from Bobbins fanzine, issue 8
Like the happy family from hell, or rather Kaos, Prolapse are a six piece in a whole combination of comedy double acts. As I didn't know anything about them I thought it a perfect opportunity to find out more when they played the Roadhouse. Oh joy! I am fed chips and share cough sweets. Prolapse aren't at all scary and make me feel at home.
'Prolapse is our band.' 'We started it, just me and you. We are the most integral members of the whole thing.' Say Mick and Pat. 'I'm the important one,' interrupts Linda, all bright eyes and good haircut. There's Mick, a 6ft Scots who sings, Pat and Dave (guitars), Mick Harrison (bass), Linda who also sings and Tim (drums). Originally a four piece from the start in 1991 they've released some singles: Crate ep, Pull Thru Barker, Doorstop Rhythmic Bloc and the album Pointless Walks to Dismal Places. Which is great. Touring with the album has received a mixed reaction. 'Shite.' 'No, it's all right.' 'Absolutely amazing.' 'It goes up and down.' 'It's sold out every gig.' 'Except the other five.' 'We've only done five dates.' On the whole a better reception comes from London 'because there's just more people there' Linda says, with the audience fluctuating elsewhere.
'We played Folkestone and it was pretty empty apart from a lot of metal heads which was brilliant.' 'Tell her about the total maddy story'. Prolapse audiences seem to have their unfair share of mental types in attendance.
'This man came in, he had about six potatoes and we had to sign each potato in a different colour. And he wanted to be reincarnated as a patch of lichen.' It was his first gig since the Sugarcubes, about five years ago.' 'He also said 10 year olds should be shown snuff movies to scare them away from killing and that kind of thing.' 'Which I agree with.' 'We asked him what he does for a living and he said he was between lives.'
Your live shows are described as avant garde. But with six of you onstage how do you all fit? Linda: 'To be honest I get frustrated. I've got four square inches to move in. I've been kicked by Pat and elbowed by Mick.' 'And what happens is all the instrumentalists jump up and down? 'I keep pulling out Dave's leads while he's doing a really important bit. Then it'll all stop.' 'Yeah but it's on purpose.' And when Mick and Linda fight on stage: 'It hurts. He's going Aaargh (pulls hair) and I'm going Eeeg (animates pained expression) and he's doing the same to me. But you can't tell.'
Is the album doing as well as you want?
'It's a bit odd cause the amount of press doesn't tally with what it's doing in the indie charts. HMV picked us out , and we had this massive thing in MM.' 'That's because it's crap.' 'When I heard it I thought... it's too well produced.'
Mick and Pat, those integral band members, decide to split from the band and go their own way under the title Rusty Grifter. 'Rusty Grifter' Mick speaks into my dictaphone.
Who thought of the album title? Mick: 'That was me.' Linda: 'No. I said dismal. It wouldn't be what it was if I didn't say dismal.' 'OK, we've go 50-50. That happened in Glasgow. I was trying really quickly to show them somewhere nice so I took them on this crap walk and we just ended up in the middle of Glasgow and it was really boring and putting us off... the dismal places... the bland places... '
You changed production for the latest releases. Steve Mack produced this album, but you've also worked with John Robb. 'It worked really well with John Robb. On the last ep there was this track which was completely improvised.' 'John was walking round with a mic behind the radiator to get an ambient sound. I'd have loved to do the album half and half, a kind of mixture. ' 'But it's a very different way of working. John Robb is very much laid back , but Steve Mack was more "go in and do it again".' But we haven't cleaned it up too much .It would be stupid if we sounded like Genesis on record, then Huggy Bear live.'
Influences? '1-2-3 Stereolab.' 'People used to say The Fall which is fair enough, most of us in the band like The Fall. But you only have to play something repetitive and people'll say The Fall.' 'But people used to say Huggy Bear a lot but we're not really.' 'We're not as makeshift. we've no got the same politics.' 'Not in any way whatsoever.' 'In the MM Everett True said we'd stopped listening to Huggy Bear and started listening to Stereolab too much. But a) we haven't been listening to HB and b) we've always listened to other bands and perhaps not even as much as... well personally I've been listening to the sources of Stereolab, the German noise sort of bands. People just pick on things for an easy point of reference.'
'I like Linus.' 'There's not many new bands around I like. Spoonfed Hybrid.' 'Long Fin Killie, and lots of the Too Pure stuff, Laika. Gorky's Zygotic Mynci.' Bringing in the subject of regional accents, very obvious in Prolapse's music. Mick: 'I like that. There should be more of them.' Linda: 'You've got to let your own accent come through because it's an important part of yourself.' Has anyone wondered about Sonia, her from Liverpool. Her accent is so strong, but where she sings, an amazing transformation happens. Sonia can be understood. 'She's a complete pain in the arse. And bands like Teenage Fanclub, cause they're Scottish but they sound like Americans almost. I don't know how they do it and keep a straight face.' 'I think the regional accent thing is great, like Oasis from Manchester but I can't listen to things like Blur or Carter, it does my head in. I'd prefer if they sang in a northern accent.' 'But that's just regional bias.' 'I know it is, but I still can't stand Carter.' 'But The Jam sang in a London accent.' 'Yeah, OK.' And that, is more or less, that.
Live, Prolapse give an energetic, exhaustive, mesmerising show, one of the best I've seen in a while. Mick jumps on and off stage, Linda struts and snarls, they occasionally wrestle each other to the ground. Things sound on the verge of collapse... but not quite. If this band play your town go and see them.