Midge Ure

Today, I’m joined by musician Midge Ure. With a career spanning over forty years, Midge has been one of the most influential artists of his time. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s Midge enjoyed enormous success in a number of bands, including Slik, Rich Kids, Thin Lizzy, Visage and as the frontman of Ultravox. Along with Bob Geldof, he was also a key figure in the now historic charity project Band Aid which raised millions of pounds for Africa during the 1980s. Midge has also had an equally successful solo career and he still records and tours regularly. I have always been a fan of his music and I thought it would be great to have a chat with him about some aspects of his career, so I hope you are sitting comfortably and happy to stay with us.

We kicked off our chat with me telling Midge how I was introduced to his music via my mum (01:45) before moving on to the subject of Ultravox and what their unique appeal was (03:30). I then asked Midge about his time in Visage (05:45), with us focusing on their second album, The Anvil (10:20). Keeping with album recordings, we then moved on to the Ultravox’s Rage in Eden from 1981 (13:20) and it turned out it’s both his and my favourite Ultravox album. I was keen to ask Midge about his time with Band Aid, in particular, the story behind the single ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’ (17:35). We discussed the possibility of something like Live Aid happening again (20:40), before discussing in depth his time as a solo artist and the album U-Vox from 1986 (23:00). As part of this topic, we explored his time as a member of Thin Lizzy and how his journey as a musician defines him (28:40). When Midge was working as a solo artist, he worked with great musicians, including Mark King from Level 42 and Mick Karn from Japan (32:45). This brought us on to chatting about other bands like Japan and Depeche Mode (38:44).

We then brought up the Ultravox reunion in 2008 and how it felt to play with people that he hadn’t worked with in over twenty years (46:45). We also chatted about the Rich Kids reunion and how fun it was playing punk songs in his fifties (54:35). Midge is still performing live and he talked about the difficulties of touring in a post-Covid world (56:10). Towards the end of the chat, we talked about our love of old record shops and what he is reading and listening to at the moment (01:10:27).

Show notes

Midge Ure website

Midge Ure on Twitter

Same Old Story by Ultravox

For more, hear my conversation with Sandy Kaye and Moe Dunford

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Categorized as Episodes

By Ken Sweeney

Podcast host and producer.

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