You might not have heard Midge Ure's name before, but you've certainly heard his music.
The leader of new wave pioneers Ultravox, as well as a solo artist in his own right, Ure hasn't scored many American hits -- aside from the star-studded perennial holiday classic he co-wrote, Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas?" -- but his music is now finding wider appeal on '80s music radio stations, in commercials and in films.
The BBC recently named Ultravox's 1981 classic "Vienna" the United Kingdom's favorite song to only reach No. 2 on their charts, beating out The Beatles' "Strawberry Fields Forever," Elvis Presley's "Hound Dog" and Queen's "We Are the Champions."
With his new tour, which starts Tuesday at Page One in Glen Cove as part of My Father's Place founder Michael "Eppy" Epstein's new concert series, Ure is trying to gauge fan interest in his music and in a possible Ultravox reunion tour in America. "Ultravox has never done anything in a meager way," Ure said, calling from his home in England. "I'm a much more flexible thing. . . . I'm testing the waters."
You're playing a special acoustic show on Long Island. Considering that Ultravox was always known for its massive, sweeping sound, how can you manage that?
I first did it years ago for a night at the Bottom Line for songwriters. . . . I learned three or four songs acoustically for this night, and I liked it so much I ended up doing a six-week acoustic tour across America. I found that "Dancing With Tears in My Eyes" and "Vienna" work incredibly well when you strip them right down to the bone. It's the test of a good song.
Does it change the songs' meaning for you?
They do take on a new life of their own. You have to focus on what the song's actually saying. You can't hide behind a wall of synths. . . . You better have written something interesting, because if you don't have one element, the whole thing falls apart.
It also showcases things you're not particularly known for -- your phrasing, your delivery.
It's not really a fair, well-balanced world -- the music industry. Maybe it doesn't need to be. Maybe part of the joy of music is finding things you didn't know anything about. . . . Every so often, you discover something by osmosis, something new. That's when magic happens.
WHO Midge Ure
WHEN | WHERE 8 p.m. Tuesday, Page One, 90 School St., Glen Cove
INFO $30; 516-676-2800, myfathersplaceboxoffice.com