Midge Ure Rocks 1980 40 Years Later

I was wondering what Midge Ure playing the “Visage” album would sound like – now we’ll know!

How timely can we get? Just last week when we dug into the DLX RM of Midge Ure’s first solo album, “The Gift,” there was a comment I made about wanting to hear him play more than “Fade To Grey” and “The Dancer” live from the Visage songbook. Just days later, Ure has announced his tour for 2019/2020 which sees him revisiting his 1980 output with a full airing for the seminal “Vienna” album as well as highlights from the equally seminal “Visage” album. This far, the world has heard “Fade To Grey” and “The Dancer” sounding very well, but I am exceedingly interested in hearing him take on tracks like “Visage” and “Malpaso Man.” Sure, sure, anyone reading this would sign up to hear the full “Vienna” album, but it’s the nooks and crannies of “Visage” that I’ll admit that I’m most excited in hearing.

Now, do I for a minute think that this tour will play anywhere except for his strongholds of the UK and Germany? Not really, and for that reason I’m interested in the notion of Ure capturing this show on a CD. Because I can’t just fly over there and make it happen. His 2016/2017 tour of The States had a show where 4/9 tracks from “Vienna” got played, and for that I’m grateful. But yeah, I really want to hear that Visage material live in Ure’s hands! That’s why even though I am snowed in at home [I’m still working though] I have made the effort to get this timely news out there anyway.

MIDGE URE | The 1980 Tour – UK | 2019

Oct. 6th | Norwich | Theatre Royal
Oct. 7th | Birmingham | Town Hall
Oct. 8th | Leicester | De Montford Hall
Oct. 10th | Cambridge | Corn Exchange
Oct. 11th | Cardiff | Tramshed
Oct. 12th | Aylesbury | Waterside Theatre
Oct. 13th | Glasgow | Barrowlands
Oct. 15th | Guildford | G-Live
Oct. 16th | Leamington | Assembly
Oct. 18th | London | Palladium
Oct. 19th | Southend | Cliffs Pavilion
Oct. 20th | Ipswich | Corn Exchange
Oct. 21st | York | Grand Opera House
Oct. 22nd | Gateshead | Sage
Oct. 25th | Manchester | Albert Hall
Oct. 26th | Liverpool | Philharmonic Hall

The Midge Ure website says that German dates will be forthcoming any day now, with other territories to follow. Like I said, I don’t expect to see any US dates but I’m ready to be pleasantly surprised should they happen. Any tour might come as close as Charlotte or Raleigh. We’ll see. With Ultravox a non-starter, we’ll have to be thankful for the reunion shows a decade ago. We got a live album/DVD/EP out of it. I don;t need a DVD of this but I’d be very content with a CD of such a show. It’s hard to believe that “Vienna” is coming up to the 40 year mark, but almost everything I cherish musically is that old. Where did the time go? UK and Euro fans be sure to catch this and to share your thoughts.

– 30 –

About postpunkmonk

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22 Responses to Midge Ure Rocks 1980 40 Years Later

  1. negative1ne says:

    Wow. great timing…
    ‘if i was’.. a richer man, i would go to see him on tour (ha ha)…

    anyways, yeah, wishful thinking if it makes it to the US.
    but i will take a recording of it.and most likely videos on ewwwtube.
    i’m not familiar with the visage stuff besides a few tracks, might
    look into them more.



  2. Andy B says:

    I will be getting tickets for this although I do have mixed feelings. Without the rest of Ultravox on board I can’t imagine the Ultravox tracks sounding top notch. I doubt he will have a violin/viola and keyboard player with Billy’s skills as part of the band, so straight away some of the tracks are going to be missing something. It will be interesting to hear what he does with the Visage tracks though. It’s a shame that some of the original Visage line up couldn’t have done some live stuff together while Steve was still alive.

    Negative1ne, if you like Ultravox you will surely like Visage. The first two albums are excellent. Great songs and great musicianship. A nice mix of traditional instruments and electronics.


    • zoo says:

      I was thinking the same thing about how it will sound with the other Ultravox members…but my first thought was who will sing “Mr. X”?

      Anyway, this is pretty cool of Ure. Wonder what his band line up will be? Not the actual people, but the instruments covered by them.


  3. JT says:

    I sure hope he gets a better band than the one had in the U.S. a few years ago. There was nothing wrong with the guys he hired, but there sure wasn’t nearly enough right with them. They played the music without mistakes, but I also never believed for half a second that they were invested in it or were really feeling it.

    Re: Visage members… why not dig up Dave Formula? Or for that matter it’d be sweet sweet irony to have Robin Simon in this band: he was the Ultravox guitarist from before Midge’s tenure in that band, and the Visage guitarist after Midge’s tenure in that band! For a band featuring those two, I’d fly to the UK!


    • postpunkmonk says:

      JT – Your comments are no longer getting spaminated. Don’t ask why – just revel in it! Robin Simon and Midge Ure together? How you’re making my hair smoke! Dave Formula is really getting up there in age but he’d be a great keyboardist. But any band performing “Vienna” would need viola. Who would step up? No one I know of fits the bill. Probably an unknown. Ure’s playing some largeish venues and tickets are being sold almost a year in advance. Hopefully he’ll gave the time and money to put together a crack team. Hopefully not those acoustic dudes he plays with in the UK, either.


      • JT says:

        Billy wrote cool and unique parts for synth and viola. No argument there. But any reasonably good player could reproduce Billy’s parts without much problem; the parts were unique in their day and are definitely iconic, but are not super-hard to play. The genius was in the creation. An analogy: many people could re-paint a Miro canvas convincingly, but that doesn’t mean they’d have his genius for invention.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Jordan says:

    I was fortunate and much younger when I saw Ultravox in 1980 when they played much of Vienna. That fading memory cannot be duplicated. As Monk mentioned, who can ever replace Billy and his ARP, no one. This is one tour I hope is released on CD and perhaps it will make it to the USA/Canada though doubtful. I am less interested in hearing Visage songs though you could throw in The Damned Don’t Cry and The Anvil and I would have no issue. For me, Visage was of a time and place more so than Ultravox.

    I saw Midge on his last acoustic tour, the video footage I saw of his electric band was not inspiring.

    To the point that someone earlier made about how important is the lead singer to the rest of the band, in this case, Ultravox. I would respond, very. Just refer to the Billy version of Ultravox.


  5. Andy B says:

    Midge and a backing band performed a version of Vienna on UK tv back in 2001. It was a nostalgia show celebrating the music of 1981. Everyone had to perform live. The likes of Soft Cell appeared too. Midge just replaced the viola solo with a guitar solo. He may do that again. I would be surprised if he brings a violin/viola player on tour. He tends to keep the size of his backing bands to a minimum.


  6. I like how all of you are ignoring the possibility of an ACOUSTIC SOLO take on those songs. GAAAAH! I shudder to even think of such a thing!


    • postpunkmonk says:

      chasinvictoria – Visage performed acoustically?! What are ye’ smoking, laddie?


      • Vlad says:

        Actually I recall seeing an audience video recording of Steve performing “Pleasure Boys” accompanied by a band with not one synthesizer in sight! Instead there were brass, rhythm section and some guitars. I got ready to cringe and hide under the table – but unexpectedly it wasn’t that bad and Steve managed to keep at pace with music. It was, if I’m not mistaken, some event where, let’s say, traditionally arranged 1980s tunes were performed. Have to look around for that again. So the notion isn’t as far out as may be thought of :)


    • Tim says:

      or all Celtic…..


  7. Andy B says:

    Chasinvictoria – I’ve read that Midge is back by the Electronica band. Whoever the hell they are!


    • postpunkmonk says:

      Andy B – This is Midge Ure’s Band Electronica. His go-to band for full on rock in the UK:
      Drums, Loops – Russell Field
      Keyboards, Bass Guitar – Cole Stacey
      Piano, Keyboards, Violin – Joseph O’Keefe

      As heard here. So it looks like he will have a keys/viola player. Hmmmm. Holy Toledo! It looks like there’s a full album just out here. I’d like to hear that one – great set list including “Yellow Pearl!” And it’s on sale in the Midge Ure store. Memo to self.


  8. Andy B says:

    Hi Monk. Thanks for the info re Band Electronica. Plenty of keyboards and a violin! Great! Got my tickets for the Liverpool Phil. I will look forward to this with a fair amount of anticipation.


  9. Ade.W says:

    Hi Monk, Every one should relax, We were at the Guildford show the other night and Midge and his new band are on top form. Rusty Egan was the warm up, told a few stories played a few samples of the skids , omd, Spandau and Bowie etc, good fun . Then he played synth drums on first half of the show. Hope this isn’t a spoiler but the show opens with yellow pearl and is not the only surprise of the night !! the encore includes Passionate reply. Midge plays some blistering guitar in this show just like a real guitar hero and don’t worry about the violin/viola parts , its all there and its all great.

    Liked by 1 person

    • postpunkmonk says:

      Ade.W – Welcome to the comments! Good news for modern man. I’ve heard similar tales directly from Jordan and your eyewitness account is even better than a setlist. It’s only a spoiler if I were flying to the UK to see it [uh, no]. Any fans of “Vienna” or “Visage” should make the effort if at all possible. Jordan has said he’s heard rumblings about bringing the show to North America. We shall see (Monk steeples fingers).


  10. Pingback: Midge Ure Finishing The 1980 Tour With Worldwide Streaming Finale | Post-Punk Monk

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