Saturday, April 18, 2015

This Means Nothing To Me

Midge Ure kicked off the New Zealand section of his Australasian tour in Wellington. Midge...remember him? In case you don't, his pedigree includes Slik,  the short-lived Rich KidsVisage, a short spell writing and playing with Thin Lizzy, and well as his solo stuff. He also wrote a rather naff charity single, but we'll politely gloss over that.

He was playing at Bodega, scene of such previous gigs as They Might be Giants and Nik Kershaw - a small, standing-room venue with a bar at the back.

The support act was Boh Runga - sister of Bic, who we saw supporting Neil Finn a while back. She used to be in a band called Stellar, along with Kurt Shanks, who turned up to play guitar on a couple of her songs. All of the above are world famous in New Zealand.

And then on came Midge. He greeted us with two words: "33 years". That got a cheer. "You never wrote, you never called". That got a laugh.

This was very much an acoustic, solo synths, no band, no nothing. As he explained later in the set, he often got requests to play some songs which were simply unplayable as an acoustic version. He cites fans asking for Astradyne as an example of this.

And then he was off, into an acoustic set consisting of solo work, a lot of Ultravox numbers re-worked for an acoustic guitar, and Fade To Grey from Visage. He asked the audience to help out on some songs - such as doing the oh-oh-oh-oh's during The Voice. At the end he commented "oh, so you know that one, then?" to which one wag replied "I've heard it once before". In between songs he gave us his views on the current music scene, and also explained the background to some of the songs. He also gave us a bit of spiel about how so-called "heritage acts" got groans when they mentioned the n-word...that's right, some New Material. And then he played us some new material...well, new-ish, anyway, from his most recent solo album, Fragile. It sounds a lot like Midge Ure.

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