Midge Ure, The Christians, Altered Images

Guildford G Live

The 80s revival bandwagon rolled into Guildford recently in the form of a triple-header of 80s chart-toppers.

Clare Grogan of Altered Images began the show with a lively set including I Could Be Happy and “the song that keeps on giving” Happy Birthday. At one point Grogan said “I had a few duff notes in there, I’d like to blame someone else but I can’t.” If she had then nobody seem to care as everybody was having such a good time.

Next, eternal purveyors of soul-tinged pop, the Christians. Lead singer Garry Christian’s voice has matured with age and he’s the constant force behind the band’s longevity. The group has just released a new album, Sings & Strings, which is stripped back versions of their classic songs showcasing Christian, perhaps the best male soul vocalist to come out of England.

Christian’s vocal talent is such that he can take on and master soul classics, including Gil Scot Heron’s The Bottle, Marvin Gaye’s Inner City Blues and the Isley Brother’s Harvest for the World.

With Hooverville, he succeeded with ease where Lisa Stansfield had failed with difficulty a couple of years ago, the G Live audience standing and grooving within seconds of the suggestion. The Christians had stolen the show.

During the changeover a trailer was shown of Midge Ure’s forthcoming album which will be a treat for his fans, comprising of orchestral versions of Ultravox hits and more.

Glaswegian Ure and his band transported the audience back to the New Romantic era with their stylish synth pop. Starting with Yellow Pearl, Ure ran through a faultless repertoire including If I Was, I Remember, Sleepwalk, Fade to Grey and of course the soundtrack of 1980, Vienna. Slick, smooth and polished.

Chaz Brooks