Pickpocket (EP)

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Pickpocket was a six-track cassette tape by Manchester post-punk band Ludus, released by New Hormones in 1981. It came packaged with a limited-edition booklet and badge.

The booklet, titled SheShe, contains black-and-white photos by photographer Birrer, showing singer Linder Sterling, bejewelled and heavily made-up, in a series of striking images designed to instill the awareness of women as commodity (a pervading theme of Linder's lyrics and visual art): a fork and spoon tucked into her eyes, a face ripped apart to reveal a second skin. Although there is no lyrics sheet, the images are accompanied by some of the more striking of Linder' lines: "mutilate my mind/measure up my kind", "come find me when I'm hiding/hiding but still not knowing" (Mutilate), "can I see me/I throw up screens/I am messy", "am I your death/behind my flesh/does my skull smile", "it is not I/ who seeks the fool/it is the fool/who seeks I" (The Fool) and "life is too short/still we make a show/we are unhealthy and fragile/we are unhealthy and fragile" (Mouthpiece).

The EP itself is among Ludus' best and most accessible work, showing that they were able to stay original and imaginative while recording very melodic, 3-minute-long pop songs

The first track on the cassette, "Patient", is a mostly instrumental song (apart from the chorus "anaesthetize, anaesthetize"), which would be shortly afterwards re-recorded, with fully fledged lyrics, and released as a B-side to Ludus' 1981 single "Mother's Hour".

Track listing[edit]

  1. Patient
  2. The Fool
  3. Hugo Blanco
  4. Mutilate
  5. Box
  6. Mouthpiece

Currently, Pickpocket is available on CD as a double-issue with Ludus' 1982 album Danger Came Smiling. The compilation is available from the label Les Temps Modernes.