Pere Ubu never do things by halves. Not content with inventing modern rock music in 1975, they set themselves the task of stylistically reinventing themselves with each subsequent album release. Next to Ubu, over the years, David ‘Chameleon of Rock’ Bowie has looked as staid as Status Quo.
“Long Live Pere Ubu!”, released 14th September, is inspired by the proto-Absurdist stage play that gave the band its name – Alfred Jarry’s “Ubu Roi” (King Ubu). Its premiere in Paris in 1896 provoked riots in the theatre and a national scandal. A vicious and satiric re-telling of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” Jarry’s work lambastes do-gooder monsters and the survival of the Unfit.
Tired of being asked to define their music, Pere Ubu coined the term Avant Garage to reflect interest in both experimental avant-garde music (especially Musique concrete) and raw, direct blues influenced garage rock. Thomas has stated “Avant Garage” is “a joke invented to have something to give journalists when they yelp for a neat sound bite or pigeonhole.”