Gig Review: Midge Ure

What do Thin Lizzy, Band Aid and Ultravox have in common?

The answer: Midge Ure.

That’s right. The musician, singer-songwriter and producer has been involved with all of the above bands (as well as a few others over the years), and last month he stopped off in Belfast as part of his The 1980 Tour.

Prior to this tour, Midge Ure said: “The work we did … on the Vienna album was an exhilarating rush of creativity the likes of which I had never experienced before. I want to celebrate this period.”

So, these gigs are particularly special in that they mark the first time in 40 years that the Vienna album has been performed in its entirety, but the singer also made sure to include a selection of songs from his time in the band Visage too. 

It’s not really surprising then, since he’s known for being involved with the New Wave and Synth-Pop movement, that the concert was a fitting throwback to the 70s and 80s as Midge delivered hit after hit from his vast catalogue of music.

He started his setlist with the classic ‘Yellow Pearl’, which was originally recorded for Phil Lynott (of Thin Lizzy fame) and his album back in the 80s, and while the song might not mean much to some, a remixed version was chosen as the theme tune to Top of the Pops in the early part of the same decade.

Midge Ure then paid tribute to the Visage era with tracks including ‘Visage’, ‘The Dancer’ and ‘Mind of a Toy’, before he thanked the crowd for coming along to his show. Although he also admitted that some of the men in the audience looked like they had been dragged to his concert by their wife, and, as a result, that segment only ever know two of his songs… 

Moments later, the unmistakable opening notes of ‘Fade to Grey’ filled the hall and people were immediately on their feet and singing along.

After this, it was time for the Vienna album to take centre stage with ‘Astradyne’, ‘Private Lives’, ‘Mr. X’, and ‘Vienna’ (“the second song everyone knows” he later joked) all being performed.

For the encore, Midge returned with a few more Ultravox classics – Passionate Reply, Dancing With Tears In My Eyes, The Voice and Hymn – which went down a storm with the audience. 

I’ll admit that before the concert, I didn’t know a lot about the singer, but he is truly, a very talented musician. Every single track was flawless; from Midge’s singing to the use of the synthesizer and his guitar skills (this alone was worth the ticket price), not to mention the talented musicians he had on stage with him. All in all, it was a great throwback to a time of great music.

Midge Ure performed at Belfast’s Ulster Hall on Monday 28 October as part of his ‘The 1980 Tour’. His support act for the concert was Tiny Magnetic Pets.

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