St Patrick’s Day at Auckland’s Powerstation brings Scottish musician and former Ultravox frontman Midge Ure to town…his second of a seven-date New Zealand tour.
Originally, Ure’s tour was titled the “Something From Everything” tour, in which he would perform at least one song from each of the 14 studio albums he was associated with since 1978.
But, as he explained a couple of songs into his set, it’s not so simple. Instead, Ure and his two accompanists…Cole Stacey and Joseph O’Keefe of the India Electric Company…cherry-picked from the Ultravox and Ure solo catalogue along with a couple of Visage tunes.
So, despite it being St Patrick’s Day, there was to be nothing from Irish rockers Thin Lizzy (Ure was briefly recruited as guitarist for the band in 1979) or The Rich Kids, the post-Pistols band formed by Glen Matlock.
Judging by the reaction by the fans in attendance, this was fine by them. They were clearly there to relive the New Romantic era, one that Ure and his Ultravox bandmates thrived in.
Ure, now in his early 60s, was in fine voice as were the fans singing along to hits like Vienna and Dancing With Tears In My Eyes, and more obscure numbers such as The Damned Don’t Cry.
I have never been a big fan of early 80s synth-pop, so fortunately for me, Ure accompanied himself with an acoustic guitar while Stacey played mandolin and O’Keefe played violin, giving the whole performance an appropriately Celtic vibe. Stacey did play a bit of synth from time to time, but just enough to add a bit of colour.
So, the focus was on Ure’s songs and his between song patter.
The songs are what they are…myself, I never need to hear Vienna again, but the fans were loving the trip back to the 80s.
Ure himself is a very affable host…telling stories and joking with the crowd. At one point he threw a bit of shade at Justin Bieber…in town for a show the following day…”hey, let’s all go see him in ten years’ time”, he suggested to this fans.
It was one of those shows where you had to be a member of the club to really appreciate it…that club being fans of 1980’s British synth-pop. It’s a club I never joined.
Click on any image to view a photo gallery by Chris Zwaagdyk:
Midge Ure set list:
- I Remember (Death In The Afternoon)
- If I Was
- Star Crossed
- The Voice
- The Gift
- Live Forever
- Man Of Two Worlds
- Let Me Go
- The Damned Don’t Cry
- Reap The Wild Wind
- Fade To Grey
- Dancing With Tears In My Eyes