One of the most influential pop musicians to emerge from Britain is making a rare solo appearance at Toronto's Phoenix Concert Theatre on March 4. Midge Ure, leader of the groundbreaking UK band Ultravox — and the man who co-founded Live 8 and Band Aid (and co-wrote "Don't They Know It's Christmas") — has been a successful solo artists since the mid-80s, but has continued his relationship with his former band. After working on live albums, the latest Ultravox record, and the updated version of “Do They Know it’s Christmas” in support of the 2014 Ebola outbreak relief efforts, he has also found time to present his newest studio album Fragile.
Who: Midge Ure, with special guests Blue Peter What: A rare Toronto appearance of the influential British pop star, Live Aid and Band Aid co-founder, one-time member of Thin Lizzy, and front man of Ultravox; Midge Ure's successful solo career has been ongoing since 1985.
Why: Because this is classic new wave music, and too few artists play it any more
When: Wednesday, March 4th — Doors 7:30 p.m Show 8:00 p.m.
Midge Ure's story is almost ridiculously extensive — it includes work with early UK punk bands like PVC3 and Rich Kids, early "new romantic" band Visage, a spell with Thin Lizzy, and the reformation of Ultravox in 1979 with former Visage member Bill Currie. The title song of the Ultravox album Vienna became a huge hit in Britain and helped spark the new wave trend of the 80's — and five more successful albums followed. Ure, Scottish born, made his first solo record in 1985, and four years later reformed Ultravox for a new album. Brilliant — the album and the resulting tour — brought the band to the forefront again, and were special guests on a brief arena tour with Simple Minds. His friendship with Bob Geldof led to co-writing "Do You Know It's Christmas" and producing the song which became one of the most successful songs in pop music history. Two decades later, in 2005, he and Geldof reunited to organize the Live 8 concert to prod G8 leaders to work more diligently to end world poverty. In his solo performances, Midge Ure reprises songs from various parts of his long career; he's a charismatic figure on stage and his audiences welcome new songs and old hits with enthusiasm.
The show will be opened by Blue Peter. The Toronto group started out as a cornerstone in the Canadian new wave movement as a synth pop band. The band has shown incredible staying power with songs that still get airplay and a powerful live performance from the original line up, featuring Paul Humphrey on vocals, Chris Wardman on guitar, Jason Sniderman (keyboards), Rick Joudrey (bass) and drummer Owen Tennison. Key songs include “Chinese Graffiti,” “Don't Walk Past” and “Falling.”