Midge Ure, Gig Review. Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool.

Midge Ure, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, March 2016. Photograph by Ian D. Hall.

Midge Ure, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, March 2016. Photograph by Ian D. Hall.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10

It is to be seen as a rare honour to be able to watch Midge Ure perform not only in Liverpool, but also an electric set which sends shivers up the spine as much as his brilliant acoustic solo shows for which the audience can be seen almost salivating with excitement over. Those moments of rare beauty are to be savoured and given room in the memory banks for they don’t come round that often.

With the Philharmonic Hall playing host to an invasion from decades past, it seemed only right and proper that Midge Ure, a musician who has straddled the past and the present with overwhelming ease should give such a powerful reminder of what Time has meant to all concerned, that if the 60s only happened if you can’t remember it, then the 80s was a free for all in which in part we are still paying for the dramatic excess and waste of life but also it was the decade in which British music ruled the world; the empire of music was untouchable.

To have Midge perform on this side of the Mersey was a luxury, a comfort to which many found a way to indulge within and as songs such as the powerful Hymn, the excellent Fade To Grey for which he wrote for Visage, Loves Great Adventure, If I Was, the classic and arguably one of the defining moments of the decade in the song Vienna and Dancing With Tears With My Eyes resounded across the Philharmonic Hall space, the 80s, the best bits, the moments in which humanity wasn’t suffering under the illusion of greed, came tumbling wonderfully back into view.

It was though in a moment of cathartic exercise which brought tears of memory, the sting of reflection which turned into a beautifully framed experience for all inside the hall; as Midge Ure turned away from his own music for the briefest of times and gave thanks to the memory of David Bowie.

In a world sometimes too immersed in its own self gratification, of living in the moment like a Mayfly finding out that two of its primary objectives have already been ticked off its bucket list, to spend part of your own set performing another legend’s song is to be congratulated. If there were tears of sadness, then they soon dissipated, if there was descent then it was soon quelled, this was a night for remembering what the 80s meant musically and arguably nobody typified it more than David Bowie; as Starman flowed like the perfect glass of champagne, the exercise in cathartic honour was readily appreciated by all with a soul inside the Philharmonic Hall.

A set in which to have Midge Ure perform with electric zeal was not to be missed, a highlight of the 80s returned once more to give meaning to the fans; outstanding.

Ian D. Hall