Artist Spotlight: Midge Ure

As we wind down on this year, and prepare to usher in, yet another, I find myself looking back on the most memorable shows, I've attended, in 2017.

This year, I've seen such a diverse array of acts including: U2 (twice; with the latter show, standing dead center stage, with 76,000 Bono fanatics, behind me, crushing this 5'2'' frame into the metal barriers). Country singer, Dwight Yoakam put on a pretty great show at the John T. Floore Country Store in Helotes, Texas; albeit starting a bit late, as I hear is typical. Cy Curnin and the Fixx, also, looked and sounded amazing with each strand of hair still in place and each note on key; however, once again, reminding me, standing room only at a sold out show is not the best option for someone so vertically challenged.

With all that said, as I continue to reminiscence, on the acts of this year, that made the biggest impression on me, the act that owned up to everything I want to see in a live performance: great sound, vocals and band in check, stage charisma on point, with a congenial off-stage persona to boot, would have to be Midge Ure at the 3TEN Austin City Limits Live venue.

I admit, going into the show, I didn't know much about Midge Ure, outside of his work on the 1980's acts: Ultravox, Visage and their 'Ohhhhh...' so crowd-worthy anthems. 

James Ure, (the name 'Midge' deriving from the name "Jim" being pronounced backwards) is quite the versatile artist having been credited as co-writer for Thin Lizzy's "Get Out of Here" off of their Black Rose album. In 1979, Midge toured with Thin Lizzy, replacing guitarist Gary Moore after his sudden departure.

The musical rhythm you mentally hear at the mere mention of Band-Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas" (1984), was composed by Midge Ure on a toy keyboard, along with most of the lyrics by Bob Geldof for the Ethiopian famine relief. (Very lovely interview with Midge about the track and it's recent re-recording:

On that brisk January night in Austin,Texas, Midge gave the 3Ten a solid 1 hour 30 min to 2 hours of his time, conversing with the crowd, while tirelessly performing one song after another, as though he was here for us. After the show had ended, as I stood outside, observing the crowd, I noticed one familiar face: actor Jackie Earle Haley (Bad News Bears, Little Children and my personal favorite, Tim Burton’s remake of Dark Shadows), being greeted by a few with a keen eye. About 30-45 minutes after the show had ended, Midge was kind enough to greet any and everyone standing outside, waiting to get their vinyl or ticket stub (to those less prepared, such as myself) autographed or a photo or two taken with him. He willingly obliged to each request without hesitation or sigh. That is what I call 'true showmanship'.

Midge Ure, also, gave a stunningly in-depth interview, conducted by Dj Charlie of the Wave, which was one of the first interviews to be featured on ModSnap Radio. 

For those craving more on Midge, his autobiography, "If I Was...", can be found on Amazon here: 

(L to R: Me, DJ Charlie of The Wave and Midge Ure at the 'cozy' 3TEN Austin City Limits Live in Austin, Texas)

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