FRIDAY was a busy night at the Brewery with the Comic Art Festival in full flow and Ultravox frontman Midge Ure in the Malt Room.
The concert was a sell out with Midge highighting that the some of the outfits being worn at the festival would not have looked out of place 25 years or so during the the age of the New Romantics.
This was just Midge and his guitar - as he put it, 'no band, no orchestra, no dancing girls'. He was engaging between songs, revealing his surprise when he saw an advert on TV for a new 1980s compilation called Fade To Grey, named after the song he wrote which was a hit for Visage and wondering why there had been no phone call or email to let him know beforehand.
Midge treated the audience to many of his and Ultravox's hits, including Cold Cold Heart, No Regrets, Dancing With Tears In My Eyes, Love's Great Adventure and, of course, Vienna.
Many of his most famous songs rely on 'big' choruses, which meant plenty of strummed chords. But Midge is a great guitarist - you don't get to play in Thin Lizzy without being one - and I liked it when he demonstrated his more delicate fretwork, particularly on Fleetwood Mac's Man Of The World. He described this as one of the loveliest songs ever written and it was the highlight of the evening for me.
My attention drifted a little in the middle of the set, around the time of two numbers which he jokingly described as 'the most miserable songs I've ever written'.
But overall, this was en entertaining evening, which revealed just how talented Midge Ure is. Well worth catching him in concert if you get the chance.
The support act was Steve Rodgers, son of Free singer Paul, whose performance was heartfelt and well-received.