Midge Ure hasn't toured the U.S. as a solo artist in eight years. And the British musician says his current tour, accompanied by the Los Angeles band Right The Stars, is considerably different than what he's done before on his own or with his band, Ultravox.
"The interesting thing is they aren't a keyboard band like Ultravox. They're guitar oriented, which means I have to think about the songs quite a bit," explains Ure, 59, who also co-wrote and performed the 1984 charity hit "Do They Know It's Christmas?" "I have to think about what I want to perform and try to adapt them musically for the band I'm working with.
"that to me is very interesting, though it probably sounds as dull as dishwater to anybody else. But to me the challenge of thinking, 'Well, that part's always been done on keyboards, let's see how it sounds on guitar' or something like that keeps it fresh. The songs morph into something else."
Ure is keeping himself busy in the studio as well as on the road these days. He's continuing to work on a solo album that he "started so long ago I forget what it's like," as well as a memoir that's due out later this year. And Ultravox -- which released "Brilliant," its first new album in 18 years, last May -- is starting to contemplate its next move.
"I think the door is open," Ure says. "The Ultravox stuff takes three years out of your life, which is fine, but we all have other projects we do that we put on the back burner when we're doing Ultravox stuff. So you have to take time to go do those things and then regroup at some point.
"The interesting thing is that prior to three, four years ago, there was absolutely no chance of Ultravox working together, ever. It was dead and gone. We had no desire to do it. We were holding grudges. It was like a bad divorce. No we've made an album we're proud of and we toured, and I think we'll do it again but we don't have a plan yet. It's exciting, though."
Midge Ure and The Right Stars perform Thursday, Jan. 17, at the Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $22. Call 248-544-3030 or visit www.themagicbag.com.
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