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Mention the name Midge Ure to most people and the chances are that the first thing they'll mention is the melodramatic video for Ultravox's Vienna, all moody visuals, sharp sideburns and Germanic overcoats which somehow failed to make No 1 in early 1981. A great pop record and landmark video certainly but there's much more to Midge Ure than that.

A chart-topping pop star in 1976 with Slik, whose Forever and Ever was co-written by Phil Coulter, the previous year Ure had turned down the opportunity to join a band London haberdasher Malcolm McLaren was putting together, missing out on the madness that was the Sex Pistols.

However, in 1977 he joined forces with former Pistols bassist Glen Matlock in Rich Kids along with future Visage drummer Rusty Egan, thus priming himself for a move into what would become the New Romantic movement. After playing with Visage he was asked to replace John Foxx as lead singer with Ultravox and thus in the space of three years had embraced pop stardom, post-punk and now electronic pop.

Not only that, such were Ure's talents as a versatile guitarist and keyboard player that in 1979 he was drafted into Thin Lizzy to replace Gary Moore during an American tour. This led to him appearing on Phil Lynot's debut solo album, contributing keyboards to the classic Yellow Pearl which eventually became the theme tune for Top of the Pops.

Huge success with Ultravox and a solo No 1 with a cover of No Regrets would probably have been enough for most but he then co-wrote one of the biggest-selling singles of all time, penning Do They Know it's Christmas? with Bob Geldof.


A great documentary on Live Aid's anniversary showed that Ure had effectively been written out of history for his part in organising the concert. Still, he's never seemed bitter and is both a wonderful raconteur and fantastic songwriter, the Sugar Club being the perfect place for him to showcase those talents.

Midge Ure plays an acoustic evening in the Sugar Club on Sunday.

> George Byrne