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INTERVI EW MIDGE URE


LIVE 24-SEVEN


14


Midge, you’re about to embark on you’re the 1980 Tour; the eighties delivered dramatic change across culture, fashion and politics, but most importantly of all, music – and your sound ringing in the future really. When you reflect on those times do you acknowledge how significant it was? You know what Katie, you’re quite right, it was a ground-breaking period for a whole variety of reasons. I think late seventies, 79, I bought my first synthesizer and tried to incorporate it into the band I was in, The Rich Kids, but half the band hated it and half the band loved it. The half the band that loved it formed Visage. So it wasn’t just the music that changed, it was the technology that changed in that period with synthesizers becoming affordable and so being able to incorporate them into music, because before that they were the equivalent of buying a small house! Just ridiculously expensive. Something was in the air or in the water, because the music industry allowed you to experiment, so from 1980 right through to the mid-eighties, song writing was king! It didn’t matter if you were into Culture Club or Duran Duran or Japan or whatever, creativity in song writing was absolutely imperative, there was something about that period in the UK that made it as vibrant as it was in the seventies and the Stones and The Who etc.


Vienna sounds as good today as it did when it was first released; no matter what your age, you hear that and the dancefloor is the destination. Did you have any idea what staying power that track was going to have? Not really. I’d be lying if we said we did, if we knew this was the future, the sound that was going to be. When you’re naive and have no real commercial success to speak of, you’re kind of creatively free to do whatever – as I said earlier, you’re allowed to be creative. Today if you try to do something like Vienna, the labels might not be that happy about it because it might be difficult to


get it off the ground. So, what you had in that period was a bunch of young guys doing what they thought was interesting, that was all, so it could have quite easily have disappeared down the chimney and through the floorboards, but when Vienna was given a play on the radio, it just resonated with people. They got it!


Tell us about the tour and the set list… Well, it’s celebrating the year of 1980 because that was the year that the Vienna album and the first Visage album became successful. They were both released at the same time and charted on the same day and I was partly responsible for both of them…


Which was pretty awesome wasn’t it? [laughing] Listen Katie, you could have knocked me down with a feather when my manager turned up at the smelly awful rehearsal studio with a couple of bottles of Champagne under his arm and said we’d charted not just with the one record, but with the two! It was an exciting period, so we’re going back to that and doing the entire Vienna album, which won’t have been done for a long, long time, along with highlights from Visage, but we’re looking at the celebratory period – a time when something magical happened around that period.


What a career you had! Take Band Aid – you were a he part of that. When you reflect, does it hit home how you were a part of some of the biggest milestones in terms of music and history? Again, you could have knocked me down with a feather, I could have done with that crystal ball at the time. When you do things like that, it wasn’t planned, half the stuff wasn’t planned. When you get involved in something like Band Aid, it’s just a tiny kernel of an idea that of course then starts to grow and build momentum – you can start to see what it will be, but you don’t know that in the first place. When we looked at the sales for Band


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