Lady from Shanghai – Pere Ubu

It is amazing to think that this is their 14th studio album. I am so glad this band are still around, and making interesting albums too. I saw them for the first time a couple of weeks back and they were fantastic live. However, I was distracted during the gig as I thought Dave Thomas was going to fall over, he looked drunk, but you know with Mr. Thomas it is probably an act and all part of the experience. It really got in the way of my enjoyment, I should have been a health and safety officer. I love the track Feuksley Ma’am, the Hearing, even though there are no real discernible lyrics.
Standout track; The aptly named, Musicians are Scum.
Hidden Gem; And Then Nothing Happened.
Micro review; Dave Thomas’ voice is the best and most subtle instrument on this album.
An aside; I spent an evening at a Madonna gig in the early 90s wanting to shout out; be careful love, you are going to have someone’s eye out with that whip. Maybe I was a health and safety officer in a former life.

The Shape of Things – Pere Ubu

Talk about low-fi, this was recorded on a cassette recorder. Although the crowd noises are sometimes louder than the band it is still amazing.
I really wish I could claim that these chaps influenced my young post-punk life, but I am just not that cool. Although by the sounds of everybody talking throughout the recording some of the punters seem to be there by accident, rather than design. If I were to be honest about the biggest cultural influences of the late 70s it would be more accurate to say they were Oliver Postgate and Peter Cushing.
This was recorded in 1976 and makes Pere Ubu sound well ahead of the game in terms of what was going on in CBGBs. Great versions of Heart of Darkness and 30 Seconds Over Tokyo. The version of Final Solution is as garage as it gets. The most interesting track on the record for me is Cloud 149, it sounds amazingly fresh and relevent and reminds me of The Fall.
Micro review: Punk/New wave/post-punk year zero? It can’t be all three, but it sounds like it.