Monday, February 25, 2008

Treat me like a King Be

I've been to a gig by Père Ubu yesterday in Ghent. First time I saw David Thomas and his band on stage.

David Thomas has a mouth so small he has to survive in a container of dust.
He looks more and more like the original King Ubu… a pear-shaped body in a sharp suit. After the other members had started to play, he appeared in a dark brown raincoat and a black leather hat. Which raincoat added to the sense of Lynchean surrealism on stage. I don't know about the white socks though.

David Thomas knows his chair is haunted.
And he seems to like hangovers, alternating nips from a bottle of cognac or brandy with (cheep) beers… not a healthy idea to combine. He returned to his chair in the middle of the stage every once in a while while the rest were playing instrumentals. His attitude towards the band members reminded me of Tadeusz Kantor, the Polish stage director and last dada who used to appear on stage during his plays sitting in a chair as himself, acting with lots of disdain towards his actors.

David Thomas' beauty is an insult forever.
For his self-proclaimed favourite song he chose to look into the eyes of a young girl in the audience and sang "one day I'll be your man… one day I'll be the best you can get" offering his big bald head in the spotlights for everyone to admire. He said he had become a spokesperson for ex-punkrockers with a midlife crisis and a prostate problem (and indeed he went on and off the stage quite a bit), which he said seemed very well represented in the audience.

David Thomas has a voice like a ripping wound.
One of his mikes was the mouthpiece of an old telephone with voice distortion. His is still sharp and intriguing as it ever was. In France he said they got the reputiation of hoodlums after attacking and beating up the first act which wasn't very good. An act of violence he was very tempted that evening to encore, having to endure the outlets of a very drunk fan. But things remained friendly, in a David Thomas sort of way.

Oh and Robert Wheeler is a virtuoso on Theremin.

It was one of the best concerts I've seen in ages. Which was nice.
The Avant Garage Online
Ubu on Youtube
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