Midge Ure, The Christians, Altered Images, Victoria Theatre, Halifax
Graham Clark, Features Writer
The 1980's gave the pop world some great music that has stood the test of time. Many of the acts from that decade are still touring: this current package has 3 acts from this golden period of pop.
On paper it appears a good line up - Altered Images, The Christians and Midge Ure. In reality though if you were a fan of say Altered Images back then, you probably wouldn't have been a big fan of Ultravox, the group Midge Ure is mostly associated with.
Altered Images start of the evening. Clare Grogan still has that youthful enthusiasm and bounces around the stage just like she did in 1982!
"I don't remember ever coming to Halifax before, mind you it might have been the drugs" she jokes. Images of her and the band from front covers of Smash Hits, Sounds and Record Mirror appear on the video screens behind her.
Don't Talk To Me About Love, See Those Eyes and of course Happy Birthday had the mainly middle aged audience up on their feet. "I never thought when I was 18 I would be singing this song when I was 55" she shares as she introduces Happy Birthday. A great performance that raised the energy levels.
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Forgotten Town, their debut hit was a compelling way to open up their 40 minute set. Garry Christian's dry Liverpool wit is not lost on the Halifax audience. " There was a review of the Liverpool gig but they never mentioned us and we are from Liverpool" he jokes. What a silly omission, the act made the evening very special.
His voice along with the harmonies of the rest of the group are just as strong as back in the day. You forget how many hits they have had such as Ideal World and Hooverville. Closing their set with their soulful version of the Isley Brothers Harvest For The World it had been a polished performance.
After a short break, Midge Ure took to the stage with his new young band Electronica after a short video about his forthcoming album Orchestrated on which his songs are played with a full orchestra. It sounded majestic.
Ure has been a member of Slik, The Rich Kids, Thin Lizzy and Ultravox as well as having a successful solo career with If I Was being his number 1 hit from 1985 which played tonight with his band was as powerful and emotive as ever.
The set wandering a little with some unfamiliar tracks mid set before they got back on track with the Ultravox song, Sleepwalk, Fade To Grey - the song he wrote and produced for Visage - and of course Vienna, the Ultravox song that defined an era.
As he closed with Hymn (The Power and the Glory) it proved that although the glory of the 80's might have passed for these acts they all still have the power in 2017.
Midge Ure, The Christians, Altered Images, Victoria Theatre, Halifax, 5th November 2017, 16:25 PM