one has been convicted of his murder.
Philip ‘Toby’ Tomanov