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– Milano’s Brighton, Shoppingtown Hotel, Doncaster.

Pic courtesy Midge’s Facebook page

Ultravox singer, Live Aid co-creator and solo artist in his own right, Midge Ure is currently in Australia on a solo acoustic tour. Armed with just an acoustic guitar and his voice, Midge has stripped back those synth-laden, wall of sound hits from the 80s and has been able to reveal the true soul of classic songs such as Vienna, Lament, Reap the Wild Wind, Hymn and Loves Great Adventure. The smaller venue selection and Midge’s amiable manner have presented audiences with a unique, intimate and totally enjoyable, interactive experience.

At both his Milanos and Shoppingtown Hotel gigs, those in the crowd familiar with Midge’s vast back catalogue of music had no trouble lending the sole performer a hand. Once nudged, it didn’t take a second ask for them to sing their own raucous backing vocals, replacing those multi-layered, studio embellished harmonies which were such a key part of tracks like The Voice.

Unlike a lot of artists of Ure’s era that have toured here recently, the legendary Scot has lost little of his vocal capacity, which was most evident on a stunning version of Dancing with Tears in My Eyes. At both shows, Fade to Grey delivered the night’s most poignant moment, dedicated to fellow Visage band member Steve Strange who passed away earlier this year. No Regrets, a song made famous by The Walker Brothers was another tune which went down well at both of his southern capital gigs.

To his credit, Midge not only changed the set list around for the two shows, but also the stage banter, so that hardcore fans attending both gigs received a different concert experience for their money. For Midge’s Shoppingtown Hotel gig, his second Melbourne show, he included All Fall Down, a track he recorded with the Chieftains, and a version of Bowie’s ‘Lady Stardust’. In between hits, Midge also played songs from his latest solo album Fragile, proving that he is still a songwriter of great merit.

Ultravox last played Australia in 1982 and Midge didn’t return to play again until 2013. The success of that tour and the current solo jaunt has encouraged Ure to return more often, with plans to tour with a band next time in around 18 months time, which is great news for anyone who witnessed this series of memorable shows.

It would also be remiss not mention Krista Polvere’s support slot, in which she won many a new fan with her passionate delivery of sultry, Americana-style folk tunes.

Australian Musician’s Greg Phillips caught up with Midge for a video interview while he was in Melbourne and fired six quick questions at him.

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