Oh my. I just discovered that PPM bête noire James ‘Midge’ Ure will be mounting an extensive North American Tour on the next few weeks that sees the erstwhile Ultravox vocalist coming dangerously close to my HQ in about a month. Long-time readers may know that I sort of have a bone to pick with Ure lately. I am of several competing minds on this issue and almost don’t know what to think about this.
Ure currently tours North America on a depressingly regular basis. I use that phrase because from 1981 to at least 2001 I would have given a lot of money to see him perform a show, but it never happened. It’s been in the last few years that he’s been really putting on the mileage with regular tours, even as the disastrous [on record, at least] Ultravox reunion from 2008-2013 happened concurrently to these tours. It’s depressing to me now because I’ve lately come to the realization that I really haven’t cared for anything he’s done since about 1984. Even worse, of late the shows in The States [including a show in Atlanta last year that it would not have been too much trouble to attend] were the dreaded solo acoustic [read: inexpensive to mount] shows. If there is anything I do not want to hear is Midge Ure performing solo acoustic versions of what were at best, once electronic rock songs, and at worst, indigestible faux-Celtic sap.
Which is why the knowledge that this tour will be a rare electric jaunt across the continent for Ure has some currency with me – against my better judgement. It’s being promoted as the “Something From Everything” tour; allegedly running the gamut from his early Post-Punk days with The Rich Kids, through Visage and Ultravox, and finally to his solo material. In as much as I can’t really find value in his solo career, I still listen to the earlier material. A lot of it was quite good. Added to this potential softening of my stance was the realization last year that I may have been too uncharitable towards the guy. I was discussing Ure with a reader and I actually began to feel sorry for the guy and the hard line stance I took towards him.
When he released his last solo album, I sampled the video he released for “Become” and it completely didn’t work for me! To the point that it didn’t rate a mention at all on this blog because I didn’t want to feel like I was beating up on the poor guy. Sure, I’ve been harsh on Ure, but tough love is the best kind. Now with the tour coming to nearby Atlanta in about a month, I’m tempted to finally make the Midge Ure connection, late in the game, that I have been discounting for at least five years. But just barely.
Because as much as the notion of unfinished business, reconciliation, and good fellowship resonates with me, so does the memory of the particularly painful first Simple Minds concert I attended 30 years ago. Another favorite band with quality issues [to put it mildly] were Simple Minds, who have managed to deliver at least five good studio albums that I quite enjoyed to varying degrees in the last 30 years. Ure? None at all. Also, the realization that at least half [probably more] of the concert will consist of music I really don’t want to hear performed in any style will predominate to the point of it being an activity best avoided. Particularly when it entails traveling four hours and an overnight stay. I’ve been traveling a lot in recent months and I don’t think I can quite muster the impetus to venture out to Atlanta unless there was more then the notion of Ure performing to spur me onward, but for those of you so inclined, here are the extensive tour dates. Two legs worth!
Midge Ure | North American Tour | 2016 Leg
- Sep 30 | Revolution Bar & Music Hall | Amityville, NY
- Oct 01 | Daryl’s House | Pawling, NY
- Oct 02 | Gramercy Theatre | New York, NY
- Oct 04 | Blues and Jazz | Bethesda, MD
- Oct 05 | World Cafe | Philadelphia, PA
- Oct 06 | Iron Horse Music Hall | Northampton, MA
- Oct 07 | Montage Music Hall | Rochester, NY
- Oct 08 | Opera House | Toronto, Canada
- Oct 09 | Magic Bag | Ferndale, MI
- Oct 11 | Music Box | Cleveland, OH
- Oct 12 | Martyr’s | Chicago, IL
- Oct 13 | Shank Hxll | Milwaukee, WI
- Oct 14 | The New Vintage | Louisville, KY
- Oct 15 | The Earl | Atlanta, GA
Midge Ure | North American Tour | 2017 Leg
- Jan 05 | Rickshaw | Vancouver, BC
- Jan 06 | Triple Door | Seattle, WA
- Jan 07 | Doug Fir | Portland, OR
- Jan 09 | Harlow’s | Sacramento, CA
- Jan 10 | Mystic Theatre | Petaluma, CA
- Jan 11 | Social Hall | San Francisco, CA
- Jan 12 | Coach House | Orange County, CA
- Jan 13 | Roxy | Los Angeles, CA
- Jan 14 | Casbah | San Diego, CA
- Jan 16 | Grand @ The Complex | Salt Lake City
- Jan 18 | Soiled Dove | Denver, CO
- Jan 20 | 3Ten | Austin, TX
- Jan 21 | Dan’s Sliver Leaf | Denton, TX [Dallas]
- Jan 23 | City Winery | Nashville, TN
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