Tom Bailey, voice of the Thompson Twins, performs at The Wilbur in Boston on Aug. 24 (Photo courtesy The
Midge Ure, OBE, lead singer of Ultravox and cofounder of the Live Aid music festival, stepped out onto stage in front of a house band.
“Give us this day, all that you showed me/the power and the glory, ‘til my kingdom come!”
He belted out his lyrics a Capella before thundering into the guitar riff that serves as the backbone to “Hymn,” one of the best songs from his sadly absent band Ultravox. The high-minded content of Ure’s pop songs are a bit unusual these days, but his songs fit right in on a concert tour lineup that included a hearty group of romantic optimists—among them Howard Jones and Tom Bailey (formerly of the Thompson Twins).
The mini-festival winding its way across the United States at the moment is called the Retro Futura tour, and unfortunately it did not stop in DC on its way across the country. The closest it got was a suburb of Philadelphia on Friday, Aug. 22. In previous years, the tour had stopped here under its former name, the Regeneration Tour.
Midge Ure perhaps is more famous in the United States for being behind the scenes — helping to organize Live Aid and to write “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”, the perennial holiday song aimed at famine relief in Africa.
But the Scot has a robust singing career in the United Kingdom and recently reunited with the band Ultravox, which put out a brilliant new album, titled Brilliant, last year.
As a likely precursor to an Ultravox tour of the United States, Ure is conducting a solo tour right now, performing both solo songs and some classic Ultravox tunes, in a 16-date tour of the United States and Canada. Tonight, he performs a second show in Toronto before hitting Cleveland Wednesday. (The closest he got to DC was Philadelphia, where this reporter traveled to see him last Thursday.)