Great Lost Bands No.2
The second in this occasional series is the Leicester based band Prolapse, who were active between approximately 1992-2000. Despite having the worst name, they first came to my notice in 1994 when I heard them on Radio 1's Evening Session.
The tune was "Pull Thru' Barker" and I wrote the name down with 'Stereolab, The Fall, Huggy Bear' scribbled beside it in case I forgot what they sounded like. They also sounded like a couple having a row over a krautrock-backing track, but I didn't write that down at the time.
Pull Thru' Barker (vid goes dark after a while, but the track is pretty rare so I'm sharing it!)
I managed to find a copy of their debut album, the excellently titled "Pointless Walks to Dismal Places" and it clicked with me immediately. 1994 wasn't a great year for me, and Prolapse sounded exciting whilst managing to come across as depressing and intense, so they suited me perfectly. I played it a lot and for me it became one of my favourite albums of that entire decade.
Doorstop Rhythmic Bloc (single release from Pointless Walks)
I tracked them steadily over the next year, when they played a blinder at the Reading Festival culminating in the mock violence of "Tina, This Is Matthew Stone" which was so convincing one friend thought it was for real!
They released records on all sorts of labels, mostly singles like the brilliant 'T.C.R', including a mini-album called "Backsaturday" which is worth tracking down alone for the epic side-one-filling "Flex".
Prolapse proved so popular with the fanzine that I edited at the time ("The Weedbus") that they actually won Best band in our reader's vote. I attempted to interview them; a messy activity co-ordinated by Linda from the band vis post. It ended up like this.
The band signed to Radar records and were given a decent recording budget and some money for promotional videos. They released a fine second album "The Italian Flag" in 1997 which increased their profile and got them some radio play. It was produced by Donald Ross Skinner (of Julian Cope fame), who actually joined the band for a while. Unfortunately the album never sold in the quantities required and they parted company with the major label soon after. Their live shows were still a sight to behold, and I have fond memories of a dream double bill with the Delgados in Dingwall's in Camden, and a superb headline show in Highbury Garage, which in retrospect must have been near the end of their life as a band.
This chaotic clip of them performing Flex is probably my favourite amateur gig footage ever.
In my memory, Prolapse gigs were always like that! The band made one final album, The Ghost of Dead Aeroplanes, in 1999 on Cooking Vinyl records, which failed to make much of an impression but it still hit the spot for me. The band drifted apart, Scottish Mick moved to Norway and went back to being a field archaeologist, Linda got a proper job as a journalist with the Leicester Mercury, whilst guitarist David Jeffreys is a professor at the Art College in Savannah in the USA. They are fairly obscure to today's music fans, but there is still a hardcore fanbase that would love to see them reform. This thread over at ILX is always worth having a read if you are curious for news of the band. All I can say is that, for a large period of the mid-90s, I LOVED them, and I still listen to them regularly now.
I nearly forgot to link to Pointless Walks blog, which is your main resource for Prolapse facts and fun
Monday, January 16, 2012
Great Lost Bands No.2