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photos by Ryan Muir
"We can't read most of the notes we scribbled during Pere Ubu's rendering of Alfred Jarry's 1896 Absurdist masterpiece "Ubu Roi" at (le) Poisson Rouge. But that turned out to be entirely within the spirit of the vintage experimental rockers' shambolically brilliant U.S. debut of the spectacle retitled "Long Live Pere Ubu!" As an onscreen title suggested during intermission, "The more you drink, the more sense it makes." Apart from a schematic story about Pere Ubu's conquest of Poland, lost war with Russia, and ignoble return to France, the six-act work's sense was far less important than bandleader David Thomas's daft yet deft sensibility.Pere Ubu performed Long Live Pére Ubu at Le Poisson Rouge on Sunday night (3/28). David Thomas was backed by a full band and animations by the Brothers Quay during the approximately 90 minute show (split in half by a 20 minute intermission).
"Basically, it's just a fucked-up Macbeth," said Thomas by way of introduction - adding that the Little Rascals' notion of "Hey, let's put on a show" was his main inspiration...." [Village Voice]
"Thomas, the remaining original member of the seminal Akron, Ohio, group, proceeded to polish off a bottle of wine and a flask of something stronger during the next two hours, while sweating like a pig in a pervy raincoat. Pere Ubu's frontman has declared the show's accompanying recording "the only punk record that's been made in the last 30 years," and he's got a point. The show's chaotic march of writhing, stuttering, mincing, hectoring, slurring, farting, bunny-hopping belching, and tantrum throwing, led by a besotted 55-year-old working out his midlife crisis in public, makes younger punks seem like quaint nostalgia acts in comparison..." [Village Voice]More pictures from the show, below...