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Midge Ure launches new Page One concert series
As Midge Ure was wrapping up his impressive acoustic set at Page One last night, Michael “Eppy” Epstein stood off to the side and shouted, “History!”
And it very well may have been. Ure, best known as the lead singer of Ultravox as well as the co-writer of the Band Aid holiday classic “Do They Know It's Christmas,” was the first act in Eppy's new concert series at the Glen Cove restaurant, and judging by how packed it was, it seemed like a success. (The Fixx's Cy Curnin performs at the space tonight.)
However, Ure's 90-minute show was also part of a larger effort. The concert was recorded for future use on the legendary radio station WLIR, which Long Island Music Hall of Famer Denis McNamara, the station's influential longtime program director, told the crowd was returning, though he declined to give further details.
It's a combination that recalls the heyday of Long Island's club scene in the '70s and early '80s, when Eppy's Roslyn club, My Father's Place, could pull in the likes of Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Marley, The Ramones, and U2 on the strength of its reputation and its partnership with WLIR, which broadcast the concerts.
Regardless of whether that particular bolt of lightning will strike Long Island again, Ure's set showed how powerful this new setup can be. It's a unique experience to see someone of Ure's stature perform in such an intimate setting.
“This really is like being in someone's sitting room,” he said, before launching into the Ultravox hit “Love's Great Adventure.” He warned those at the closest tables that reaching his trademark high notes involves a little more effort on his part these days, adding, “We should sell umbrellas.”
Later, Ure added, “I don't think I've ever been this close to an audience before,” before he offered a surprising acoustic version of the new wave classic he co-wrote for Visage, “Fade to Grey.”
Though he lamented his choices to write his songs in “ridiculously high keys,” Ure was in fine voice, especially during “Vienna” and the powerful encore “Hymn.” He also wheeled out some surprises, including covers of The Walker Brothers' “No Regrets” and Fleetwood Mac's “Man of the World.”
Historic? We'll have to wait and see. But it certainly felt like the start of something big.
SET LIST: Waiting Days / Love's Great Adventure / Breathe / Dear God / Call of the Wild / Fade to Grey / No Regrets / Cold, Cold Heart / Lament / Man of the World / Vienna / All Fall Down / One Small Day / If I Was / Dancing with Tears in My Eyes // ENCORE: Hymn / Do They Know It's Christmas?