Pere Ubu Eric's Liverpool 22 April 2012
Eric’s , 9 Mathew Street, Liverpool L2 6RE
Monday 22nd April 2013/ Tickets £17.50/Box Office 0151-236 9994/ Ticketmaster
Pere Ubu have often been described as the most original and important of the new wave bands. The experimental rock group formed in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1975. Despite many long-term band members, singer David Thomas is the only constant.
David Thomas is a writer, singer, songwriter, actor, producer and director within the self-proclaimed genre of the Avant-Garage. Founder of two legendary bands, Rocket From The Tombs and Pere Ubu, and a multitude of musical collaborations, including David Thomas and two pale boys, he is credited with rewriting the rules of both popular and experimental music since 1975. He’s what they call a musician’s musician, James Chance meets Mark E Smith. A true maverick.
His career began as a writer and columnist for weekly magazine The Scene, in Cleveland, in the early 70s. After years of critiquing, he made the decision to stop writing about art and start creating it. "If I'm so smart, I should do this myself."
The iconic group is named after a character from a play by French writer Alfred Jarry. “Jarry staged Ubu Roi in Paris in 1896" explains David "The principal character is a fellow named Père Ubu. You need three things in a band name: It shouldn't mean anything but it should seem to mean something, i.e. bestow Mystery; It needs to look good and sound good; and three it should have three syllables. Also the Ubu character was monstrous.”“Pere Ubu is a rock band” says David “ I guess if you're thinking whether there are "art influences" as in coming from other forms like writing or sculpture or theatre, etc. There aren't any. We are a rock band at the end of the day. Pere Ubu arrived on the scene at a pivotal point in the early 70s as concrete sound and analog synthesizer-generated abstract sound were being integrated into rock music, given a specific narrative role, and Pere Ubu had a hand in that process. Rock music is the cultural voice of the American folk experience, along with jazz and blues, and whether or not that is art is irrelevant. It speaks with the voices in your blood. In that context, who cares about art?”What do you think about today's rock scene? “I think today's rock scene is afraid”
Their debut single, 30 Seconds Over Tokyo was released in 1975 and was the first of four independent releases on Hearpen Records and, along with Television's Little Johnny Jewel, it signaled the beginning of the New Wave. In the early to mid-70s the musicians who were to form Pere Ubu were part of a fertile rock scene that also produced 15-60-75, Mirrors, The Electric Eels, Rocket From The Tombs, Tin Huey, Styrene Money and Devo.
The group's first album, The Modern Dance was a startling work that influenced an entire generation of bands. Its follow-up, Dub Housing, was the masterpiece, "an incomparable work of American genius." Pere Ubu toured Europe extensively in 1978, supported by the likes of The Pop Group, Nico, Human League, The Soft Boys and Red Crayola.
The new Pere Ubu album, Lady From Shanghai, is scheduled for release in January 2013, the thirty-fifth anniversary of the group's The Modern Dance debut