Midge Ure at Radiodays Europe

Legendary musician Midge Ure joined Virgin Radio’s Ben Jones to discuss his career in music, the role that radio has played and the story behind one of his biggest hits in the city it’s named after - Vienna.

Opening the session with an incredible live rendition of “Breathe”, Midge discussed his early musical influences growing up in Scotland. “Apart from Top of the Pops on TV, listening to the radio was the only way to discover new acts.

Midge said that growing up you’re influenced by the people around you and how even now in his music he hears his early influences. He said “It doesn’t matter how old you are. That first time hearing your song on the radio is just magical.”

When asked about why 80’s music stands out still today, Midge attributed this to the music himself and other 80s acts like Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet and Culture Club he listened to as a child: “Bands from the 60’s - The Beatles, The Kinks, The Who – they wrote some of the greatest songs of all-time” he said.

Midge said that chart success still means something – and that it’s egotistical. And he explained how “Vienna” was written without ever visiting the city. He said that some of the video was shot here, but most was in London due to finances.

And he talked about music streaming, saying how it is wonderful because of its accessibility. He said that it was hard for new musicians - streaming does not pay enough. He concluded by saying that if we have any hope at all of a great, creative musical future – young artists have to be heard and paid – but did admit that UK radio has been fantastic in their support of him.