Thursday, 20 August 2020
Love Sent From Bordeaux
I found this video clip a few days ago, Durutti Column playing in Manchester Cathedral in 1985. The song is Bordeaux Sequence, a beautiful Vini Reilly song, one of his best and the performance as you'll see is stunning. The footage, filmed onto video tape, is astonishing too, the close ups of parts of the cathedral, it's stained glass and statues, and the expanded mid- 80s Durutti Column, a stick thin Vini in white shirt playing guitar, viola player John Metcalfe (whose contribution is immense), vocals by Vini's then partner Pol and the ever wonderful Bruce Mitchell on drums. Words can't really do justice to the clip- one of my friends on social media said that 'parts of (the video) had me holding my breath' and I know exactly what he means. He also said that the film clip looks like it could have been made decades ago or yesterday which is also true.
The song started life on 1983's Another Setting album, recorded at Strawberry Studios in Stockport, with Vini singing in his fragile, whispery voice and sparse drums from Bruce. By 1985 it had been fleshed out as seen above, with viola, keys and Pol singing instead of Vini. When he came to re- record the song it was with Stephen Street in the producer's chair and the album was 1987's The Guitar And Other Machines (the other machines of the title were samplers, sequencers and drum machines), renamed as Bordeaux Sequence. In 1988 Durutti Column played at the WOMAD festival in St Austell, Cornwall. Former ACR and Swing Out Sister's Andy Connell played keyboards but they performed without Pol. Vini sings the song instead. It's another breathtaking live take on the song (originally released on a four song single in 1989).
Bordeaux Sequence (Live at WOMAD 1988)
'In France you are sleeping
I wish I could see you
It's always this way
Love sent from Bordeaux'
The picture is Stretford not Bordeaux or St Austell, less romantic but closer to home.