Mini Viva - Manchester Apollo
The cavernous Apollo, filled with ease by Diversity later in the evening, dwarfs perky duo Mini Viva. That said, they have youth and sparkle on their side and a friendly crowd detracts from the fact that they play in front of a dozen or so lights and only get to do four songs. Ouch. That’s gotta hurt. (I’m presuming they have more than four but hey, I’ve been wrong before.) It can’t help, of course, that for an act so dependent on the continuing goodwill of their parent company (the mighty Xenomania), their last single sank like a stone. ‘I Wish’. Remember it? Well, I hear it for the first time tonight and I hear a lot of radio so shoot that plugger.
To be fair, they landed a smart opening blow with last summer's debut ‘I Lost My Heart in Tokyo’, and with all manner of candy pop getting airplay and sales (decades after Girls Aloud set competition height, vaulted it and then cleared off to explore acting, make-up and divorce), seeing your follow-up go missing in action must be heartbreaking. After a bouncing ‘ILMHIT’ kicks things off and reminds everyone who they are, Their third attempt, ‘One Touch’ closes things here. D'you know, as silky production line pop goes, it’s pretty damn fine. Francesca and Britt, as giggly as you like when addressing a hall full of potential punters, certainly hit the notes fearlessly enough. Four songs, though! Pfft! Would it be unbearably old-fashioned of me to suggest that if vocally the girls can do it live, they deserve a band behind them rather than the backing tape we get tonight? It all smells a bit, I gotta say. The internet talks of an album being “readied” for release. Ahem. I think we all now what that means ... Buy their new single. Keep these girls in work, I say.