Saturday, 21 May 2005

Midge Ure, Cromer Pier, 20th May 2005 - Show Review

It’s not often that a musical legend comes to my hometown of Cromer, and Midge Ure is a legend. One of the founding fathers of both Band Aid and Live Aid returned to the Norfolk coast for his one-man show, and this writer knew he just had to be there.

Surprisingly, there were quite a few empty seats in the theatre. Perhaps they had been swayed to attend a certain wrestling show instead. But the lack of people didn’t detract from what was otherwise a great show.

First up was the support act. Jo McCafferty, a singer/songwriter from Aberdeen, charmed the audience with her own brand of music. For those of us who literally had no idea who she was, this was a pleasant surprise. Her music is very much in the Sheryl Crow-mould. She draws inspiration for her songs from everything around her, and after her set, she was more than happy to chat to fans in the bar. And before you ask, yours truly did get a warm greeting.

After the interval, and a couple of more drinks, came the man himself. Midge Ure arrived on stage, acoustic guitar in hand, and with his first few words he had us in the palm of his hand. “Well, here I am, back in Cromer. Still no fucking knighthood!” Although we laughed with him at his self-deprecation, I couldn’t help but think that perhaps he was right. After all, Bob got a knighthood for his charity work, so why hasn’t Midge. Mind you, as the man himself commented, Sir Midge does sound like a children’s television character.

Inter-mixed with stories from his career, including the time when he met the great Freddie Mercury at Live Aid (“I’m not sure, but I think he may have been gay!”), we had all the classics from both his solo career, and his career as the front man for Ultravox. There was also a couple of other classics thrown in for good measure, including an excellent cover of Man of the World, one of Peter Green’s finest moments as the leader of Fleetwood Mac. Of course, you couldn’t have a Midge Ure concert without a rendition of the classic Vienna, even though it brought back memories of a naff summer-time hit that kept this great song from making number one in the charts.

As I left the theatre, it began to rain. Some people I knew questioned the decision to go to this gig. They couldn’t understand why I had turned down the chance to go to a wrestling show ten miles away. As a child of the 80’s, I grew up listening to Midge Ure. I watched him at Wembley Stadium that famous day in 1985. The audience may have been a whole lot smaller, but Midge gave us his all. Thanks for the great night Mr. Ure. Come back to Cromer soon.