Oct 102012

NEWS FLASH!!! An actual Allen Ravenstine-Scott Krauss-Tony Maimone–era Pere Ubu video other than “Birdies” from Urgh! A Music War has been found on YouTube! Enjoy this performance of “On the Surface” from my favorite October day album, Dub Housing, before the fog lifts. I believe David Thomas is highly protective of the band’s appearances on YouTube.

As a special bonus, this performance is from the band’s 1988 reunion tour, featuring second drummer Chris Cutler. In my frequent searches for video evidence of the many great shows I’ve witnessed by this band beginning with this particular tour, I have had trouble finding anything involving these key members other than the excellent performance of “Birdies,” with a boyishly trimmer-than-usual Thomas looking like a plump Liev Schrieber. Usually, all I find is stuff from their appearances on David Letterman and David Sandborn‘s Night Music, a couple of years later, when they tried cleaning up their sound and core members began moving on. That stuff’s not as exhilarating, although shows I saw during those years were strong.



  10 Responses to “Rock ‘n Roll Holy Grails: Prime-Time Pere Ubu Video Found on YouTube!”

  1. BigSteve

    Pretty cool. That must be around the time of The Tenement Year or Cloudland albums. I’m pretty sure that’s the late, great Jim Jones on guitar.

  2. I’m thinking Ignatius P Reilly rather than Liev Schrieber.

  3. Yes, that’s from The Tenement Year album tour. I don’t think Cutler went beyond that tour. I dragged General Slocum along to that 1988 show at a club in Philadelphia called Revival. I cashed in bigtime turn-on points thanks to the General finally seeing what all the fuss I’d been raising was about. Awesome show. As an added bonus to the racket he created as second drummer, Cutler wore velvet bell-bottoms, a velvet tunic, and played barefoot.

  4. ladymisskirroyale

    I don’t know, Mod. The second track was better than the first. But I’ve tried to like Pere Ubu, and can admit to liking some of the music/musicianship. But the vocals – they are the deal breaker.

    Pere Ubu would be on my list of bands who have tolerable/good/great music but include annoying vocals. (Peter Murphy, I’m talking to YOU.)

  5. That’s one of the greatest clips I’ve ever seen. I’ve never actually seen that band before and only heard them ages ago in small doses. The dancer guy is amazing, as are the singer’s British Parliament Member Glasses. I know this band is legendary in that movie about the Factory Records scene, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen the real thing. Fascinating, Captain!

  6. That’s cool. People can think what they like. Their first singles, EP, and initial 3 albums are among the coolest records I own. They always delivered. Not the kind of band I can convince many people to like, but they deliver for me.

  7. ladymisskirroyale

    The dancer is Bez, world renowned for his maraca action and letting his freak flag fly.

    The movie is “24 Hour Party People,” named for a Happy Mondays track of the same name. One of my favorite movies.

  8. This makes me happy, too, Mod!

  9. That was a helluva gig that Bez guy had – eating E and arrhythmic idiot dancing. Nice work if ya can get it!

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