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Paean to Wilson is arguably Vini Reilly and the Durutti Columns most important and consistent piece of work since the demise of the original and seminal Factory Records in the early 1990’s. It was commissioned MIF (Manchester International Festival of Music), July 2009. Vini had already composed pieces for Tony to listen to whilst he was ill in hospital and it was from here that the project developed. The opening night of the three sell-out festival shows formed part of the BBC2 ‘Culture Show’ coverage on the event.
Dave Simpson – MIF Review – The Guardian 20/7/09 4 out of 5 ‘
Near the beginning of the final night of the Durutti Column's 70-minute international festival tribute to Tony Wilson, A Paean to Wilson, guitarist Vini Reilly announced that he wouldn't be singing: "So you won't have to put up with my awful voice and schoolboy lyrics." If Wilson was with us, he would have chuckled. The Granada presenter-turned-Factory Records boss spent years urging his first signing to stop singing, and concentrate on the virtuosity that led Red Hot Chili Pepper John Frusciante to call Reilly "the greatest guitarist in the world". Two years after his death, Wilson got his way, one of many lovely touches in a very personal, emotional and often warmly funny musical tribute. Wilson signed Joy Division and Happy Mondays, yet never gave up on this cult band he adored, working with them even after his legendary label went bankrupt.