3 Mar 2020
Midge Ure and his four-piece Band Electronica are bringing to life the classic album he made as the voice of Ultravox, ‘Vienna’; plus songs from the debut Visage album. Expect a hit-packed set from local heroes The Mockers, with members reuniting from UK, Australia and NZ for these historic shows.
The last time Midge Ure (with Ultravox) and the Mockers appeared on the same bill was at the third Sweetwaters Festival, in Pukekawa during the summer of 81/82 – a time when the musical landscape worldwide was in the midst of great change. The guitar-driven dominance that had propelled rock and punk throughout 70s had ended, as synthesizers signalled the sound of the future and video transformed the look of the pop charts. The 1980s had exploded into life and nothing would be the same again.
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’s single ‘Vienna’ from the album of the same name were global hits that shared the same stark ambience, European aesthetic and electronic heart. These landmark singles and their respective 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,” Midge Ure explains. “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.
“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”.
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