Thomas Leer

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Thomas Leer
Birth name Thomas Wishart
Born 1953
Port Glasgow, Scotland
Genres Synthpop, new wave
Instruments Vocals, keyboards
Years active 1978–present
Associated acts Pressure, Act

Thomas Leer (born Thomas Wishart, 1953, Port Glasgow, Scotland) is a Scottish musician who as well as releasing a number of albums and singles in his own right, was also one half (the other being Claudia Brücken) of the 1980s electropop band Act. His single "Private Plane", which he recorded in his home, is considered a seminal example of DIY indie techno.


Born in Port Glasgow, Scotland, Leer played in several local experimental pop groups in the early to mid-1970s, moving to London when the punk rock scene was at its height.[1] He formed the punk band Pressure, but by 1978 had moved on to music influenced by synthpop and Krautrock bands such as Can.[1] He self-financed his debut single, "Private Plane" that year, and in 1979 released the album The Bridge in collaboration with Robert Rental. In 1981, he signed to Cherry Red, his first release for the label being the 4 Movements EP. After two further releases on the label, he was signed by Arista Records, releasing three further singles and his debut full-length solo album, The Scale of Ten in late 1985.[1]

Two years later, he formed the duo Act along with ex-Propaganda singer Claudia Brücken, signing to ZTT Records.[1] The duo released four singles (including the minor UK hit "Snobbery and Decay") and an album, "Laughter, Tears and Rage", before splitting up, with Brücken pursuing a solo career.[1] Leer retired at this point, but returned in 2003 with a new album, and continues to be musically active.



  • "Private Plane" (1978) Oblique
  • 4 Movements EP (1981) Cherry Red (UK Indie No. 39)[2]
  • "All About You" (1982) Cherry Red (UK Indie No. 11)[2]
  • "International" (1984) Arista
  • "Heartbeat" (1985) Arista
  • "No 1" (1985) Arista


  • The Bridge (1979) Industrial (with Robert Rental) (UK Indie No. 9),[2] reissued (1992) Grey Area
  • Contradictions double 12-inch mini-LP (1982) Cherry Red (UK Indie No. 8)[2]
  • Letter From America double 12-inch LP (1982) Cherry Red/Cachalot
  • The Scale Of Ten (1985) Arista, reissued in expanded form (2004) BMG
  • Conversation Peace (2003) Avatar
  • Parts of a Greater Hole (2004) Karvavena
  • From Sci-Fi to Barfly (2007) Future Historic
  • Contradictions - The Cherry Red Collection (1994) Cherry Red


  1. ^ a b c d e Strong. Martin C. (2003) "Thomas Leer", in The Great Indie Discography, Canongate, ISBN 1-84195-335-0
  2. ^ a b c d Lazell, Barry (1997) Indie Hits 1980-1989, Cherry Red Books, ISBN 0-9517206-9-4

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