Midge Ure: 1985: My fear was swept away by this enormous wave of excitement

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The Independent Online

Terror. That was my overriding emotion, sheer toe-curling fear. It was a boiling hot Saturday in July and I faced a sea of faces and bodies stretching far and away into the Wembley stands. This was uncharted territory. Nobody, not Bowie, not Queen, certainly not me, had ever done anything like this before. This was the biggest show I was going to do.

Terror. That was my overriding emotion, sheer toe-curling fear. It was a boiling hot Saturday in July and I faced a sea of faces and bodies stretching far and away into the Wembley stands. This was uncharted territory. Nobody, not Bowie, not Queen, certainly not me, had ever done anything like this before. This was the biggest show I was going to do.

I hadn't slept much the night before with all the usual worries raging through my brain. We'd only had a 15-minute sound check. What if the drum machine broke? What if we overran our allotted 18 minutes and Harvey Goldsmith pulled the plug?

My face was hidden behind sunglasses and I wore the long, grey, silk coat I'd bought in Los Angeles two days earlier. My mouth was dust-dry. I must have said something but I have no idea what; the drum pattern clicked in, then Billy's synthesiser, then my cue. As I sang "Reap the Wild Wind", the fear cascaded away to be replaced by this enormous wave of excitement. By the time I got to "take my hand, take my hand" the cheers were deafening.

The atmosphere in Wembley was electric, buzzing. I could have walked on stage, coughed and people would have applauded. It was the same buzz as I had when I'd had my first hit, the first time I went out in front of an audience who had paid money to see me, who were gagging for me, ready for me, Live Aid was that moment magnified a million times. The crowd were so ready, so up for it I didn't have to tickle them at all.

We followed the first song with "Dancing with Tears in my Eyes" then "One Small Day" but when we started the intro to "Vienna" the crowd went ballistic. This roar just grew and grew until it engulfed us inside a tidal wave of cheering. It was a perfect moment. I had never experienced anything like that before, felt 80,000 people lapping it up, having a ball.

When we finished, I felt this huge sense of elation: I was completely and utterly high. On the front page of The Sunday Times the next day was a head shot of me, the crowd clearly reflected in my sunglasses.

Passing terror aside, it was a fabulous concert.

From "Midge Ure - If I Was... The Autobiography"

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