A trio of 80s musical heavyweights arrives on Tyneside for an evening of retro pop at the Sage Gateshead.

Tonight’s show which is simply branded as “Together In Concert” features 80s superstars Midge Ure and his Electronica Band, The Christians and Altered Images featuring Clare Grogan. Throughout the course of the evening, these incredibly talented artists turn back the clocks as they walk their North East fan base down memory lane.

Altered Images kick off the proceedings with a lively set packed full of their greatest hits. Clare Grogan, informs the audience that she is now a 55-year-old mum and shouldn’t be wearing gold platform shoes, but that doesn’t stop her from having the time of her life. Subsequently, whilst performing these tracks Grogan’s emotions are running high, she declares that she has tears in her eyes early on in the show.

Grogan takes the audience through “Dead Pop Stars”, explaining that as she rarely performs the song these days her daughter only recently got to see her perform it for the first time quite recently, and she was so horrified by what she saw that she wanted to share that experience with us too, much to the audience’s amusement.

Throughout Altered Images 30 minute set, the rather bubbly Grogan dances like no one is watching as she takes the audience through the likes of “Change of Heart”, the funky disco-inflected “Bring Me Closer” and the unmistakable “Happy Birthday”. During the latter of which, and with a bit of encouragement from the self-professed bossy Glaswegian herself Clare Grogan has the whole room up on their feet.

The Christians are currently celebrating their 30th anniversary this year, and during the course of their 45 minute set this evening they bring their distinctively calmer, soulful sound to the proceedings. The audience hangs on every word of the likes of “Greenbank Drive”, which in turn is segued into a few bars of soul classic “Papa Was A Rolling Stone”.

Frontman Garry Christian really strikes a chord with the Geordie audience, he is often found engaging in witty banter with a variety of fans at the front of the stage – whether they are asking for a souvenir in the shape of his prized hat, or encouraging him to say something in scouse, Christian always returns with a witty retort and occasionally with a Geordie twang. The Christians close out their set with a pair of fan favourites in the shape of “Hooverville” and their take on The Isley Brothers classic “Harvest for the World”.

Ultravox’s Midge Ure tops the bill this evening with his Electronica Band. The precursor to the set is a 10-minute video presentation depicting the story and the inspiration behind Midge’s forthcoming studio album Orchestrated, which will be released on 1st December.

For this album, Midge Ure has reimagined many of the songs from his extensive back catalogue and given them a classic interpretation, and judging by the strength of the snippets included in the short film it stands to be something special indeed. As ever, Midge Ure continues to push his creative boundaries.

However, tonight its all about the electronica with Midge having put to one side his acoustic setup, he is reunited once more with both his synthesisers and his electric guitars, as he delivers a set which is predominantly filled with Ultravox classics. New wave favourites like the synth-heavy “Fade To Grey”, the anthemic “Dancing With Tears In My Eyes” and Ultravox’s chart-topping hit “Vienna” completely captivate the Sage Gateshead audience.

Midge Ure closes out his set with a hard-rocking rendition of “Hymn”, but rather than following the usual walk off for an encore he plays straight through due to time constraints and brings a fantastic evening of 80s music to a close with “Loves Great Adventure”.

Tonight the packed out audience inside of the Sage Gateshead are nostalgically transported back to their youth and it is most certainly a memorable and enjoyable experience for all.

Midge Ure
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The Christians
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Altered Images
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Event Date: 24-Oct-2017

About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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