Midge Ure

Ok, we all know that the brilliant Midge Ure is from Scotland, fronted UItravox, wrote ‘Vienna’, ‘Dancing with Tears in My Eyes’, ‘If I Was’  and co-wrote ‘Do They Know it’s Christmas’ with Bob Geldof, but here’s a few bits and pieces that might come as more of a surprise.

  1. His real name is James, which was shortened to Jim, which was then reversed phonetically to ‘Midge’ to distinguish between him and another lad called Jim in the band Salvation
  2. For the first 10 years of his life he lived in a one-bedroom tenement flat in Glasgow with his brother, sister and parents
  3. Vienna’ never made it to no. 1 in the UK, but spent 5 weeks at no 2 and was the fifth highest selling song in the UK in 1981
  4. Ure only assembled the bridging chorus for ‘Do They Know it’s Christmas’ in the studio when the artists had gathered. He has described the song as not one of the best he has ever written, commenting modestly that “the momentum the artists gave it in the recording studio is what made it”
  5. Midge played with Thin Lizzie for a spell in 1979 and co-wrote Phil Lynott’s biggest solo hit ‘Yellow Pearl’ which was the theme song for ‘Top of the Pops’
  6. In 1975 Ure turned down an offer to be the lead vocalist of the Sex Pistols, stating that he felt at the time that Malcolm McLaren had “his priorities completely wrong!”, a position he later reversed
  7. He wrote the hit ‘Fade to Grey’ while with Visage
  8. ‘Do They Know it’s Christmas?’ is still the second best selling song in UK charts history, selling 3.7 million copies in the UK alone
  9. In 2005, he organised Live 8 concerts with Bob Geldof with the aim of pressing G8 leaders into taking action to end world poverty
  10. Ure and Geldof jointly set up the Band Aid Trust, and he remains active as a Band Aid Trustee
  11. He appeared on the 2007 Celebrity MasterChef series, winning his heat and progressing to the final 
  12. He has been awarded 5 honorary degrees

  Midge Ure is playing ‘Forever Young’ festival in Palmerstown House Estate on Sunday July 16th, 2023. ‘Forever Young’ is a 3-day celebration of the music of the 1980s featuring artists such as Bananarama, BIlly Ocean, Tony Hadley, Andy Bell (Erasure), Tom Bailey (Thompson Twins), ABC and many more.   Full line-up and tickets are available here