9 Dec 2008
The Durutti Column Rehearçal 
In 1987 a video of a live performance by The Durutti Column emerged through the normal channels open to collectors. If you were in Manchester (in the pre-internet age), this meant a trip to the Record Peddler on Swan Street, VHS tape in hand.

The video itself features a full rehearsal by the band, comprising Vini Reilly (guitars, keyboards), Bruce Mitchell (drums, percussion) and John Metcalfe (violin, xylophone and drums), playing on the dancefloor of the Hacienda.

The technical details according to Rob Stanzel's (FAC 2.26) The Durutti Column - Vini Reilly site are:

Date: 16 August 1987
Duration: 68 minutes
Label: Structure Moderne SM16 (unreleased)
Tracklisting: Arpeggiator, What Is It To Me, Jongleur Grey, When The World, Miss Haymes, Jacqueline

In the notes it states "allegedly shot by Claude Bessy". Bessy was a French chap who was Factory's in-house videographer and Structure Moderne was a small French label so this has made sense over the years. However, it has recently come to light (courtesy of the internet age) that the video was not shot by Claude Bessy but rather by Pascal and Sylvie, two Parisians.

Aged respectively 48 and 51, and fans of the Factory Records label since its earliest days, they tell the true story of The Haçienda Rehearsal Footage:

"In August 1987, Pascal & I travelled by car thru the UK with three friends. We went to London, Manchester, Liverpool, Blackpool and Glasgow. All of us were fans of the Factory label, so while in Manchester, we obviously made what we used to call "The Magical Factory Tour". Both Pascal & I had Sony V8 cameras, so we filmed a lot of places such as the old Factory club in Hulme, the 86 Palatine Road house & Marie-Louise Gardens in Didsbury, etc, etc, etc... and of course the Hacienda.

"Back then, our friends' project was to create an independent video label, called Structure Moderne. They had the idea, the project, but no cameras. Pascal & I had. So, with them or only for us, we filmed a lot of bands, both in UK and France. About a year and a half after this trip, we've lost contact with these guys, for various reasons too long to explain here, but in Aug 87, thanks to the various local contacts our then friends had managed to get, we got special authorisation to film, amongst many other things, the empty Hacienda in full daylight, and The Durutti Column, who happened to be rehearsing there on that day.

"I, Sylvie, had already met Vini Reilly twice before: in Paris at the Bains-Douches Club where I had interviewed him for a local fanzine, and briefly in London, after a DC concert at the Venue. I don't exactly remember how the whole discussion went on that afternoon at FAC51, but the band was OK for us filming their rehearsal. So, I shot their whole performance from the upstairs balcony, and Pascal from downstairs, walking all around them. Thus, in our archives, we have 2 x 68 min of rushes footage, which has never been edited since. Of course, the overall quality of this recording is not very good, especially the sound (80's analog cameras with built-in microphones...) but it's obviously a gem for any DC fan.

"Recently, we have started to transfer all our old 1980s V8 archives onto DVDs, and also created a YouTube channel so as to share them. Yes, these are good memories!"

Indeed, aside from the Hacienda rehearsal footage you'll find further rehearsals with A Certain Ratio and Happy Mondays, plus New Order live in Paris, plus much more.

Thanks to Pascal and Sylvie for getting in touch and sharing those good memories.

There are some video stills and two new stills (courtesy Pascal and Sylvie) on the Haçienda Rehearsal Footage page.

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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