Sunday, 26 July 2009

Friday, 24 July 2009

Tagliatelle Tubbies

Band pic

By Simon Williams, NME

*Fist of fun*

Like tabloid hypocrisy, stroppy bus conductors and careless estate agents, certain aspects of reality will never, ever let you down. And the music business -'alternative' or not - is no exception.

Take Prolapse, for example: a haphazard collective of half-a-dozen studey types seemingly drawn together by a penchant for shouting and Sonic Youth B-sides and armed with a name about as hospital radio-friendly as FrankieWank & The F----ers, surely few acts could compete with them on a thoroughly low-rent scale of Transit van-trundling, bedsit-bundling indie schmindie on-the-road nightmares.

Sure enough, ruddy-faced ranting vocalist Scotch Mick is fondly recalling some of the more glamorous moments of Prolapse's career. Like that time in Germany when they arrived in a huge squat in Hanover after spending light years on the sodding autobahn to find they were playing with the Gay City Rollers - oh yes - the majority of whom appeared to be getting intimate in the boys' toilets.

Anyway, it was really bloody cold and Prolapse were all shaking'n'quaking from a high-octane blend of on-tour psychosis and the DTs, and the larger-than-life singer of the Gay City Rollers - a chap called Elvis, natch - well, he reappeared from the bogs and he had blood, like, under his armpit. By the time Scotch Mick had seen the wall of a nearby bar burst into flames, the actual gig itself had become something of an irrelevance. Suffice it to say the show was rubbish.

'It was,' growls Mick with masterful understatement, 'f---ing horrible.'

Spending a weekend in Rome with Prolapse should therefore fill the more sophisticated among us with the sort of dread normally associated with cold concrete floors, stinking syringe-littered toilet venues and cockroach-infested lunacy. But that's enough about Camden.

And, in a very real sense, that's enough about the potential social perils of being in Prolapse, for this weekend is blissfully free from any touring traumas or tribulations - primarily because they aren't even playing any gigs! They're just here to chew the fat with NME over their new album 'The Italian Flag' - the rather piss-poor excuse for our current location -and to have the odd discreet conflab with their continental paymeisters at Warner Brothers. In fact, with the luvverly blue skies and visits to the Pantheon and the Vatican, these 48 hours could almost be described as classy.

Mick and Linda

Prolapse? Classy!???? Skankin' shrimp paste sandwiches, tomorrow Scotch Mick will be on a British Airways flight with Brian 'Queen' May. And Anita 'EastEnders' Dobson! And not only that, but he's also been pissed in Los Angeles! With Drew Barrymore!

'I pulled her ear!' he beams, ruddily. Yeah! Really! 'Yeah, I said "Cheers, Big Ears" and she went, "What? Cheers, Big Ass?" so I said, "No, ears!" and pulled one of hers to show her what I meant.'

Even better, we find Scotch Mick and co-conspirator/co-vocalist Linda Steelyard in a local backstreet restaurant, guffawing heartily at the Inglese menu and its poorly translated promises of Spaghetti on Angler's Way, A Little Walnuts by Vernaccia and, of course, the soon-to-be legendary starter, The Salmon Fill With a Smoke, because the menu reads like a Prolapse set list.

Yes indeed, 'Slash/Oblique', 'I Hate the Clicking Man', 'Return of Shoes'... you'll find all these and more stumpily-titled delights on 'The Italian Flag', the 'Lapses fine forthcoming (third) album. More Prolapse facts? The other two-thirds of the band consist of The Other Mick (Harrison, bass), Dave Jeffreys (guitar), Pat Marsden (guitar), Tim Pattison (drums) and Donal Ross-Skinner (keyboards). They all sound like they should be modelling donkey jackets in a Vic&Bob sketch, and they are all currently back in Leicester or London or wherever else it is that Prolapse have been accused of 'coming from', maaaaan.

To the average discerning punkoid punter, Prolapse have been around for blatheringly ages, whipping out such a stompingly comprehensive string of sniggles'n'sniggers for such a baffling variety of record companies that Mick and Linda struggle to remember, a) the song titles, b) the label names and c) what the hecksie becksie they're going on about.

In reality, the sextet fell into (mis)shape about three years ago in between studies in Leicester, and Mick was so shy he wore a balaclava onstage for the first, ooooh, 20 gigs. They have subsequently played a sweltering welter of maniac live shows with Pulp, Sonic Youth and Stereolab, the majority of which have dwelt upon the deranged antics of Linda and Mick. Crucially, every year Prolapse bung out a fantastic single like 'Pull Thru Barker' or 'TCR' and everyone goes 'BRILLIANT!' but nobody buys it so they slide back into saggy old oblivion; and this week Prolapse's BRILLIANT new single is called 'Autocade', which is so poptastically fantastic that Mick hates it.

Ummmmm.

'I choose not to be on it,' he says dismissively. 'I just don't like the song - it's not my cup of tea. But that's OK, we're in a band where it's not gonna cause any fuss. I just don't like our new single, that's all. It's too pop. That's the way the cookie crumbles.'

'It should be pointed out here that we didn't set out to write a pop song,' defends Linda. 'We don't want people thinking that. It just happened!'

'I still think it's crap,' mutters Mick.

'I could have shouted all over it ad then it wouldn't be a pop song,' insists Linda. 'It could've easily been someone boiling a kettle over the music or whatever. I mean, the next single could be ten minutes of Hoover noise!'

It probably will be, as well, which is precisely why Prolapse are hardly ranked alongside Fairy Liquid and Uncle Berkov's Ratcatcher Delight in the household name stakes. 'I can't write words that are about anything other than murder,' sighs Linda. 'And death. Oh, and relationships splitting up. I'm probably the nastiest person in the band, really.'

True, she has just spooned an entire mouthful of - wait for it - Parmesan cheese into her mouth, which is pretty damn nasty.

'We're somewhere between Throbbing Gristle and The Razorcuts,' leers Mick. 'Some of our album is unlistenable! A lot of it sounds on first listen like there's no structure to it. It's just the rantings of a madman and a madwoman!'

Brilliant! Of course, on the second and third and tenth listens you're convulsing along to the delirious rushes of sonic mayhem and Stereolab-in-a-madhouse grooves and understanding exactly what Linda means when she says that, 'There are a lot of people who are really fanatical about our music - they really do love us!'

Yip! Especially in America! But we digress. Anyhow, some Prolapse songs 'depress the shit' out of Linda, and that's brilliant as well, because, she says, 'I'd like people to get off on the words and I don't mean that people should go out and murder people but I'd like them to relate to it like a Smiths song: I'd like them to say, 'Oh, it's really miserable, but I know what she's going on about.'

What about the somewhat haphazard take on your career plan?

'We're not one of those bands that are really intense and go, 'Where shall we take it now?', sniffs Linda. 'Maybe that's where we're going wrong. We're quite take-us-or-leave-us, really. We're not into licking arses or anything like that.'

'If we'd put our minds to it, we could be as big as Symposium,' beams Mick. 'Or Morbid Angel.'

Great!

'I don't know what I'm doing in a band, actually. I don't really care about it. I'd be quite happy if 80,000 people bought the album - I'd be like, f---in' hell, people do appreciate us! But I'm not a wee crappy indie kid, I really don't care.'

He doesn't either - he prefers his job as an archaeologist back in Leicester to being a pop singer. But, of course, he does as well, because beneath his charmingly cantankerous Crass-rousing melody-loathing anarchist-with-a-small 'a' hollerings, one heartily suspects that Scotch Mick is as enamoured of his band's furious pop noise as the rest of the radiator-lugging Linda-hugging Prolapse fanatics are.

'I had to list my three current favourite bands the other day,'reveals Linda, blushing with the social importance of it all. Excellent! And, pray, which particular globally-renowned publication was canvassing your opinions on the likes of Tiny Too, Spraydog, and (possibly) Frankie Wank & The F---ers?

'It was for the Prolapse newsletter.' More blushing. 'Heeheehee!'

'Hurhurhurmph!' gurgles Mick.'And we wonder why we've never been big?'

Still class in a pint glass, though.

Prolapse postcard

Prolapse postcard

Ghosts Of Dead Aeroplanes

Ghosts Of Dead Aeroplanes

"Imagine playing aeroplane Top Trumps in hell. If you ever ended up doing it, the music that'd be playing in the background would be Ghosts Of Dead Aeroplanes by Prolapse. And it would scare the fuck, living or dead, out of you.

It does not, by simple law of audio extremes, get any more freaky than the opening track, Essence Of Cessna. The low, thrumming rhythm of the modest backing music plays host to the occasional electricity noise and, more importantly, Linda's vocals. Or is it Linda? It sounds rather more like a six-year old girl who's just battered her parents to death with a claw-hammer and is now in a semi-comatose state of sheer shock and generic fucked-upness whilst subconsciously mumbling her utterly, utterly insane stream of thought.

Fair enough, Mick's vocals do feature earlier on in the track, quiet and distorted, but I don't even know when they cut out, because it's impossible to hear anything in this song aside from the completely terrifying girl's voice. There is a pleasant warmth to the background 'aaaaahhh's and the occasional emphasised bassline, but you have to listen very badly indeed not to be chilled to the bone by the unstructured, atmospheric, surreal freakiness of the thing. As an opening track, it is a long way from the obvious choice. It could scarcely be closer, though, to perfection.

By way of slapping you about a bit and delivering quite precisely what you don't expect, Fob.com, the racingly harmonious and upbeat single, follows. Linda's oscillating vocal tone rides like some entirely mad but beautiful jet-ski over the pulsating wave of the music as Mick spouts his slightly whining Glaswegian in a manner not in the least bit similar to but easily as threatening as a Great White cruising beneath. The immaculate rhythm, pace and rhyming pattern to the track keep it hurtling along at a rate of knots and exemplify perfectly the sheer poetic genius Prolapse have been gradually honing all these years.

Adiabatic follows - a wavering and haunting but strangely shallow and unfulfilling melody laid down by Linda over Mick's initially uninteresting echoey vocals beneath. It is not until the chorus that you realise both these latter were nothing more than atmosphere building elements to the glorious, powerful bursts of streaming guitar, muted but shouted rage from Mick and an eerie chorus from Linda. And it's not until several days' intensive listening have passed that you fully come to terms with the idea.

By far the most abrasive of the album comes next - Cylinders V12 Beats Cylinders 8. In common with Surreal Madrid from their first album, it features a simple Mickalogue concerning someone he really doesn't like at all. Suffice to say, with regards to the lyrical content, that the chorus is no less than "He wis a septic tank ae a man." The tale appears to be about a keycutter who gets it a bit wrong once, and hence is a completely worthless bastard. Cruel, but fair as a petrified witness of the activities of the Piranha brothers would one day confide. It's hard not to feel similarly.

There is a notion in my head regarding One Illness, the next track, that I have been trying, without success, to dispel for some time. It goes along the lines of this song being quite simply the best I have heard in my life. It fades in with a wonderfully throbbing Stereolabish guitar effect leading into a tripping bassline, a harmonious 'aaaaaaaahhhh' and finally a quick succession of drum beats merges into the siren-like pulse of the main riff. But what makes the song one superior to every other I've heard is undoubtedly the vocals. It has, by some strange musical publications, been accused of pop. Perhaps the initial relative jauntiness of the sound is responsible, but by halfway this is entirely evaporated. Linda's rolling poetry races with perfect rhyme still, but Mick is reduced in parallel to shouts and screams, still with immaculate timing, but entirely free of the burdens of melody. It starts superbly and keeps on getting better for five and a half minutes.

After After is an unprecedented venture for the band. Linda's vocals have been recorded as little over a whisper and amplified massively to normal voice level. The closeness and intimacy of the sound is reminiscent of Portishead, if rather more full-bodied and rhythmic. More unusual still is Mick's vocal effect. It is distorted and echoed almost beyond recognition, and as he speaks it plummets and soars in bizarre waveforms of deep, metallic tone. It is offset perfectly by what is almost its polar opposite in Linda's vocals and creates an enthralling aural experience that holds a ceaseless fascination for any sane mind.

A call back to The Italian Flag follows in the form of The Government Of Spain. While the structure and vocal arrangement owes much to Visa For Violet And Van, the actual sound of the song is in fact far closer to Headless In A Beat Motel from the first album. The song crackles into life with Linda, as though over an intercom, chanting "Be told, retell." Her vocals from there express concern about a death on a runway and Mick's vocals burst in just before the guitars stream up to a frantic hammering that accompanies his rapid and glorious build up to the chorus: "The government of Spain is all evil!"

By the time Linda has got on to utterances about stinking hell on earth and misery, Mick's chorus has shot off into a desperate screech and rocketed by a few more octaves than one could reasonably expect the human vocal cords to cover. The song finally fades into Linda's crackly chanting and disappears. In an album consisting almost entirely of new and wildly successful experiments in sound, Government stands as a solitary monument to their previous sounds and in doing so, somehow manages to top the lot of them.

Sadly, the last nine minutes of this miserably short bundle of joy are significantly less enjoyable. Planned Obsolescence, my theory goes, is some sort of portrayal of the eloping ritual leading in and out of marriage. Since the only lyrics are "I love you", "Ah own yer" and "Ah foond yer." it's difficult to say exactly, but the point is that the music is nothing very special. It's all very nice in its atmospheric way and its whispering subtlety has a certain charm, but it simply doesn't appeal to me the way the rest of the recording does. Which is an unfortunate end to an album that otherwise quite simply tops the efforts of everyone and anyone, themselves included, who have come before.

It makes you wonder why the rest of the music world bothers, really."

Reviewed by: Tom Francis


"Must've seen this band at least a dozen times and walked away each time not discombobulated by their raucous scrabbling, not annoyed by their scatter-gun noise terrorism - always there to see someone anyhow - but just plain I-don't-get-it.

Their ramshackle records have always left me catching fish; damned if I can see what's special about Prolapse. All that eviscerating the corpse of rock, feeding off the carcass and spitting out the remains is for hardcore Peelie listeners. And so it is with Prolapse's fourth album; avant garde, left-field and off-centre. But, and this time there's some tunes and there's some direction. They've returned to the sweeter sound of 1997's "Autocade" single, a one-off song so pop for them that singer Mick Derrick hated and refused to appear in the video.

"Fob.com" is Stereolab for the jilted generation: mesmerising, driving and, controversially, tuneful. "One Illness" sets up camp in the same field of hypnotic guitars and Krautrock drumming, with Linda Steelyard's warm drone complemented by Derrick's manic ranting.

Despite the greater pop sensibility shown on this outing, little has changed in the area of actually making any bloody sense. Derrick's ranting is issued from the fire-and-brimstone pulpit and is not always comprehensible. When the words do spill out in a recognisable form they're rarely better that way - "Accosted by angles at an early age and made to take the same head as the venerable sage". OK.

Don't get me wrong, difficult music is always welcome, always encouraged; rarely is it useful or groundbreaking. Prolapse are a difficult band, awkward, edgy and agitated. This is about as close to making a classic album they'll get. Perversely, it succeeds when they sound like Stereolab and it fails when they sound too much like Prolapse the difficult band."

- Ben Clancy, Melody Maker

"Track 7. "Government of Spain." Jesus Christ.

It starts with a second of electric fuzz, two words and an ultraviolent bassline that doesn't stop winding itself up and twining itself tight for the remainder of the song. Female vocalist Linda Steelyard starts listingrandom, random things in an emotionless, hard-edged voice. The drums kick in. The guitars drop down and spark all the was to the finale- hard, hard explosive guitars clanking and swooping and smashing concrete - then into the eye of the hurricane Mick Derrick screams his entry like a fucking demon and proceeds to lose his mind and tries to take yours with the angriest, nastiest, hottest rant since Mark E Smith first pissed vinegar. By the final blow-up/self-destruction of the song Derrick is wailing and shrieking in a mean and forced falsetto that "the Government of Spain is all evil!" like the future depends on you knowing this information. This is the sound and the fury of Prolapse, this is extreme conspiracy theory art-rock from one of Britian's most underappreciated bands, this is the most necessary piece of fucking music to come out this year.

Prolapse make music that snaps at your heels when you leave the room. The underbelly of blinkered British thug culture precisely assaulted with obtuse poetry, channeled chaos and strawberry-blond sex thrown in to confuse and entice. They've always been this way: 1996's Backsaturday was the sound of a hot summer snapping, last year's The Italian Flag was a magnificent hate letter, and now, album number four, Ghosts of Dead Aeroplanes, is the demented surrealism of two aesthetically opposite individuals spilling over one more time.

The trippy "Essence" swirls around a thudding bassline with talk of angels and summer dresses, straight-down the line rocker "Fob.com" lets Steelyard jet beautifully into rapid-fire melody while Derrick pins the music down with his harsh speaking voice, and the Mogwai-ish "Cylinders V12" takes Prolapse to new heights of power and noisy elegance. A horrible, gorgeous album."

- From The Rocket, a Seattle free music magazine, review by Michael Hukin.


"A good album is one whose velocity you can't control. As in a schoolyeard game of crack the whip, you are compelled to move at the speed the leader chooses. And if you've got the courage to hang on to this one, you're in for some excellent kicks from Prolapse. When the band veers from the twisted guitar/dub of their large scale opener "Essence" to the mach-one fever of "Fob.com" the acceleration seems like a natural pull. Even in the placid numbers, the gait of Ghost of Dead Aeroplanes is expertly planned out and executed.

Leicester, England's Prolapse is a well-regarded guitar band that has never seemed to be able to decide whether to be noise or to be pop. That uncertainty, along with the curiously mismatched vocals of Linda Steelyard and Mick Derrick, make for a reputation built upn disparate intrigues. Taking a more polished approach to its third album, Prolapse has found that you can sometimes get a more messed up vibe by straining things off. The noise that somewhat clung to the group's earlier music is now cleared away. Heavy and Cyclic, the bass and drum foundations loop around nervous, twitchy guitars. Steelyard's girlish voice bleats softly while Derrick's spoken interludes are delivered in a rakish brogue. Prolapse manages to rope all these elements of post-punk aestheticism into a focused musical opportunity. It's a ride worth hanging on for.

File under- Boy/girl noise dub. Recommended if you like Unwound, Sonic Youth, Gang of Four."

- From CMJ New Music Monthly, June 1999

"If post-rock noodling ain't your bag, baby, but you need a little bit of trippy soundtracky stuff in your life, try the fourth from Leicester's Prolapse. Rhythmic, relentless and eerie, Ghosts of Dead Aeroplanes (Cooking Vinyl) sounds like a radio picking up a myriad of late-night stations, as kingpin (and daytime archaeologist) Mick Derrick intones rambling monologues against the cascading, folky vocals of Linda Steelyard."

- Pat Gilbert, Mojo

Fob.Com

Fob.com

"Uh-oh! Feeding frenzy! I type this atop the tallest filing cabinet in the office whilst witnessing scenes of stomach-turningly sickening crocodilian carnage as the cold-blooded monsters (See Ash for singles review 'concept' ­ Ed) ­ whipped into flesh-crazed frenzy by the the first five demented seconds of the Prolapse single ­ tear the rest of Team NME to screaming shreds. Read quickly, dear punter, for these may be the last words I ever write...

The medical definition of 'prolapse' is "like where you literally fart your own guts out". This is incredibly apt because Prolapse truly are the sound of rock farting its own guts out.

"I could smell skid marks, OK?... There's some inexplicable reason why legs turn orange... I've seen a huge figure with a red face, it floated towards the window... I wouldn't lie to you about a thing like that, would I?... Are you listening to me? It makes children detonate explosives... that's why flies carry communications from outer space" rants a conspiracy theory-crazed and rather peeved Home Counties female whilst a presumably Tennants Extra-slaughtered tramp rants Scottishly over the top about fucknosewotbollocks. Prolapse revel in a frenziedly nervous pop music which assaults the brain on 418 levels at once, bombarding the poor bastard listener with paranoid whispers and caustic little side-sniggers that'll probably prod the more sensitive of you over the edge into suicidal depression.

Everybody hates you, the government have bugged your dental fillings and all of Madonna's lyrics are aimed at you personally (especially where she sings, "Go get an axe and kill Bis and I'll shag you/Honest I will" on 'Material Girl'). Prolapse are the sound of your 19th nervous breakdown happening simultaneously with numbers one to 18. Have you ever wondered what the 'voices' that Mark Chapman allegedly heard before he went and de-Beatled The Dakota building sounded like? They sounded like Prolapse. Imagine the Trainspotting 'choose' monologue crossed with the deranged purple-ink diary scribblings of a public schoolgirl psycho-killer done but days before she liberates the Bren from the school armoury and turns the fifth-form gymkhana into the beach at Gallipoli. I wonder if you can.

If all the poxy little dimwit indie bands that clutter up this planet (wasting our diminishing supplies of oxygen, fresh water and fossil fuel) were but one-tenth as radical, perverse, demented, witty, sassy or sexy as Prolapse then we ­ the indie community ­ would have every right to look down our pert but blackhead-riddled little noses at the coke-crazed and corporate hosepipe sucking clown-whores of Proper Pop. But they're not, are they? Bands as whacked to fuck as Prolapse are as rare as wings on dogs. Give them all your money and drugs and attempt to emulate the spirit of their genius, you SCUM! This is an order. Over and out."

- Stevie Chick, NME


"A welcome return for one of Britain's more demented musical set-ups. Sounds like Stereolab playing mini-golf with Arab Strap. Probably. Drew Barrymore's favourite group. Apparently.

- "really strange and really appealing. The soft, hazy female vocals against the really strong 'trainspotting'-style voice, it's got a lot going for it; it sounds like real old style indie music. It'll be nice to separate the vocals so you can hear what they are both saying. But it works, it's your classic John Peel, it's a goer. Prolapse, great name, too."

- Comments by Graeme Le Saux, Melody Maker

'TFI Feisty' NME, 6 September 1997

Mick


Prolapse live at Edinburgh, Cas Rock Café by Ben Willmott

The name, of course, does not inspire confidence. The image is not a pretty one; at best it suggest Concorde-speed metal executed by brickies from Walsall, at worst a brand of 'challenging' post-rock to chisel A-roads in your forehead.

And, although our seemingly ever-multiplying friends (up to seven members and showing no sign of slowing) from Leicester have never dealt in anything other than pure, if severely skewed, pop, their most unsettling of tags always was eminently appropriate. Because Prolapse used to be a mess. A splendidly compelling street scrap, fuelled by animosity and the ever-present threat of inter-band physical violence, but a mess all the same.

But something strange has happened to their wilfully indie bedsit since the major label cleaners descended for a serious scrub earlier this year. For starters, they've learnt to play their instruments without sounding like the Grange Hill school band being conducted by Mark E Smith. Smart move.

Secondly, they've relaxed to the point where actually performing has become a distinct priority - as opposed to simply demolishing the rider, giving each other death stares and indulging in unseemly scuffles. Wonders never cease.

A few moments into tonight's opener, 'Visa', its evident their once wiry mesh of mangled power pop and Krautrock as molested by the Happy Mondays has been helping itself to steroids of late. Even without Julian Cope's right-hand man, Donald Ross Skinner, dispensing the kind of high-frequency Mooging that's been syringing the ears of Beck's audiences recently, they sound way bigger, sharper and ultimately more mischievously evil than ever.

Don't get us wrong, the playground squabbles and tantrums are still all present and correct - without them the band would be rendered all but impotent. A baby doll is produced from nowhere, promptly dismembered by tiny vocalist Linda Steelyard and then slung with ferocious force at the face of her lanky, oafish counterpart, Scotch Mick. Between verses of 'Day at Death' the pair mutter private obscenities to each other and kick the other's beers over, but tonight such acts feel like flashpoints for the whole band's collective raging instead of mere incidental distractions.

It's probably halfway through 'Killing the Bland' - imagine the Primitives on a diet of psychopathic drugs and razorblade milkshakes - that we realise precisely what damn fine pop stars they'd make. Visualise Linda, the 60s B-movie heroine with a meat cleaver in her handbag, systematically demolishing Chris Evans' ego on TFI Friday with a handful of well-chosen insults. Or Mick emptying his stomach behind a breakfast TV sofa.

A year ago, such a scenario would've seemed about as likely as Noel Gallagher having a drink with a Labour Prime Minister at Number 10. Or Chumbawamba shifting 100,000 singles and gatecrashing the Top Five. Stranger things have indeed happened - and often to bands displaying a fraction of Prolapse's bruising class.

YouTube - Prolapse Stage Invasion



Abbey Park Festival, Leicester, August 1996

Random pics

Band pic
Prolapse Mick and Linda
Prolapse band pic
Prolapse band
Prolapse Scottish Mick

The Inside ov a Butcher's Shop

Banking On Death (Carnage)

"THANK GOD PEOPLE STILL have the time, energy and resources to make records like this in the 1990s. And thank God we hardly ever have to hear them.

The Inside Ov A Butcher's Shop is Mick the shouty Scotsman out of Prolapse, and apparently three other grown men who have to do this to avoid getting their dole stopped.

To think they probably listened to this over and over while recording it, chills the blood. "Carnage, carnage, every fucking day of my life", they chant, for a full 31-and-a-half minutes. Then again for another five minutes on the other track on the CD.

If there is a message, aside from hilariously in-jokey Dadaist mischief, it appears to be on the sleeve, where they claim they 'utilised their now famous cardboard tube as a phallic symbol to humiliate the butchers', who, they also claim, are mostly impotent. Laugh? I nearly listened to it the whole way through.

While I admire their persistence, familiarity breeds contempt. You can imagine this being played to torture Third World dictators from their homes. Alas, most of us pampered Westerners will lack the same mental fortitude. And they say meat is murderous..."

- Johnny Cigarettes, NME

Top 10 tracks

Prolapse band pic

Top 10 tracks as voted by visitors to the old website between 1997 and 2000:

1 Tina This is Matthew Stone
2 Killing the Bland
3 Headless in a Beat Motel
4 Deanshanger
5 Flex
6 Slash/Oblique
7= T.C.R.
7= Visa for Violet and Van
9 Doorstop Rhythmic Bloc
10 Black Death Ambulance

Compare with top 10 most played tracks on Last.fm

1 Serpico *
2 Autocade
3 Doorstop Rhythmic Bloc *
4 Deanshanger
4 Killing the Bland
6 Burgundy Spine *
7 Chill Blown *
8 Hungarian Suicide Song *
9= Tina This Is Matthew Stone *
9= Surreal Madrid *

* can be played online, which helps

Geordie Mick's Top 50 Irritating Things

Geordie Mick

1. Noisy eating
2. A toenail in an ashtray
3. Smell of sock when hungover
4. Holloway Road
5. Dog saliva on crotch of trousers
6. Skunk Anansie
7. Pigeon eating vomit
8. People wearing sandals, holding babies and dancing to dub reggae
9. Jeremy Beadle
10. Dandruff landing in crisps
11. The Battersby family
12. Blokes with long curly hair tied in ponytails
13. Belle and Sebastian fans
14. Robert Wyatt
15. Captain Beefheart
16. Alex Harvey
17. Rustling of bag
18. Scottish Mick's wobbly leg
19. Abbatoirs
20. Babies
21. Football
22. Charlie Chaplin
23. The X Files
24. Urine stain on white underpant
25. Fat children eating chips
26. Football fans rambling on about football
27. The big collar brigade
28. Pube stuck on sink, soap, kettle etc
29. Cat shitting during my Dinner
30. Pubs with football on the big screen
31. Snorers
32. Wankers who buy Cilla Black albums
33. Argumentative alcoholics
34. Gary Numan's lip
35. Friends (the US sitcom)
36. Our Friends in the North
37. Smell of bus driver's Armpit
38. Accidentally feeling snot wiped under tables
39. Mobile phone users
40. Blockbusters with Michael Aspel
41. A cat hair in some gravy
42. Prolapse being compared to Stereolab and The Fall
43. Hippies
44. That Carte Noir advert
45. Smell of wet dog
46. Bus driver's arse
47. Disney films
48. David Bowie
49. A wasp in an empty 'boil in the bag' fish bag
50. Garry Bushell

Prolapse in America: Tim's tour diary

Prolapse in America

"Seeing Greenland and the Arctic Ocean frozen with pack ice is not something you expect in life (unlike meeting a Newcastle United fan in Los Angeles) so flying over the top of the world was an unexpected bonus for the start of the tour...

After landing and meeting Steve - ex-Cop Shoot Cop - all American, cowboy boots, plaid shirts, tour manager, driver and a great guy, we're hit with the news that we're not staying in motels for the start of the tour but in someone's house. Oh fuck think of return to the dogshit fridge of Amsterdam...

But no, this was a wee bit different. Second from the top of Curzon Avenue in the Hollywood Hills. 'Chez Krautpunk popsters' was lifted straight from a Friday night's west coast schmaltz programme complete with natural grapefruit dispenser in the back garden. Prolapse finally find their true home (no offence Hull Blue Lamp!)...

No sooner than this hits us we're dragged out by Steve to see the Amps at the Troubador - can't get in on the guest list as it seems as though the Mean (generous) Fiddler has not reached LA. So we 'hang out' outside with Eddie Vedder, Courtney and Bush person, Trent Reznor, Greg Dulli, Chris Cornell and Dave Grohl!! Well not actually but do see Stereolab - which is weird in the fact that it didn't seem weird. The Troubador could well be the Garage if Santa Monica Boulevard was Holloway Road... which it isn't.

Go to a diner and discover American size portions... Next morning wake up at 6am (jet lag you know) and go shopping... The local shop - and this is true - is the 7-11 where Hugh Grant got arrested in Sunset Boulevard. Go to the only Russian shop in America to buy food - this is real abroad - they don't speak English. For some reason Tony buys 12 Kiwi fruits - beware of managers, strange people. Finally a gig! Fullerton University.Typical nondescript college town. The venue is non-smoking indoors - no beer on the rider - not even for Stereolab.

Suddenly US 80s 90s by The Fall makes sense. 'No beer no cigarettes no whiskey, welcome to the US 80s 90s.' The $7 each for food is quickly transformed into four crates of Bud and two bottles of vodka. As a result I dance like mad and slept for equal parts of Stereolab's set... all's well that ends well as they say... San Diego is Skegness! No two ways about it. Grey skies, grey sea and a pier. We had to paddle nevertheless. Pat met some friends of Turk at the gig which was punctuated by cries of 'Blue Army!' throughout.

We got the thumbs up from the lighting engineer - our fan tally is now three... Getting to the Troubador we finally got to see our name in lights on the Santa Monica Boulevard. Get wined and dined by Big Cat/Jet Set Shelley which is probably not such a good idea three and a half minutes before stage time. (The restaurant is where the cover of Art Garfunkel's LP Breakaway was taken!) The gig was great by the way... Second sellout night in LA and what a star-studded audience - Eric from Hole with Drew Barrymore and Beck. Scottish Mick got a request for a personal audience with her Drew-ness - who he described as a bit of a 'hippy'. Another fine gig but sadly we begin to realise our time in the Hollywood Hills is over and the tour for real is about to begin...

Prolapse are the only Brits ever to go to San Francisco and not get to see the Golden Gate Bridge. Nevertheless San Francisco is a great place even if we were only there for six hours. The venue, the Great American Music Hall, is wonderful... all gold leaf and carving. Get to see a few copies of Backsaturday in Tower Records. Wow! Go to a Scottish pub and someone asked Scottish Mick if he's the singer from Prolapse. We're almost beginning to feel like pop stars...

Flushed from the success of ad-libbing a song from scratch over the airways of Oregon in Portland we go bowling. Stereolab are there too as is Maxine, a friend from Leicester, who now lives in Portland. The score Yanks 1 Brits 0. It seems you can't both sing and bowl with Linda and Scottish Mick jointly collecting the wooden spoon - mind you who said Mick could sing... ho ho!

I want to live in Bellingham, either the one in Washington or Northumberland. I'm not fussy. The balcony of the dressing room had the most wonderful view - looking out across the harbour and that bay bit that goes up to Vancouver. You could see the mountains of Canada. Tonight also brings us the first gig with Jessamine, a Seattle band who are excellent. After the gig certain people go off to smoke mixed herbs with the 'Labs entourage in their big sleeper bus - poor things can't afford motels like us real pop stars... "