Midge Ure, Gig Review. Citadel, St Helens.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10

When Midge Ure steps on stage, all eyes are naturally always on him. There is the noticeable and understandable plethora of pictures taken by the long term fan wanting to keep their collections up to date of the man that has thrilled them for over 30 years and then the odd shy newcomer taking a picture and hoping that nobody minds. Then it all stops, the camera’s seem to be put away and nobody dares put off the man who makes a Saturday night out, a real treat. What is left is a man who bought songs such as Vienna, If I Was and Dancing With Tears In My Eyes and the guitar, no more no less and the result is tremendous.

What makes Midge Ure’s acoustic night sets so special is the way that he has been able to change the way the music that a generation grew up loving and transferring the sound and backdrop of the electronic hum into the raw power of his voice. Midge though was in great deferential humour as he came back to St. Helens for the first time in four years. Even with his usual scorn reserved for certain parts of the music business carried a certain smile from the much loved Scotsman.

The evening was opened with the tracks Dear God, Breathe and a stunning version of Cold, Cold Heart. Midge though not only does his own compositions justice in an acoustic show and away from the 80s electronica, he captures the very heart, the essence, of some of the finest songs ever composed. With a thumping version of Scott Walker’s No Regrets and his own powerful rendition of Peter Green’s Man of The World, the lumps in throat grew large and unashamed.

No matter what, Midge will always be remembered for his own stunning work, for his ability to frame the moment and in Fade To Grey, Lament, the beautiful Hymn and the much loved Vienna, that moment in front of a dedicated St. Helens crowd was much appreciated and continues to be sought over.

Never one to give an under stated performance, Midge Ure remains one of the best examples to say to people who suggest that live music is not worth attending that they have no idea what they are talking about, the man and his music is just perfect.

Ian D. Hall.