Minny Pops – Waiting For This To Happen / Glistering

So old and new, continuity and change, standstill and motion. Minny Pops are still the same intriguing bag of contradictions. They play their last live gig at the Quietus / Lexington bash in London on 26th November. Don’t miss it.

(O Genesis – OGEN - 19)

http://www.minnypops.com

Yes, quite right, we have; we have been waiting, even if we didn’t realise it a year or so ago. Minny Pops are back not with a bang – that wouldn’t be right, as bangs are for the rank and file. No Minny Pops are back, breaking into your consciousness with a thud and a scratch and an uneasy whisper. But be prepared for further thrills, as Waiting For This To Happen is that bit different from what you may be expecting. Like that Pere Ubu comeback record from (what, 1989?), this single sounds familiar and that bit surprising at first listen, setting off a whole host of odd psychic twists and turns. It’s much more open and well, brash - I think it’s the amount of space that legendary Spasmodique guitar player Mark Ritsema brings to the sound. Energetic and upbeat and showcasing a fair bit of texture, the song boasts an itchy, restless element too: there are almost glossy passages – it’s not the doomy synths of 30 years ago. So there you have it: brace yourselves! Apparently the recording sessions were a revelation to the band, who, intrigued by the set up and the equipment available at Eve studios over in Rochdale, threw themselves into making a right din. For those worried about what the passage of time does to old long cherished memories fear not, as the same stomp is present in the rhythm, and Wally still sounds like some barking mad professor, lecturing in that heavily accented English of his, eyes goggling wildly as he leads his audience ever on…

Maybe also this year of gigs has added an extra element, (as well as fresh blood to the band in the form of Thomas Myrmel), as they seem to have developed this rattling, looser sound from the Brussels ULTRA and the Tim Peaks acoustic shows, via that extraordinary live performance at Dansmakers, Amsterdam.

OK so Waiting For This To Happen uncovers something new. Fine. And you may ask, that was “now”, but when is “then” going to happen? I will say that to these old ears, Glistering is a classic Minny Pops track, living like many of its sonic cousins in a world of its own making. After whispering an apology, Wally gloomily runs through a long list of apparently unrelated objects, each listed off as if they are condemned for ever into an outer circle of hell: (he makes “lemon tart” sound like some sort of rat poison). At this point I started to think that the track had bit of the apologia of Kojak about it. The mid tone synths that Wim Dekker sets up to swirl and bay near the end on here sound a bit like those on Simple Minds’ Empires and Dance, especially when set against Peter Mulder’s chugging bass part. It’s fantastic.

So old and new, continuity and change, standstill and motion. Minny Pops are still the same intriguing bag of contradictions. They play their last live gig at the Quietus / Lexington bash in London on 26th November. Don’t miss it.