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Reilly didn't actually hear his own debut album until he was handed a test pressing. It took me years to realize that what Martin had done was to give the album as a whole an identity, which it would have lacked otherwise.
An introduction to Martin Hannett in 10 records
It would have just been a few guitar tunes. Despite bouts of recurring illness, during the summer of Reilly and Hannett taped around 45 minutes of new material, albeit with no definite project in mind. The electronic rhythm track on both was supplied by experimentalist Eric Random, formerly of the Tiller Boys, and also known as A Boy Alone.
No spare drummers at all, it seemed. Their drummer, Donald Johnson, already knew Reilly well.
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We met through a mutual friend called Vinny Faal, who at the time used to put up all the gig posters around Manchester. I just remember being in the studio working on the arrangements, which was mainly me learning them on the day as we had no rehearsal prior to recording. Then we would record the drums in one take. Vini played his guitar with the exact reverb and delays he was going to use as my guide.
I'm not sure if Vini overdubbed later or used the original guide tracks as the master. Although Hannett still occupied the producer's chair, these would be his last recordings with Reilly, released in December on the double album sampler A Factory Quartet Fact Indeed Reilly became the first Factory act to insist on working with a different producer.
Since ACR were busy throughout most Durutti live shows took the form of short solo sets, with a rhythm track and additional guitar on tape. Nelson, who was in the process of upgrading his own equipment, agreed to sell Vini his old TEAC reel-to-reel machine. It'll be a bit more varied. Along with a handful of Factory package shows in London, and the second Futurama Festival in Leeds, Reilly also played as a member of the Invisible Girls behind Pauline Murray and John Cooper Clarke on a British tour in October, and performed a short interval set at selected dates two tracks appear on the bonus 7" single included here.
The Durutti Column were also booked to take part in a Factory package tour around the Low Countries immediately afterwards, billed with A Certain Ratio and Section 25, but for health reasons Reilly played only the larger shows, including Rotterdam, Den Haag and Brussels. Towards the end of Reilly was commissioned to record a one-off single for highbrow French imprint Sordide Sentimental, which had previously issued limited edition packages by Joy Division and Throbbing Gristle.
As with Lips That Would Kiss, the circumstances were uncommonly poignant. The silver lining to this dark cloud was that SS brought Reilly together with a compatible drummer in the shape of Bruce Mitchell. Alan immediately said, 'What about Bruce Mitchell? I was somewhat in awe of Bruce as a local character. He was very well known. I'd seen him play with the Albertos a few years previously, but I didn't know him. Alan immediately rang Bruce and said that I was going to come round to see him. That was the first time I'd actually properly spoken to Bruce, and before I'd even asked him about whether he would play drums for the single he just said to me in his usual style, 'It will be an honour and a pleasure.
The die was cast. We were supposed to rehearse it but we ended up playing them once because Bruce just had them straight away. I realised very quickly that he didn't need rehearsing and in fact it would be a mistake to rehearse it too much. It wouldn't be strict in 4 or 8 bar formations, and his chord changes would just seem to happen in a different way. Plus he was running a lot of echoes, so my drums had to be about meter more than beat.
And it had to go down very fast as Vini has a certain intolerance in the studio.
Danny and Enigma were recorded at Graveyard Studio on Church Lane in Prestwich, so called because the building overlooked a large cemetery. It was owned by Stewart Pickering, the studio itself being located in the basement of his home. Bruce made his live debut as one half of The Durutti Column somewhat later, at a private gig at the Lamplight Club in Chorlton, Manchester on 24 July Since the material on The Return of Fortunately inspiration struck in the unlikely surrounds of a back bedroom on Pytha Fold Road, Withington.
I bought it off my own bat, just to muck around with. And one night, about three o'clock in the morning - I was staying at my mum's house, she was quite elderly - I went in the spare bedroom, and I just felt very inspired and I recorded for about five hours, with a very cheap drum machine, a Roland Space Echo and one guitar, and one very cheap microphone, and that's most of what your hear on LC.
I didn't do it to make an album, I just did it because I was inspired. These things just arrive.
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There's no work involved. There's no cerebral, intellectual exercise. It's all simple, very simple, and it's played as it is in my head. The night in question seems to have been sometime in March or April , with around five tracks spontaneously recorded. I had a very early Walkman, he listened to it - and he wouldn't give me my Walkman back. He carried on listening to it all afternoon. After a couple of hours he said, 'This is an album. But soon after we went into Graveyard, which was really built for jingles, but it meant that Bruce could add his drum kit and I put a piano down.
I think we added some of my vocals. That's all that was added, and Tony said: 'That's great, that's an album'. I didn't really mind, I was quite happy about that. So if you listen to LC you'll hear hiss from the Space Echo, hiss from the quarter-inch tape, a very old tape that had been recorded over and over again. As far as audio people are concerned, sonically it was a joke. It's full of hiss and all sorts. While some tracks on LC include elements of Vini's original bedroom demo, others were recorded or re-recorded from scratch. They played everything pretty live and it went down very quickly.
You had to make such quick decisions on 4-track. I ended up producing the album. It was very easy to do. Indeed his appointments diary for confirms that the Graveyard session occupied just two days, 28 and 29 April.
It was all stuff that Vin had in him, ready to roll out. Most things were second takes. The first pass would be a practise run, and the second it what you hear in the record. Even now, Vin really doesn't have a tolerance for not getting it down on tape immediately. Sometimes he'll spend a lot of time putting things down and then he doesn't like it. It's part of the process of the maestro, really. He just does it, and sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't.
Undoubtedly the album works. So it was five hours, plus one day plus half a day. Afterwards it was clear to Tony - I presume - that there was a career for the Durutti Column, and that people were buying these albums. There were even two outtakes: Mavucha, and the delightful Experiment in Fifth. That's why I called it that - he was missing, he never got to America. I knew him quite well, and I also knew his Belgian girlfriend, Annik, she became a friend of mine afterwards.
Interviewed for Belgian radio, Vini was asked to describe his music. There's an attempt at experimental things, and to redefine what should and shouldn't be rock and roll.
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The problem is that one has to use the same tools as the rock and roll people, it's very difficult to pick up a guitar and play through an amplifier loudly and to be original and creative, because so much has gone before. You're a victim of your environment. I wouldn't like to try and place my music anywhere, really. Call it new music, but not radical or unpleasant.
I believe in elements of harmony and melody and blending them. Because there's no point in making a piece of music if people aren't able to listen to it. Stockhausen is a great example of that, he only reaches a very elitist core of people, who use their heads and not their souls.
I try and incorporate each of them into my pieces, and at the same time try to be new and experimental. I don't know whether I succeed or not.