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#100739 - Sun, 18 Dec 2016 01:02:46 Is Midge underated and unappreciated?
zico Offline
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Registered: Mon, 27 Apr 2009 19:00:00
Posts: 51
Loc: Sussex
I was just wondering if others felt the same as myself with regard to my view that Midge (and the other three boys to be fair) are and have been underrated and unappreciated over the years by both the general public and the media?

The reason I ask is because tonight I was for some bizarre reason watching Michael McIntyre's Big Show on BBC1 and guest of honour was Sting. Now as a kid I used to like The Police but once Ultravox came on the scene that was it for me but watching the programme tonight I actually thought that Sting performing live was actually er, not very good. When you compare it to say Midge singing Vienna at the Ryder Cup Concert a few years ago Sting's performance actually sounded even worse than I thought it first sounded. Ok, as a Midge and Ultravox fan I might be a bit biased but Sting is considered this multi millionaire legend whose songs in my opinion aren't all that good and yet the little guy from Scotland to coin a present day phrase "smashes it" when it comes to live performances.

However despite (once again my opinion) Midge being vocally superior to many an artiste he and Ultravox seem way down the list of the publics and the medias favourites list.

On the old Ultravox forum I did mention something similar but I really don't understand why Midge with his vocal talents and likeable persona isn't considered more of a superstar and a TV draw to others bar us fans?

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#100741 - Tue, 20 Dec 2016 11:06:16 Re: Is Midge underated and unappreciated? [Re: zico]
Alone With Strangers Offline
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Registered: Sun, 23 May 2004 19:00:00
Posts: 209
Loc: a different planet
To a great extent Midge fell away from the public eye after the Answers To Nothing album and hasn't really recaptured it since. As a consequence many people think he is that bloke that used to sing & can cook a bit.

Possibly doesn't help that he hardly looks like the same man anymore.

AWS

PS Yes, Sting is bloody awful.


Edited by Alone With Strangers (Tue, 20 Dec 2016 11:06:42)

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#100746 - Sun, 25 Dec 2016 01:08:13 Re: Is Midge underated and unappreciated? [Re: zico]
Vladimir Offline
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Registered: Thu, 02 Dec 2004 20:00:00
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Loc: Russia, Moscow suburb, the cit...
All that is, unfortunately, because Midge is not a superstar - and, despite all of Ultravox success, has never been, for better or worse. By superstar I mean a singer who still to this day sells on both sides of Atlantic, has a high public profile and is generally "respected" by wide public, critics etc. Not Midge by any stretch of imagination - moreover, he now is an independent artist, away from big record companies and their publicity machine. So he's lucky to get the kind of "plugging" he gets - i.e. odd TV or radio show, some review or interview here and there.

Unfortunately, with all that's known about him, he more or less led his way to where he is now. Yes, bad luck played a part, but his poor decisions and inability to build his own carrier (for instance, he's not really a show-off like Sting or Bono or any such holdover from his era) resulted in the present low profile. And, I think, it's highly unlikely he'll ever be able to regain at least the 1980s level of recognition. Still, how many of the 1980s personalities are still in the public eye, at least remotely relevant? You can count them on fingers of one hand. As for "Good guy Midge" - how many good guys are ever superstars (and even if so, for just how long)?

But what really gets me is that with all of the 1980s "revival" and rise of profile of synthpop, New Romantics etc. it's Ultravox that gained almost nothing from it. One of the pivotal bands of the era - and yet hardly a mention in reviews or interviews, no documentaries or books, no constant praise and rediscoveries (like with DM, Human League, Numan, Heaven 17 and others). The band seems to slip through the cracks, either written out of history or simply forgotten out of sheer lack of interest. The only thing that people seem to be willing to hear is "Vienna", other than that - no, thank you. Why is that, I cannot understand, it really makes me sad.

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#100749 - Tue, 27 Dec 2016 12:24:23 Re: Is Midge underated and unappreciated? [Re: Vladimir]
zico Offline
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Registered: Mon, 27 Apr 2009 19:00:00
Posts: 51
Loc: Sussex
Glad I am not the only one who thinks that Vladimir.

Partly the reason I asked is that I was out with friends the other week and we were discussing music. Back in 2009 or 2010 when the band reformed I booked tickets at Brighton and Hammersmith (which was a childhood dream I must say). The Mrs didn't want to go twice so on the Thursday I took a mate to the Brighton Show. When discussing music that night a few weeks ago this concert in Brighton came up and my mate was basically saying it was the best concert he had ever been to and was highly complimentary on Midge's singing and the band's playing. This is a guy who has been to many a concert. I can even remember the Mrs at Hammersmith saying that she didn't think that Ultravox would be that good.

This lends weight to the various posts discussing say your favourite or least favourite 80's bands on online forums. Midge or Ultravox rarely (unless I am posting) figure on either. Not loved nor hated it seems, and as you quite rightly say the only track that does get a mention is "Vienna" if at all.

Maybe it's partly because they were considered a guy's band (happy to be corrected here if I am wrong) and of course the teeny bop girls brigade in the 80's probably did much to propel bands like Spandau, Duran and others. Maybe it was the serious, pompous look of the band, which I think even Midge mentions, that held it back, plus as much as I love the music a lot of it is not exactly dance material and even Midge admitted you needed one leg longer than the other to dance to an Ultravox track so not being disco or nightclub favourites probably did the band little favours.

I am just a little surprised because I heard somewhere that Jonathan Ross is a fan but to my knowledge has never had either Midge or the band on his show.

Maybe it's just a combination of things but I just fond it a great shame that such a great vocalist and a fantastic band don't get the credit that they deserve. I mean supporting Simple Minds?!?! IMO it should have been the other way around!!


Edited by zico (Tue, 27 Dec 2016 12:26:13)

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#100750 - Wed, 28 Dec 2016 14:14:05 Re: Is Midge underated and unappreciated? [Re: zico]
david L. Offline
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Registered: Fri, 09 Aug 2002 19:00:00
Posts: 1530
Loc: oxfordshire
Originally Posted By zico


I am just a little surprised because I heard somewhere that Jonathan Ross is a fan but to my knowledge has never had either Midge or the band on his show.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCgnENGIc9U

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mtvG1ELf2wE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2O-mgU_GL0

To post a perhaps controversial idea - does it matter ? I dont think Midge would have done very much more recordings or live gigs ( either solo or part of 'vox ) if he had a higher profile among the general music buying public .

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#100751 - Wed, 28 Dec 2016 18:15:14 Re: Is Midge underated and unappreciated? [Re: david L.]
zico Offline
Pass level: Press

Registered: Mon, 27 Apr 2009 19:00:00
Posts: 51
Loc: Sussex
Yeah I have seen those David cheers but I meant more recent TV rather than radio. I know back in the day he/they were regulars on Wogan and of course Whistle Test and The Tube.

No I guess it doesn't matter. I just find it surprising with a great voice and talent he wasn't/isn't in more demand. Only really posted because of that dreadful Sting performance on prime time telly.



Edited by zico (Wed, 28 Dec 2016 18:16:04)

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