Midge 'Ure Brilliance Still Shines!

Midge Ure

Theatre Severn

7/May/2015

It was a full house from a large strata of society that waited patiently for the former golden boy of New Romance, Midge Ure. Patiently they waited. Then without fanfare or ceremony onto the stage walked two lads. People murmured and muttered about warm up groups etc. etc. then they started to play.

Wow! This was the first impression one felt as the India Electric Company fired up. Fusing traditional instruments and style with swing and electro swing this was a real seminal probe into folk fusion.

 Combine the velvet vocal of Col Stacey and the dextrous finger work on the Piano Accordion of Joseph O’Keefe and you really do have a great sound with all the integrity and gravitas this music deserves. It was a fantastic first set if not a little short.

However that was not the end of the two boys as it turned out they were the band for Midge Ure also. As we mentioned integrity it would be no better place to move onto the main course.

Midge Ure flanked by the two boys gently sang his way through the evening ; not a silly haircut, huge collared shirt or pencil moustache in sight. Bringing his music into the acoustic domain as he did, further highlighted Ure’s unique talent for writing songs that seem to matter.

One felt that one was witnessing an important moment in music. This wasn’t pop this was music that spoke to us all. Midge having crossed the bridge from Pop Idol to a fifty something,  looked brutally unscathed and that alone is a miracle.

Looking fit , well and singing just as beautifully as ever, Ure took the audience on an informal, almost personal journey into his mind, his thinking and his music. And it was a great voyage. With a range any singer would kill for Midge’s top C passed muster as did his falsetto. It looked at times. comically painful as he worked his face through the contortions that singers do, but the result was a cool, mellow, grown up and relevant musical performance.

The conclusion one comes to, given the nature of his Celtic rooted backing band;  Midge had come home to his own Caledonian/Celtic roots.  It was a full hour and ten minutes before there was even the whiff of a synthesizer, which in truth was the very backbone of the New Romantic Movement. It was about more than that. The songs seemed to belong to the whole line of traditional music that has come out of Scotland over the centuries. The transformation worked beautifully.

Integrity intact the singer held his audience spellbound for a full hour and twenty minutes, the boys out of the India Electric Company seemed like they had been born to play for him. If you ever want to feel a shiver down your spine listen to the haunting fiddle sounds of Joseph O’Keefe as he fills the bridge of the all-time classic, Vienna.

This was a night of notable musical skill, watching musicians working with music they believe in is always a humbling experience and tonight’s performance could easily be called a masterclass.

Thirty years is a long time to stay relevant and interesting. Midge Ure has made that bit look easy. One can only presume he will continue to do so for a long time to come.

This is a five star review

(For the benefit of India Electric Company, that incidentally is out of five!)

Owen Lewis

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Owen Lewis Owen Lewis

Owen Lewis was born fifty something years ago in the land of the black puddings. For the geographically challenged that is in Lancashire. Moving to Shropshire From 1970 Owen was brought up in Church Stretton. His first real job was in radio. After starting on BBC Radio Shropshire he became known on Marcher Sound, broadcasting throughout the North West for several years. After a university degree course in Theatre, Owen became an actor and went on to play "Pirate Bill" in The Alton Towers Hotel. He also made several television appearances. Returning to university he took his PGCE enabling him to teach. That saw him on the Essex coast as a drama teacher and latterly as a Creative Educational Liaison Officer making films and creating new teaching methods to employ on children in need of more help in their fundamental learning skills. Published playwright Owen ultimately wants a house boat in Amsterdam to focus on his work as Playwright and Poet.

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