It's been a long time coming but finally, Ultravox are back. Properly, this time. For those incurable romantics still in love with the first three John Foxx albums (that's me included), look away now because I'm talking about the '80s version, not the guitar-driven urban-paranoia of 'Young Savage' and 'Hiroshima Mon Amour'. This is about Ultravox as 'new romantics', not the 'new wave'.
Of course without Foxx, there wouldn't be a band to talk about in the first place, but the wirey singer's reticence about being part of a band and a passion for going it alone overcame him in 1979, leaving a chance for ambitious ex-Slik Kids singer Midge Ure to steer the sleeping ship into commercially lucrative waters. It didn't take long for the hits to arrive with the very first single, 'Sleepwalk' denting the singles chart and third single 'Vienna' an unlikely number 2 smash (famously held off the top spot by risible faux-Spanish Costa cobblers, 'Shaddup You Face' by Joe Dolce).
During the first half of the '80s, Ultravox were rarely off our TV screens and pop culture magazines and racked up a dozen or so notable hits, including 'Dancing With Tears in my Eyes', 'The Voice', 'All Stood Still' and 'Reap The Wild Wind'. By 1987 however, they were spent and swansong single 'All In One Day' barely reached the Top 100. Midge Ure left to grab a few solo hits, further releases of his Band Aid million-seller 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' and scribe a warts-'n'-all autobiography. The others dissipated into varying musical cul-de-sacs, although Ultravox also continued with unrecognizable line-ups (aside from keyboardist Billy Currie in attendance).
In 2009, the 'classic' line-up reconvened for a successful tour entitled 'Return to Eden'. Featuring snapshots of old and new songs, the reception was clearly enough to inspire Ure, Currie, Cann and Cross to sit down and write music again. The result is 'Brilliant', a new album and their first (if you discount the '90s efforts with different band-members) since 1986's 'U-Vox' (and hopefully, much better).
Due for release in June, 'Brilliant' will form the basis of a UK tour in the autumn which starts in Bristol on 21st September, followed by Oxford, Hammersmith, Southend, Glasgow and many more until Gateshead on 8th October. We will have tickets on sale from Friday 18th May at 9am, priced from £32.50 (£35 for London). This will be a VERY popular tour.