The Durutti Column - Someone Else's Party Album Review

The Durutti Column
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The Durutti Column - Someone Else's Party (released 24.03.03)
The Durutti Column should have been afforded a more prominent position in British rock history than the footnote they have acquired. A loftier place is deserved because in 1977 they were the first band to be signed to Tony Wilson's legendary Factory Records label. Their place in UK music history was finally acknowledged by the making of the film, '24 Hour Party People', which celebrated Wilson's chaotic record label. At the end of the film The Durutti Column's mainman gets support from an impressive source when God recommends: "Vinni Reilly is due a revival, you might think about greatest hits, it's good music to chill-out to".

Don't be fooled by the band name, what began as a group venture quickly turned into a solo musical vision. The enigmatic Reilly wrote, produced, and played all instruments on The Durutti Column's new album 'Someone Else's Party'. It's the definition of a home made album, as it was recorded on an eight track porta-studio with additional effects produced by a variety of household objects including battering books and flicking sheets of paper.

The resulting sound from such strange recording techniques is not as pared down as might be expected, because the collision of conventional and bizarre instrumentation creates a complex multi-layered final product. At the core of the album are varied haunting guitar sounds, ambient beats and drum loops which are enhanced by Reilly's whispered vocals.

The choice of album title could be interpreted as a comment on '24 Hour Party People', but the recording as a whole is an intensely personal concept album. Each track is Reilly's response to the illness and eventual loss of his mother and every song contains more sincere emotion than a skip-full of Pop Idol releases. Final track 'Goodbye' includes gentle acoustic guitar, bird song, and an answerphone message from his mum. The message asks Vinni to call and finishes with her saying goodbye to her son. It is too heartbreaking to listen to more than once.

'Someone Else's Party' is an album that will perhaps only find a place in the most eclectic record collections, with greater record sales once again proving elusive, but then for Vinni Reilly that is hardly the point.

Gavin Eves

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