Leadmill. Sheffield, England • 3.14.98

Prolapse are a truly wonderful artistic entity — a kicking and screaming unpredictable mess. No eccentric poses or pretension, just incomprehension. Prolapse is the dual vocal “assault” (yes!) of Mick and Linda, backed by four musicians who seem to resemble Black Francis of the Pixies. And the music is good, from solid melodies to feedback deconstruction, but its Mick and Linda who mesmerize you. They’re like Lee Hazelwood and Nancy Sinatra simultaneously fronting the Fall and Gore Beyond Necropsy — only more compelling. Here I have to resist jumping headlong into the arch theorizing about Prolapse being a theatre of the absurd recreation of the history of male/female id/ego conflicts, because it’s patronizing and it’s so much more fun to watch Mick. Mick is a mess, pacing maniacally, muttering stream-of-consciousness epics, with his tightly clutched microphone picking up every word. Mick wants to be everyone’s friend: he thanks Magoo for lending him a jumper to cover his Prolapse shirt, thanks his mother for wearing a bun in her hair, and thanks me for wearing a Motorhead shirt (honest). Most of all he wants to be Linda’s friend; Linda, looking very tired and small, is having none of it. “Keep talking Mick, show everyone how much of a fool you are,” is her sole attempt at banter. Mick keeps talking, this time about how they are from Scotland, and drinking. As the next song kicks in, Mick realizes that Linda is annoyed with him, and here begins a truly bizarre series of social dysfunction rituals. Mick hands her pocket change, but snatches it way. He offers her a drink, but pulls it back. Mick kneels in front of her humbly, screaming his head off. Linda makes invisible boundary lines and dares him to cross. Was that the new single? They keep trying to talk/sing, drown one another out- stealing each other’s best lines. Next, Mick is peering over Linda’s shoulder balefully, whispering his lines as she ignores him completely. The music is collapsing all around them, but they’re still fighting and name-calling in time to the beat. As the Prolapse musical engine shudders to a halt, the most curious scene yet develops. Linda has achieved perfect Zen, she stands silent, eyes closed, rooted to the microphone stand. While Mick is caught in a scary Groundhog Day scenario; eyes ablaze, he marches up to Linda and then withdraws, back and forth back and forth, rhythmically, obsessively. I make the mistake of turning my head in disbelief for a moment, and they’re gone too quickly.

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