We all wanted desperately for it to go well, but the capable yet anonymous trio was a handicap and the old material of much-loved but relatively anodyne songs proved woefully thin, the easy platitudes of their ponderous lyrics revealed quite brutally. "Dear God", Midge sang, and you wondered whether one line really did say, "Please let my investments be sound", or if it was a glitch between the mixing desk and your ears. Though Ure could play guitar and sing very effectively, and his amiable Scots wide- boy stage persona reached out to the ever-open, nostalgic arms of the audience, in truth, little seemed to be going on.
He was, perhaps, at his best on a series of unlikely Sixties cover versions - "To Sir with Love", "Man of the World", "Strange Brew" - where he rocked out with conviction, and although he remained a truly endearing bloke throughout, there was something badly missing. A solo, acoustic performance, or the addition of a fashionable string quartet, might well be a better bet if Ure wants to seriously re-start his career. As it was - and as the trusty old warhorse of the pre-encore number inevitably had it (and it still sounded great) - it means nothing to me. Oh, Vienna.
Midge Ure plays Flux, the Edinburgh New Music Festival, tonight (Booking: 0131-557 6969) Phil JohnsonReuse content