Something From Everything: A Conversation with the Legendary Midge Ure | The Fan Carpet Ltd • The Fan Carpet: The RED Carpet for FANS • The Fan Carpet: Fansites Network • The Fan Carpet: Slate • The Fan Carpet: Theatre Spotlight • The Fan Carpet: Arena • The Fan Carpet: International

Something From Everything: A Conversation with the Legendary Midge Ure

The Fan Carpet Chats To...

Something From Everything

Midge Ure, the man behind the iconic 80’s band Ultravox, co-creator of Live Aid/ Band Aid/ Live 8 with Sir Bob Geldolf and the man behind two of the biggest selling records of all time “Feed The World” & “Vienna” announces a new tour for Autumn/ Winter 2016.

Midge Ure’s atmospheric and glittering career has spanned over three decades as a former member of Thin Lizzy, Visage, Ultravox and the iconic Rich Kids with Sex Pistol Glen Matlock. As a solo artist, Midge has also been a tireless campaigner for ‘Save the Children’, has an OBE, multiple Brit Awards, Ivor Novello awards and once came close to winning Celebrity Masterchef whilst enjoying his cookery hobby. A multi platinum selling artist, Midge has a magic touch when it comes to writing hits that stand the test of time, ‘Vienna’, despite only reaching number 2 in the charts remains one of the biggest selling records of it’s year of release (1981) and last year was voted by Absolute Radio listeners as one of the most influential pop records of the 80’s. ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’ is the biggest selling single in the history of the British Charts and his single ‘If I Was’ from his solo debut album ‘The Gift’ went straight in at number 1.

On last years ‘Breathe’ tour, Midge started thinking about revisiting some older material that he hadn’t played for a very long time, including some of his lesser known albums tracks. He decided it would be a fun idea to play something from every album he has ever recorded right from his time in the Rich Kids, through to Visage and Ultravox, and his latest solo album, ‘Fragile’, which was voted one of the top 10 albums of the year in 2014 by the Huffington Post. Of course to delight his audiences, he will also include a selection of his hits including; ‘Vienna’, ‘Fade to Grey’ and ‘If I Was’ and voila we have ‘Something From Everything’ . The tour format will provide a framework of texture and diversity without detracting from the essence of the most important factor – the songs everyone loves!

In our interview, The Fan Carpet‘s Marc Jason Ali had the honour of speaking to Midge as he embarks on his Something From Everything tour, he tells us the origin of his nickname, working with Kate Bush and what we can expect from his new tour…




After such a long and illustrious career with the likes of Thin Lizzy, Visage and Ultravox etc, how does it feel to be embarking on your Something from Everything tour?

Yeah good you know I tour a lot, I do an awful lot of live work you know after the years of trying to become successful you play as much as you can and then the moment you become successful as a recording artist you only tour once every new album which didn’t make much sense to me, so I reverted back to the first love which is going out there and performing.

So the idea of the tour is to look back at everything I’ve done, I try to do some from every album that I’m associated with, The Rich Kids that’s 1978 so from The Rich Kids all the way through Visage and Ultravox and right up to my last album Fragile, so trying to capture a little kind of path all the way through my career as it where.


Brilliant okay. Obviously as part of your career you’ve been closely linked with Bob Geldof and the Band-Aid, Live-Aid and Live-8 events, how has that relationship changed over the years?

Well it’s different, back in the day technology was incredibly basic, we used to have to spend, hours and hour and hours in boardrooms deciding what to do with this potential income you know, and this happened every day, these days of course technology and e-mails and internet, you don’t have to do that assessing how funding or projects are going and progressing, I just read something online right now on something we funded last year, discovering what Plumpy’nut does, it’s a sort of nut paste for babies and they’re giving it to pregnant woman which has all the nutrients involved to supplement a totally natural supplement that is generated out there, so that sort of stuff is an ongoing process, but we can talk about it and analyse it and deal with it without actually leaving the house you know, so it’s changed a huge amount that way.

The problem of what we’re fighting is still there, it’s just not going away it’s an ongoing uphill struggle.


Your stage name is quite unique there a story behind who that stuck?

Yeah it’s a nickname, it’s not something you wake up one morning and decide I’m going to call myself Midge, you know there’s a great movie out in the 80s called Animal House with John Belushi, it’s one of these American Frat you know fraternity movies, college things, and there’s a moment in the movie where John Belushi looks at all the new frat’s potential members and walk’s along the line and gives them all nicknames, well it was kind of like that, you don’t ask for it, it’s thrust upon you and it could be because my name is James which is obviously Jim and when I joined my first band in Glasgow there was already a Jim in the band, he said you can’t be Jim you’re now going to be Mij which is J-I-M reversed M-I-J, and then I just changed the spelling and that’s it (laughs).


That’s cool (laughs). So Vienna has stood the test of time after being voted the most popular, respected record of the 80s by Absolute Radio listeners, what has that meant for you as an artist?

I like to do anything that’s seen in any form of positivity is a lovely thing you know especially so many years after you’ve done it, you know Vienna was an oddity, the same way Kate Bush’s Wuthering Height’s was or Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody was, it went against the grain of what was going on at the time, so the idea of doing something that was potentially an absolute failure, it could have easily gone that way, the radio could have decided it was too long, too slow or too electronic or whatever, it just didn’t fit, but it went the other way and once it got a couple of plays on the radio it resonated with people and it’s great that people from that era think that was some kind of summarised what that particular period of the 80s was, I suppose the video probably had a lot to do with it, people didn’t really make pop promos until we went and did Vienna like a mini-movie that kind of thing. So I suppose all of those elements stick in people’s minds and it’s very flattering to know that people feel that way about it.




Wicked! You’re always one to ring in change, what can fans expect in the new tour?

Well I’m working with a couple of young multi-instrumentalist musicians who play everything from you know keyboards to violins to mandolins to you know guitars to all sorts, and I’m trying to keep the atmospherics that my music has when I record and write and create the music, I’m trying to keep the atmospherics on stage doing it with very different instrumentations, instead of using a bank of synthesisers like I used to use back then, using these organic instruments but still giving it all the textures and ambiance that necessary, so I think that this time of course the key songs that people will hope to hear and expect to hear will be there, but there’s also songs there that I’ve never ever performed live, I’ve just spent the last couple of weeks going through my back catalogue which I hate doing and choosing songs that I think might be interesting for people to hear and I think that might be interesting for me to perform, so I’ve done that so that odd Visage tracks, odd Ultravox tracks that maybe even Ultravox never played live, I can’t remember, just giving it this new treatment, so a combination of what people might expect and what people would really not expect.


Great. Obviously with so many hits under your belt, is there a song or album that means more to you than the others or is that like choosing a favourite child.

It’s kind of difficult you know, when people ask you what you’re favourite song is that’ll change on a daily basis; you know you go on and off songs, like you fall out with people or friends. Have I got a favourite album? I’m going to have to say probably the Vienna album because it changed everything, you know it changed everything for me, it was interesting musically, it was a period where I was felt as long as I could belong, felt as though I was doing something that interesting and different and radical in its day and of course it became successful and its changed everything else like so, I have to say.


Wonderful. With so many memories over the years do you have any that stand out for you?

I’ve probably said it on a few occasions, I think people expect I suppose that when you talk about highlights in your life the moments that stick out in your musical career, they expect you to say that and Live-Aid or whatever because it was such a massive global event, it tends to be the bits that nobody sees or in fact what people don’t know about, so personal bits stick out, you’re doing a duet with Kate Bush or playing guitar with Eric Clapton and nobody else seeing it, so all these moments for a musician are thigh highlights because it’s the thing you never dream could ever happen and it doesn’t have to be all singing all dancing, it’s just a moment and you think “wow I’m here, I’m in the room and this is happening”, so moments like that are key to me.


Great. Speaking of your collaborations with Kate (Bush) and Eric (Clapton), are there any artists today that you would like to collaborate with?

Luckily we still have a huge wealth of talent out there, they don’t necessarily have the same platform that we had back in the 80s to show that talent to the world, the music industry is a change place, but yeah I have a lot of people that I think would be great to get together with; like Sigor Ros and collaborate on a film soundtrack or making a piece of music or writing a song together, there are key people that you think “yeah I can see myself spending time doing this” because it would excite me, would make me interested in doing it.

I can’t stand artists who get put together or are put together with other artists because the record labels think it might sell a gazillion records you know, I think the audience can tell when those things are manufactured, manipulated and contrived, the stuff that I’ve done in the past like the duet with Kate, it came absolutely organically, it came about because there was a mutual respect there. So yeah, that kind of thing you cannot plan, you can hope it may happen someday, I wouldn’t sit sending off e-mails to the guys at Sigor Ros suggesting that we get together, if it happens it usually happens organically.



Go to Midge Ure’s Official Website for socials, tickets and venues.

Something from Everything Tour Dates 2016

Oct 21 Stratford On Avon
Oct 23 Liverpool
Oct 24 Salford, Manchester
Oct 25 Bury St. Edmunds
Oct 26 Stafford
Oct 27 Horsham, West Sussex
Oct 29 Andover
Oct 30 Canterbury
Nov 03 Milton Keynes
Nov 04 Langholm
Nov 05 Durham
Nov 06 Aberdeen
Nov 07 Inverness
Dec 09 Tewkesbury
Dec 10 Exeter
Dec 14 Motherwell
Dec 15 Glenrothes
Dec 17 London

STOP PRESS!!!! RICH KIDS have reformed for a one off performance at London’s Islington Academy June 23rd. Catch Midge, Glen Matlock and Rusty Egan for a nostalgic musical journey in their original home turf of West London. Get Tickets via Gigs and Tours or TicketWeb.

No Comment

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *