Lessons Learned From Midge Ure

While I consider myself an expert of ‘80s music, I can admit I learn something new just about every week. ‘80s New Wave and post punk are equivalent to this generations indie scene except with great deal of more originality and without the perks of social media or the world wide web. Back in the day we discovered new music through fledgling MTV before it went to hell, the neighborhood kid who somehow knew of all these obscure bands and any random clerk at the Record Bar or any music store in your town who would turn you on to something completely different. I remember back in the day wandering back into the import section just to look at the album covers and wonder what that particular band or artist sounded like.

As someone who can boast owning hours and hours of ‘80s music I discover something new all the time and with much joy. Friday I got to see Midge Ure in concert. Ure has an esteemed recording history and is probably most known for his time with Ultravox. While I knew the name, I was not familiar with the music until a few years ago (a dozen or so). The song “Vienna” is on almost every ‘80s compilation CD I had. To be honest with you, I wasn’t really a big fan of that song. Over the years thanks to compilation videos on YouTube I discovered more of their songs that were more to my liking. But the song all my ‘80s music snobs refer to when you speak of Ultravox is “Vienna”.

©Dave Weinthal

Upon seeing him in concert I learned a lot of Ure and his music. I for one, who loves the band Visage and their signature song, “Fade To Grey”. I actually have their “comeback album Hearts and Knives from 2013 before Steve Strange died two years later. Little did I know Ure was with the band, he also has writing credit for “Fade To Grey”.

Ure’s show was much more than a concert to me, it was a history lesson of my favorite era of music. His ten song set featured a majority of Ultravox songs like “Reap The Wild Wind”, “All Stood Still” and finishing the night with “Dancing With Tears in My Eyes”. Included n the set was a true to the original, cover of David Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold he World”. Ure was dead one with his interpretation and it wasn’t until after the show I found out he recorded the song back in 1982 that was on the soundtrack of the 1983 British comedy, Party Party.

My biggest lesson on Ure came midway through Howard Jones’ set, who was the headliner this particular evening. Jones sat down at his piano and started to discuss the ‘80s Christmas standard, “Do They Know It’s Christmas” by Band Aid which featured a good amount of popular ‘80s English musicians such as Sting, Simon LeBon, Bono, Jones, Boy George and many others. I’m embarrassed o admit that I did not know that the song was actually written by Midge Ure. Jones called him on stage and the two performed the song together. During the duo’s rendition you could hear a pin drop it was so pristine.

I learned a lot that night at Buckhead Theatre, the main lesson being how impressive Ure is as a singer and songwriter and how humbled I was to be able to witness hi.m live in concert.

[To view Midge Ure photo gallery click here.]

Midge Ure Setlist:
Dear God
I Remember (Death in the Afternoon)
(Ultravox song)
Reap the Wild Wind
(Ultravox song)
Fade to Grey
(Visage song)
The Man Who Sold the World
(David Bowie cover)
(Ultravox song)
The Voice
(Ultravox song)
All Stood Still
(Ultravox song)
(Ultravox song)
Dancing With Tears in My Eyes
(Ultravox song)