October 29, 2012

Review: The Durutti Column – ‘Short Stories for Pauline’

Posted in Reviews tagged , at 12:35 pm by essentiallyeclectic

“I hate rock and roll, and everything rock and roll stands for. I love the new wave, and everything new wave stands for”, The Durutti Column’s Vini Reilly explained in 1981, an apt description of the group’s musical ethos.

Formed from the ashes of Manchester punk band Fast Breeder, The Durutti Column were one of the first signees to Factory Records, remaining one of the roster’s most under-appreciated acts. Operating essentially as Reilly’s solo project, the group’s output over the last 30 years has been prolific to say the least, which is why they can afford to have ‘lost’ albums as high in quality as ‘Short Stories for Pauline’. Recorded in Brussels in 1983, the 14 songs that make up the album were abandoned and replaced by a neo-classical set based on the track ‘Duet’. Now, for the first time, the original collection sees the light of day, highlighting Reilly’s rambling compositional style and shimmering guitar melodies once again on cuts like ‘Destroy, She Said’ and the brilliant ‘Journeys by Vespa’, his unassuming voice peeking through highlight ‘Take Some Time Out’.

The ragged intensity of Reilly’s playing is accentuated in the accompanying ‘Live in Bruxelles 13 August 1981’ disc, featuring the tumbling guitar melodies of ‘Jacqueline’ and ‘Sketch for Summer’. But it’s the original ‘Short Stories…’ collection that’s the real star here, the chiming guitar duet of closer ‘A Room in Southport’ gently capping an album that’s remained criminally unreleased for almost 30 years.

Read this review in context over at ArtRocker