Former Ultravox frontman Midge Ure scored a first onstage at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles on Friday night (29Aug14) when he performed Visage hit Fade to Grey for the first time. Ure, who was playing as part of the Retro Futura tour alongside The Thompson Twins' Tom Bailey and Howard Jones told fans at the gig he had never played the song he co-wrote live.
Live Aid hero Midge Ure will perform Ultravox's hit Vienna with a full orchestra as part of an upcoming concert to launch this year's (14) Ryder Cup golf tournament. The singer, who is currently on tour with Howard Jones and the Thompson Twins' Tom Bailey in America, will perform the classic track with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra at Glasgow's SSE Hydro on 24 September (14).
He won't be the only Scot on the bill - Texas, Amy Macdonald and Eddi Reader will perform, while Chic's Nile Rodgers will hit the stage with the orchestra for classical versions of his Daft Punk collaboration Get Lucky, as well as Chic tunes Good Times and Le Freak.
The concert will help launch the Ryder Cup's Europe versus America clash at Gleneagles in Perthshire.
Live Aid hero Midge Ure gave up plans for a booze-filled retirement after realising he couldn't fight what he hated about the music industry from a rocking chair. The former Ultravox singer has recorded his first new album in a decade, Fragile, and he admits it's a comeback record that almost didn't happen at all.
He tells Billboard.com, "It's a diary of thoughts and emotions and highs and deep lows I've experienced. I went through huge swatches of doubting my continued involvement in this rapidly changing music industry. (There was) a lot of self doubt as to whether I could write anymore after walking away from my all too constant writing partner Jack Daniels and the realisation that, just maybe, nobody was waiting desperately for new Midge Ure material.
"I realised that if you don't agree with where music is at the moment, where busloads of writers contribute to one song and talent shows are supposed to find us the next John Lennon or Led Zeppelin, then walking away from music isn't going to change anything."
He adds, "Fragile might not change anything, but it makes me feel better about trying to redress the balance."
The new album features Dark Dark Night, a collaboration with Moby but everything else on the record was played and recorded by multi-instrumentalist Ure.
He adds, "I thought of each instrument and what they were doing in relation to the other instruments and melodies as building blocks towards the final production. They all had to contribute something to the overall picture but be melodic at the same time. I hope it sounds like a band rather than one person."
Former Ultravox frontman Midge Ure is hoping to meet dance music star Moby for the first time when he tours America on the Retro Futura Tour later this month (Aug14) after collaborating with the hitmaker last year (13). Moby reached out to the If I Was singer while he was working on his latest album Innocents and asked him if he'd be interested in teaming up.
Ure was working on his own new album, Fragile, and by the time he got to working on tracks Moby had sent him, the Porcelain hitmaker had completed work on the album, so the two stars agreed to work on music for the Live Aid hero's new release instead.
After months of emails and interactions via social media, the pair completed work on new track Dark Dark Night, and now Scottish star Ure is hoping to actually meet Moby on tour.
He tells Billboard.com, "He sent me a couple of tracks he was working on, one of which is the core of Dark, Dark Night. Although I was in the middle of working on Fragile I eventually did my thing to it, adding lyrics and keys and guitar - by which time he had finished and released his album.
"I asked much later if he minded if I include it on my album, as it then felt a part of what I was doing. It works seamlessly with the feel of Fragile.
"We have never met nor spoken, but I'm hoping to change that in the not too distant future."
Ure's Retro Futura Tour with Howard Jones, Tom Bailey of Thompson Twins and other '80s stars begins next week (19Aug14) in New York, ahead of a solo acoustic tour, which begins in Canada next month (Sep14).
British singer Jake Bugg has been tapped to play at an upcoming concert in Glasgow, Scotland celebrating the start of the 2014 Ryder Cup. The musician is set to take the stage at the SSE Hydro venue on 24 September (14) as part of a gala in honour of the biennial golf tournament between players from Europe and the United States.
Bugg will be joined by artists including Twin Atlantic, Midge Ure and Nina Nesbitt, and the night will also include performances from the Scottish Ballet, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, National Theatre Scotland and Scottish Opera.
The event will be held two days before the 40th Ryder Cup competition kicks off on 26 September (14) at Gleneagles Hotel in Perth and Kinross, Scotland.
Midge Ure wrote an emotional letter to his longtime friend Bob Geldof following the death of the Boomtown Rats star's daughter Peaches. The socialite was found dead at her home in Kent, England in April (14), plunging the Geldof family into mourning, and Ure was by his friend's side at the funeral.
The Ultravox star, who is a father to four daughters and who co-organised Live Aid with Geldof, has now revealed he tried to comfort his friend by writing him a letter in the aftermath of the tragedy.
He calls it the most "hideously difficult" thing to write, adding to Britain's Daily Mail newspaper, "It was a father-to-father letter - friend-to-friend. I knew Peaches when she was a baby. I knew all his girls. Bob seems to have been dealt this ridiculously unfair hand.
"As a father of four daughters, I can only start to try to comprehend what it must feel like to be in his shoes - and that's only scraping the surface. It's just too hideous to contemplate, but Bob's an incredibly strong character. I'm sure he'll see this through. He has a fairly large family to try to protect and try to guide through this."
Ure goes on to voice his concerns for Peaches' half-sister Tiger Lily, 17, who was adopted by Geldof following the death of both her parents, rocker Michael Hutchence and TV star Paula Yates.
He adds, "When you get down to it, the big worry would be for Tiger who's lost both her parents and now one of her sisters. It's just hideous."
Ultravox's pop anthem Vienna has been named the most popular song of the 1980s in a new poll. The 1981 hit, which spent four weeks in second place on the U.K. singles chart without ever reaching the number one spot, has topped a new poll by British radio station Absolute 80s to find the public's favourite song from the decade.
Frontman Midge Ure says of the news, "Of all the records, all the great records that were out during the Eighties, for that to come top of the heap is just wonderful news. In hindsight, to have something that has lasted that amount of time in people's minds and hearts, it's just great."
Vienna saw off competition from other eighties favourites including Bon Jovi's Livin' On A Prayer, which came in at number two, and Relax by Frankie Goes To Hollywood at three.
Other songs to feature in the top 10 include Guns N' Roses' Sweet Child O' Mine and Blue Monday by New Order.
Peaches Geldof's sister Fifi Trixibelle has offered an emotional tribute to the socialite following her shock death on Monday (07Apr14). Bob Geldof's 25-year-old daughter was pronounced dead after police were called to her home in Kent, England. Her death has been described as "sudden and unexplained" but not suspicious.
As officials continue to investigate the cause of the tragedy, Geldof's devastated elder sister Fifi took to her account on Instagram.com on Tuesday (08Apr14) to post a childhood picture of the two alongside the touching message, "My beautiful baby sister... Gone but never forgotten. I love you, Peaches x"
Also on Tuesday, Bob Geldof's fellow Live Aid organiser Midge Ure recalled his shock at the tragic news and how, for him, it echoes the death of Peaches' mother Paula Yates, who passed away from an accidental drug overdose in 2000 at the age of 41.
He tells Sky News, "I think disbelief is the first sensation you get and when you check it on the Internet and television, I think the horror is just astounding. She was great, she was a bouncy, lovely child... (Paula Yates) was this 'earth mother' and that's exactly what Peaches has turned into.
"It's uncanny. The fact that Peaches posted that photograph of Paula and her together the day before it happened, and the fact that they embraced this whole motherhood thing so incredibly well after what had been maybe ropey (difficult) beginnings, they had completely found their niche in life. A tragedy to happen twice in slightly different circumstances is just beyond belief."
Peaches posted a picture of herself as a toddler in her mother's arms on her Instagram.com page just a day before she passed away.
A post mortem examination to establish the cause of death is expected to take place on Wednesday (09Apr14).
Rocker Midge Ure had a "close escape" when he ruled out releasing an Ultravox album with a plain black cover as the idea was mercilessly parodied in spoof music documentary This Is Spinal Tap just weeks later. The Vienna hitmakers were gearing up to release their new album Lament in 1984 and they were toying with the idea of putting out the disc accompanied by a pictureless, jet-black sleeve.
They eventually decided against the move and made sure there was an image on the cover, and frontman Ure was relieved weeks later when he saw the comedy movie upon its release and watched in horror as the producers mocked a rock band for releasing an all-black album.
Ure tells British magazine Event, "When Ultravox made Lament, we talked about having the entire sleeve black. My argument was, it's minimal advertising, and people would say, 'Wow, what's this?' Then Spinal Tap did Smell The Glove - none more black - and it was rubbish. A close escape."
Veteran rocker Bob Geldof is to perform with The Boomtown Rats at a tiny pub venue in England as part of an annual cancer charity fundraiser. The Rock Against Cancer event was launched two years ago by the residents of All Cannings, a village in Wiltshire, England which boasts a population of just 630, to raise money for a cancer charity and a local hospital.
The organisers have succeeded in persuading big names, including Brian May, Midge Ure and Dr. Feelgood, to perform at the tiny The Kings Arms pub, and now Geldof has joined the bill for the 2014 event with his reformed band The Boomtown Rats.
Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel and The Troggs are also on the line-up for the gig, which will take place outside the pub in May (14).