Midge Ure on being ‘inspired’ by Mersey Beat, working with George Martin and Eurovision in Liverpool

The legendary musician will play two of his classic Ultravox albums in Liverpool in May.

He's the man behind 80's hit Vienna, co-organised Band Aid, Live Aid and Live 8, and now he's coming to Liverpool to perform at the Philharmonic Hall with Band Electronica to celebrate 40 years since the release of Ultravox’s Rage In Eden andQuartet albums.

Midge Ure sat down with LiverpoolWorld to talk about the influence of Liverpool’s rich musical heritage, working with legendary Beatles producer George Martin, whether Live Aid would work in this age of multiple distractions and, of course, Eurovision.

Watch the video above, or read on, for more from legendary musician Midge Ure.

On Eurovision and Liverpool’s musical heritage...

"Do you know, if you're going to hold a Eurovision Liverpool is the place to hold it. You hold it in the home of music. The home of popular music that we all know that still resonates today. The home of the Mersey sound, the Beatles, Gerry & The Pacemakers, all of the stuff that I used to hear coming out of my radio when I was a kid that inspired me to pick up a guitar. It's a fantastic thing for Liverpool."

On working with George Martin...

"It was the opposite of working with our previous producer, a guy called Conny Plank, who is a German electronic avant-garde experimental producer who did the Vienna album and the Rage in Eden album. It just felt like we needed a change. Ultravox weren't very good at being told what to do by anyone, and if you're going to have someone who's going to edit you or guide you or suggest things to you, it better be someone like Sir George. He just carried so much knowledge and information, and stories. If George said something, you sat down, and you listened, and that was just glorious."

On whether Live Aid would work now...

"I think the reality is that music hasn't got the same emotional power that it had back then. That's not talking about any lacking in the music that's around right now. Back then, it was the be all and end all. That's what you had. You didn't have smartphones; you didn't have computers, you didn't have the Internet, you didn't have 24-hour television, you didn't have everything on demand at your fingertips. These days I'm not sure it's the right format, but wouldn't it be good if it was? We've got a wealth of great artists on the planet who all feel the same way, who would like to make a little chunk of earth floating round space a better place."

Midge Ure in Liverpool

Transporting fans back to the decade of electronics, experimentation and synthesisers, he'll be performing highlights from his recent releases alongside landmark hits from Ure's incredible back catalogue. Midge Ure & Band Electronica will perform at the Liverpool Philharmonic on Monday, 15 May, as part of the 'Voice & Visions' tour.