Thursday, June 14 - Doors 8pm - $25 adv.
Paul Antony Young was born January 17th 1956. He was the middle child of three, has an elder brother Mark and a younger sister Joanne. His interest in music dates back to when he was very young, when he learnt to play the piano and then the guitar. On leaving school he worked, as did his father and brother, for Vauxhall Motors and played in various bands at night. He played bass guitar in his first and second band, but always wanted to become the singer. However his preferred style of music, blues and in particular soul, was not that popular in Luton. So his second band, Kat Kool & The Kool Kats, gave him a small section in the middle of the set where Paul chose to sing covers of Bill Withers and Albert King amongst others, as well as a couple of self penned songs.
This wasn't enough though for Paul, and after hearing Paul's demos at a local recording studio, he left the Kool Kats, and moved to London in 1976 taking up the offer to be in the better known Streetband. After the demise of the Streetband, Paul formed the Q-Tips, before heading off for a solo career. .
CBS' main idea was to get a crack team of great R&B musicians behind Paul and cut the album that the Q-Tips 'should have made'. However, in Paul's mind he was now free to use some of the modern influences he had been listening to, and mix them with R&B into a new sound… So the first recordings were tentative, and all songs had to be agreed by both sides!
The first single released in the UK was 'Iron Out The Rough Spots' in November 82 but despite strong radio support it wasn't a success; initially it was the same for the following release 'Love Of the Common People'. Success came at last with 'Wherever I Lay My Hat', which maintained the number 1 spot for the summer of 1983. The album 'No Parlez' pushed Paul and The Royal Family (his newly-formed band) to the top of the charts. If the rest of Europe didn't completely agree with 'Hat', that soon changed when 'Come Back & Stay' was number one in Germany for six weeks, and the rest of Europe followed. (He met his future wife, Stacey Smith whilst making the video of 'Come Back and Stay'.)
With the second album, 'The Secret Of Association' his status as a world star was confirmed. 'Every Time You Go Away' hit number one in America in the summer of 1985, (shortly after his appearance at the historic Live Aid) and in any other unconquered countries too. It was and still is his biggest worldwide hit.
Also, Paul's hobby of cooking turned into more of a career, and after appearing in high profile TV shows such as Celebrity Masterchef and Hell's Kitchen, and six months as guest chef at a famous local restaurant, Paul released a cookbook, "On My Travels" in the summer of 2012.
2016 has seen a new solo album release in April from Paul called 'Good Thing', a collaboration between veteran producer Arthur Baker and top musician/producer James Hallawell. Also, together with Los Pacaminos he recorded extra tracks for the deluxe versions of both their studio albums which saw their re-release in May. This in turn has filled the calendar with live shows in the UK and Europe supporting all the new material.
An artist who has received Ivor Novello, Grammy, BASCAP awards along with a flotilla of gold and platinum records, really needs very little introduction.
Musical success is seldom measured in time spans of more than a few years, if not Andy Warhol's often quoted "fifteen minutes", so the fact that by the time Midge's single "If I Was" went to No1 in 1985 he had already crammed several musical lifetimes into a 10 year professional career speaks volumes - Slik, The Rich Kids, Thin Lizzy, Visage, Ultravox and of course the most famous one off group in musical history Band Aid had by then all had the guiding hand of his musical navigation. Then you have to take account of Midge's musical directorship of a series of rock concerts for The Prince's Trust, Wicked Women for Breakthrough and in honor of Nelson Mandela; a Lord Provost award for services to Scottish music; record production for Phil Lynott, Steve Harley and countless others; his video direction of memorable hits by the Fun Boy Three, Bananarama and others, or a whole swathe of landmark singles by Ultravox; TV, theatre and film music credits ranging from 'Max Headroom' to stage and big screen.
His musical roots were playing and learning the records of the Small Faces and other rockers who did things very much their own way, Midge appeared to the wider public in a moment of heady teen success with Slik. Their sway-along Bell single 'Forever And Ever' took over at No.1 in the UK from Abba's 'Mamma Mia' on Valentine's Day 1976. Soon outgrowing Slik's pop dimensions, Midge was snapped up by ex-Sex Pistol Glen Matlock the following year for his new outfit, the Rich Kids, who charted amid an avalanche of press with a self-titled EMI single early in 1978. By April '79, with his name being added to many musicians' contact book, Ure had been asked by Billy Currie, Chris Cross and Warren Cann to become the new frontman in Ultravox.
The band was a major influence on the new romantic and electro-pop movements of the early '80s and many an open-minded studio and bedroom experimentalist since. Their successful trademark was combining Midge's powerful guitar riffs with sweeping synthesizer motifs, enigmatic imagery and state-of-the-art visuals. Throughout the first half of the '80s, they brilliantly combined the responsibilities of top 10 chart-makers and innovative style-makers. As interest in the 1980's rises again to a new peak in 2009, courtesy of reformations of the likes of Duran Duran and most recently Spandau Ballet, Ultravox's chart catalogue rewards merits new scrutiny. Tracks like 'Reap the Wild Wind', 'Dancing With Tears in My Eyes', 'Love's Great Adventure' and 1981's timeless 'Vienna' were all massive hits the world over as they charted with awesome regularity, not only on single, but with seven consecutive top ten albums in just six years.
Even by then, the Midge Ure story had some individual chapters, of course. He wrote and produced Visage in 1980, then hit the top 10 in the summer of 1982 with his first release under his own name, an atmospheric take on the Tom Rush song made famous half a dozen years earlier by the Walker Brothers, 'No Regrets'. Then came November 25, 1984, a historic day for Midge and all of pop music, as 36 artists by the collective name Band Aid gathered at SARM Studios in west London under Ure's production. They recorded 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' a song he had just written with Bob Geldof as the industry's heartfelt and eloquent contribution to Ethiopian famine relief. 600,000 copies sold in its first week in the UK alone was only the beginning: 800,000 more were bought in the second week, more than three million world-wide, and the unstoppable emotion engendered by the project led to Live Aid, the summer 1985 global concert that, all exaggeration aside, spoke for a generation.
April 2009 saw the unthinkable happen - ULTRAVOX REFORMED !!! Six months of talking between Midge and other Ultravox band members Chris Cross, Billy Currie and Warren Cann led to a 3 week tour of the UK and Ireland. The last UK show at London's historical Roundhouse was filmed for the HD DVD release "Return To Eden". Summer 2009 saw Midge combining further Ultravox festival appearances, solo acoustic shows, outdoor festival appearances with his own 4 piece band, and appearances at the ever popular " Here & Now " outdoor shows which play at stately homes across the UK with other 1980's guest vocalists. A second Ultravox tour in 2010 took in Europe and Scandinavia, and following that plans were made to record an original new set of songs together for the first time in 26 years... work started in September 2010 in Canada, and continued throughout the winter into Spring 2011.
November 2010 & 2011 also saw Midge return to his role of MD for the Princes Trust at the Royal Albert Hall with a cast of the usual suspects including Eric Clapton and Phil Collins and Mark King Summer 2012 saw the release of the first CD of new Ultravox material - "Brilliant" was recorded throughout 2011, and a new tour by Ultravox will follow later in 2012. Midge's solo gigs continue in late 2012 and into 2013 with a varied set list drawing on his Ultravox and solo catalogue, plus songs that have influenced him both old and new.