From Sparks & drastic movements to new motions - Factory electro legends Minny Pops return with UK tour and album for 2012

Posted: 2nd November 2011

Say Minny Pops to anyone in the '80s and most would shamelessly remember the ropey sub-teens karaoke TV programme shown on Channel 4, in which young kids sang cover-versions in crop-tops - not good. Not surprisingly, you won't find Mini Pops being reissued any time soon. You will find a few Minny Pops albums re-released on CD, which is a good thing, provided you have a penchant for menacing post-punk and industrial rock, for this is where the Netherlands outfit probably sits most comfortably.

So once again, it seems the legacy of Factory Records is continuing apace once more with renewed interest (and resultant shows and releases) for New Order, A Certain Ratio, Section 25, The Names, Kevin Hewick and, if you want to be pedantic, Shaun Ryder. Minny Pops are the latest outfit from the defunct yet still esteemed Manchester label, to regroup and play live again. A new live document called "Standstill to Motion" will be issued later this month - it's a CD/DVD package that draws recordings from notoriously sinister and rhythmic performances in Amsterdam and New York.

The tracks on the new album includes concert versions of their tough minimal singles such as "Dolphin's Spurt" and the near-danceable "Time", as well as the prettier moments like "Island" and "Lights" and snippets from their Factory album, "Sparks in a Dark Room" - songs that you will no doubt hear at one point during one of their four UK shows in 2012.

First stop is Sheffield on 19th January, followed by Leeds (20th), Manchester (21st) and finally London's Garage (upstairs) on the 23rd. Tickets are on sale now and cost well under a tenner - even London is just £6 - and worth it just to see one of the tallest singers in rock, Wally van Middendorp (well over 6ft), stare you out.

Paul Pledger