8 Nov 2008
Impending loudness 
The Durutti Column played the Barbican Hall on Thursday 6 November; it was correctly described as an extremely rare London appearance.

At the (somewhat delayed) soundcheck Keir sat in for Bruce on drums which were placed firmly in the middle of the large Barbican Hall stage. Vini ran through the main riff of Jumping Jack Flash.

Shortly after the scheduled 19:30 on-stage time, The Durutti Column were introduced individually by name although only Vini appeared on stage at this time. Dressed in orange t-shirt, jeans and Converse, he thanked everyone for coming and, as ever, apologised for the impending loudness.

After a solo (and particularly well sung) Gun, Vini welcomed "Miss Poppy Morgan" on stage for two piano duets which he "hijacked" with his guitar.

Poppy then left, to be replaced by Bruce (black shirt, black waistcoat and matching black beret with poppy) and Keir. An extra-extended version of Otis was familiar but the quite gorgeous piano outro made this one of the best renditions in recent memory.

It should be pointed out at this stage that the splendidly warm acoustics of the Barbican and a front-of-house sound engineer who clearly knew what he was doing combined with a band who were clearly relishing (and enjoying!) the experience to produce quite delightful sounds. The top two tiers were not sold for this event so everyone was sat in the Stalls (which were about 90% sold).

The only hiccup came during Jacqueline when Vini jumped the gun and the whole initial drum solo was skipped. Perhaps this was to meet running time restrictions. However, the same thing happened at the Ruby Lounge, so maybe not.

The second half of the set comprised Woman, The Missing Boy, The Beggar [a squall of feedback came from Keir's bass which at Vini's suggestion he then plugged into the piano amp. Vini quipped that Keir was doing exactly what he was going to do in the next song] and we closed with Requiem for my Mother with Vini mentioning that they had to get off stage.


Piano duet 1
Piano duet 2
The Missing Boy
The Beggar
Requiem for my Mother

Hi to Iain and Bunny, Simon, Keir, Bruce, Vini and Poppy. Thanks to the Barbican for the tea.

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Peter Saville colour wheel
A Certain Ratio

"Manchester, 1978. In the beginning there were four: Jez Kerr (bass), Martin Moscrop (guitar/trumpet), Peter Terrel (guitar/effects) and Simon Topping (vocals/trumpet). Four thin boys with a name borrowed from a Brian Eno record, the intense, drummerless quartet initially drew influence from Wire, Eno, the Velvets and Kraftwerk, and gained a manager in Anthony Wilson of Factory Records.

"May 1979 saw the release of their first ACR single, the dark All Night Party, although the sound and musicianship of the band would be transformed by the arrival of funky drummer Donald Johnson (DoJo) in August. Over the next few months the band gigged widely, often with Joy Division as part of Factory packages, and recorded demos with producer Martin Hannett as well as a Peel session. Their support slot with Talking Heads on their UK tour in December 1979 set David Byrne on a new course, and provided the compelling live half of their chic cassette package The Graveyard and the Ballroom. Post-punk, ACR now reflected the influence of Funkadelic, George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, The Bar Kays and James Brown."

- intro to ACR Biography by James Nice (LTM)

The Durutti Column