Goodnight Vienna.....and other great songs.

Well may I be about the last possible person to offer you a Happy New Year. Is it really  that long since we have spoken? My last review was for the hilarious, record breaking pantomime and then it was time to rest my aching brain. That took a day or so and then it was party time. All done and here I am back with you.

I wonder if being the last person to offer such wishes makes me a record breaker. I don’t know, but last Thursday I could have asked the team of the Record Breakers Science show that arrived in the Theatre Severn.

I did try to ask but I was lost above the roar of children who were actually learning and having fun? How do this work? My recollection of science at the Priory Boys Grammar School in the mid Seventies was dusty text books, smelly labs and things I didn’t understand. It was a delight to see the children learning stuff and enjoying it. After such a long time with one show the Theatre was back up and running. With the loudest, noisiest show I have ever seen and the kids loved it.

Last night to prove the Theatre was really back, a full house of forty/fifty somethings amassed to hear the amazing voice of Ultravox front man, Midge Ure. What a show it was; more of the man Midge in a minute; but first I want to tell you about Rob Gough. Rob was support to the main act and played with a style so strong it shouldn’t be too long before he has his own show and maybe someone will support him.

Rob was a simple act with just guitar and his self penned songs. His voice was astonishing his guitar skills were unsurpassed but….and there is always a but ,his material lacked the clout that he could offer. His self penned songs whilst sounding pleasant and highly listenable, actually said very little, he might have got away with that had he leaked out just a teeny amount of charisma. There was none and the audience gave him a polite listen to and seemed to enjoy him, but on one will be whistling his ditties any time soon. That part of his act needs attention and Rob Gough will become a name to conjure with.

Midge Ure on the other hand, like a good wine has grown richer and bears more quality than ever before. Midge Ure was aware that some of the audience wanted the “Vienna’s”, or the, “Dancing with tears in my eyes,” and they got them in spades, but Midge also worked in some new songs too and we saw this guy is not only a front man for an eighties band that charted week after week but also a musician of stunning integrity.

Battling with a cold that he claims to have picked up in America last week he dazzled on through a powerful and impressive set. It is astonishing to see what a sustain peddle and a bit of reverb on the vocal can do for a one man show. The power that he got through his voice and the clarity of his guitar work turned this show from good to great.

It was also incredibly interesting to hear the words to some of his earlier hits. The recording of a pop song is a highly laminating process and as the layers go on the vocals get lost in the bigger picture. To see Midge strip the songs down back to basic and then to hear them with the words on show is a real treat as you realise that the songs are beautifully written and Midge and his co-writers have thought very carefully about what it was they wanted to say. It is probably quite distressing for the writer to see his slaved over lyrics end up as just another layer on an electric song. It was impressive to see them back where they should be.

Everything was good aboput this presentation. The sound was crisp and cleaer, the ligthing was simple but effective and the man himself was great.

In summary one could say this was a great show .

Why do we have it in our minds that just because an artists grows older he can’t be as good as he was? It is a myth and people should go and see these guys. The Midge Ure show is entertaining, nostalgic and dazzlingly new. I would recommend a listen to anyone.

This is a four star review.

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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