Pere Ubu’s singular ‘avant-garage’ vision

It’s no hot take to say punk music itself was less important than all the bands and artists that flourished in the no-rules year zero late 70s after the tide washed back out. Emerging in 1978 as a self-described “avant-garage” act, Pere Ubu are one of the true iconic post-punk acts, with a vision and a legacy that’s low on sales but high on name-drops by forward-thinking artists of all genres.

Since their 1978 debut album The Modern Dance, Pere Ubu have gone through many members – David Thomas is the only remaining one  – as well as a total disregard for rock convention. In their four decades they’ve leaned into free jazz, synth futurism, no wave noise, dub and outer limits punk, all through Thomas’s skewed world view.

New album The Long Goodbye is apparently a swansong, composed by Thomas on analogue synths and drum machines after a period of critical illness. But even if more music will eventually come along, this is definitely the last tour, so take your chance to catch one of music’s great cult visionaries.

  • Pere Ubu play the Grand Social in Dublin this Saturday, September 21