Midge Ure

The Apres Bar, Birmingham – 31 May 2014


Only After Dark is a monthy club night, held in Birmingham, and is based on the Rum Runner nightclub, held in Birmigham back in the late 70's, early 80's. The Rum Runner actually opened in 1964, and was demolished in 1987. One of it's first house bands was a band called Magnum, who went on to perform a Rock orientated sound. But Only After Dark is certainly not associated with Magnum, but more in common with the likes of David Bowie and Roxy Music and the emerging, as it was then, New Romantic scene. And Duran Duran would eventually become the house band there, before (as you all know) going on to huge success all over the world.

Only After Dark (OAD) is run by a very fine chap by the name of David Wright who, is first and foremost, a fan of all the music that is played there... David Bowie, Roxy Music, Sparks and the punk and new wave scene of the era (late 70's, early 80's). So I would guess that putting on a monthly club such as this, is a pure joy for him, as opposed to being just a business venture. Each song that gets played, is accompanied by its original video which, for me, is a great touch... you don't just get the songs, but you can watch the video as well, if you don't wish to dance along to the song! The club has been going for five years, and has been situated at different venues (in Birmingham) during that time.
This particular night is its fifth anniversary. It's also seen the likes of DJ Rusty Egan, Blancmange and Heaven 17 in that time, so it's an amazing achievement by David to have attracted such established acts in such a short space of time.

[Midge Ure]   [Only After Dark]

Tonight, it's the turn of Midge Ure, and his acoustic guitar. The place is a sell-out and, at a guess, I would say there are close to 150 people there, maybe more? Midge is in fine voice, and is very witty in between songs... "I saw John Taylor recently, and we both sucked in our cheekbones", he says, whilst literally doing just that! He also suggested that the traditional encore was a bit ridiculous, especially at a place that isn't the 02 Arena, with all due respect. But, he has a point... most bands/artists go off after the last song, and nine times out of ten they will always return for a few numbers which, as Midge says, "Is bollocks"!' But, as well as being very witty, he was outstanding on the night, as I thought he would be. As mentioned, an acoustic guitar at his side, and some of the finest pop songs of the last thirty odd years or so, all sung happily by an adoring crowd. And nearly an hour later, he was gone. 9/10

Setlist: Dear God, Breathe, Fade To Grey, Lady Stardust, The Voice, No Regrets, Vienna, One Small Day, Hymn, Dancing With Tears In My EyesLoves Great Adventure, If I Was

Review + Photos:
John Elliott