The one previous post on Thomas Leer dates from June 2010. It also looked at Robert Rental, with the basis being that they were two pioneers of electronica music who just happened to have been raised in the same blue-collar former shipbuilding town of Port Glasgow.

One of Thomas Leer’s earliest singles was included in the Big Gold Dream box set. Here’s the blurb from the booklet:-

“Born in Port Glasgow, Thomas Leer played in short-lived local bands before decamping to London and forming Pressure, then self-releasing his solo single Private Plane.  Having hooked up with fellow emigre Robert Rental for The Bridge album, Leer moved to Cherry Red for 4 Movements.  Lead track Don’t boasted a mix of electronic drum beats, disco bass and nouveau torch singing which mined the playful fourth world funk of mid-era Can.

mp3: Thomas Leer – Don’t

4 Movements was released as a 12″ EP in July 1981.  Don’t is a bit of a hidden gem…..there’s a touch of Soul Mining-era The The in the music.



  1. Love Thomas Leer! An unjustly overlooked star of the early 80s Scottish new wave. 4 Movements and the first album Contradictions are superb – as you say, very soul-jazz influenced. Totally impossible to find any of his stuff 2nd hand. Thank god for Spotify (cough!) His later albums are all good too, even the drum’n’bass stuff.

  2. What Fraser said. My introduction to Thomas Leer was via Act, his collaboration with Claudia Brücken in the late 80s, and from there I went back to his solo stuff. I was fortunate enough to pick up Cherry Red’s expanded CD edition of Contradictions in the mid-1990s for a couple of quid secondhand, which includes the 4 Movements EP.

    His more recent work is well worth a listen, although I haven’t kept up with all of his albums. He did a great cover of The The’s WeatherBelle a few years ago and a fine remix of Archbishop Beardmouth At The ChemOlympics by Telefís, both highly recommended.

    I’ve got an ICA nearly finished and ready to send, but I’m now thinking of having a try with Thomas Leer next. I may be some time…!

  3. Not someone I know a great deal about – so thanks for your post and those of Fraser and Khayem.

    Oddly, only last night I was looking at the flexi disc he (Who’s Fooling Who) shared with Cocteau Twins (Speak No Evil), in 1983. In the end I decided against – flexi discs were always a bugger to store safely. Will flexi discs be the next big thing? I doubt it, but… maybe?

  4. (Slight digression)
    23rd February 1979: my 2nd ever concert. Fortunately I heard the announcement on Radio Nottingham at around 5:30pm about a last minute change of venue from the University to a smaller venue – the Sandpiper in the Lace Market. The gig was part of the Rough Trade tour, with headliners Stiff Little Fingers supported by Essential Logic and Robert Rental & The Normal.

    My recollections about Robert Rental are minimal and vague: some technical problems or something? Was he right at the front of the stage low down with a keyboard/computer? I just did not connect (my youthful oversight) with RR. I was only there for SLF, but Essential Logic with ‘Aerosol Burns’ is a clear memory. I went on my own (wearing my Pere Ubu badge from Better Badges) so it was a bit of an adventure. This was a classic, packed sweaty slightly rowdy gig which was outside my then comfort zone. I clocked John Peel: we left at the same time and I recall him walking briskly towards the station with a suitably dour demeanour. The gig is shown on the John Peel Wiki – but still showing the venue as Nottingham University.

    The postscript to this vignette is that I only discovered last year that Mrs Jive Lad was also at this gig. We have been married over 30 years.

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