Midge Ure to play Vienna album and Visage tracks at Cambridge concert
PUBLISHED: 16:50 30 August 2019 | UPDATED: 16:57 30 August 2019
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Midge Ure will be playing classic Ultravox album Vienna in full and Visage tracks at a concert at Cambridge Corn Exchange.
At the end of the 1970s, momentous change was afoot in Britain and the world - in society, politics, fashion and culture.
The musical landscape was also about to change forever.
The guitar-driven dominance that had propelled rock and punk throughout the decade was about to end, as synthesizers signalled the sound of the future and video transformed the look of the pop charts.
The 1980s were about to explode into life. At the heart of this seismic leap into a futuristic new dawn were two records that set the template for much of what was to follow.
Visage's single Fade To Grey, from the band's debut eponymous album, and Ultravox single Vienna, from the album of the same name, were global hits that shared the same stark ambience, European aesthetic and electronic heart.
The albums that birthed those landmark singles expanded that sonic palette even further and brought the art-school alternative into the very centre of the mainstream.
Both records were co-written, recorded and produced by one of the leading characters in British music, Midge Ure, and not only transformed the charts around the globe but his life in the process.
"Autumn 1979 was a pivotal point in my career trajectory," said Scottish musician, singer-songwriter and producer Midge.
"Over the previous two years I had grown from 'pop band' [Slik] to 'post-punk band' [The Rich Kids] to being a stand-in guitarist for Thin Lizzy.
"Over the course of autumn into winter 1979, while working on the Visage project with Billy Currie, I was invited to join Ultravox.
"The work we did that winter on the Vienna album was an exhilarating rush of creativity, the likes of which I had never experienced before."
As well as the title track, which reached number two in the UK singles charts, album Vienna also included Ultravox classics All Stood Still, Passing Strangers and Sleepwalk.
Forty years on, Midge is heading out on The 1980 Tour in October, celebrating his time with both Visage and Ultravox.
Accompanied by Band Electronica, Midge will be performing Ultravox album Vienna in its entirety for the first time in 40 years since it was made, at Cambridge Corn Exchange on Thursday, October 10.
And it has now been announced that Visage co-founder Rusty Egan will be joining Midge for selected dates on the tour, including Cambridge.
This is the first time that Midge and Rusty will take to the stage together to play some ground-breaking tunes off the first Visage album, many of which have not been played live before.
Rusty will also perform a DJ set for the first part of the show.
Midge and Rusty's paths crossed for the first time in post-punk band The Rich Kids along with Glen Matlock from the Sex Pistols.
Rusty had started a club night at Billy's in Soho with Steve Strange.
Thus the seminal Blitz Club was born and became the place to be seen.
Visage were formed from this genesis as a studio project, taking their inspiration from the Dusseldorf scene combined with sounds of the Blitz Club.
"It was a simple idea inspired by the desire to make European electronic dance music with our favourite musicians of the day," said Visage co-founder Midge.
He added: "Forty years later I want to celebrate this period and as we pass from 2019 into 2020 play the Vienna album in its entirety along with highlights from the eponymous Visage album.
"Join me and my Band Electronica celebrating the year of release for both the Vienna and Visage albums... 1980."
The music will be performed in a stage setting designed to reflect the atmosphere and ambience the albums deserve.
Rusty Egan has also championed Irish electronic band Tiny Magnetic Pets, who will be appearing in his place as gigs in Manchester, Liverpool, Belfast and Dublin, as well as the shows in Europe in December.
Describing themselves as "Kinda Krautrock-meets-Bowie-in-Berlin jamming with Stereolab/Massive Attack/Goldfrapp/Kraftwerk", they should fit the bill perfectly.
The 1980 Tour will continue into 2020 with more dates added throughout February.
There's already limited availability for the Cambridge Corn Exchange gig on October 10.
Tickets cost from £27.50 to £35.50.
Visit www.cambridgelive.org.uk to book online.
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