Midge Ure backs Alex Salmond and headlines SNP concert

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Singer and campaigner Midge Ure has come out in support of the SNP’s campaign in the Holyrood election.  Born and brought up in Cambuslang, Midge Ure shot to fame in the 1980s with the band Slik.  He was involved with a number of well known bands of the era, including Visage and Rich Kids, and for a short while toured with Irish rockers Thin Lizzy.  But his 1980s musical career is perhaps best remembered for his role in the band Ultravox and the smash hit Vienna.  He is currently recording a new album with the band, after a gap of 25 years.

Perhaps even more than his illustrious musical career, which has seen him awarded Grammys and Ivor Novello awards, Ure is most famous for organising the Band Aid and Live Aid concerts alongside Bob Geldof, with whom he co-wrote the single Do They Know It’s Christmas.  After the success of Band Aid in raising funds to assist the victims of the Ethiopian famine, Ure embarked on a new phase of his career, as a spokesman and passionate advocate for those who lead the fight against poverty, social exclusion and deprivation.  

Yesterday the fight against exclusion and deprivation in Scotland was firmly in the campaigner’s sights when he backed Alex Salmond’s re-election for First Minister and announced he would headline an SNP election campaign concert.

Speaking about his decision, Ure said: “Alex Salmond is a man totally concerned with the betterment of Scotland and the Scottish people and by doing this he enables Scotland to reach out and help others much less fortunate than ourselves.  He is a rare thing in politics. Someone who says what he thinks, stands by it and acts on it – that’s why I support him being re-elected as First Minister.  And anyone who can give Jeremy Paxman a good run for his money is OK in my books!”

One of the major factors leading to Ure’s decision to support the SNP is his belief that the Scottish Government demonstrates its concern for the welfare of ordinary Scots as well as the welfare of those worse off than ourselves: “I often hear English people moaning that the Scots have all the stuff they don’t have – such as free prescriptions and university education.  I think, first and foremost, Mr Salmond is looking out for the Scottish people, then he’s looking much, much further afield at what Scotland can offer people who have got a lot less than we have in this country.  And that, to me, is a major tick in his box.”

The singer urged Scots to use their votes in the May 5 election: “How many votes are wasted every year because it’s raining or cold or you’ve forgotten or can’t be bothered?  It’s just too important not to vote, especially in these economic times we’re struggling through.  The idea that you can get out there and have your opinion acted on is incredibly important.  But I don’t see why people wouldn’t vote for the SNP – the party is there to look after you and yours and your country.”

Scottish singer and songwriter Lou Hickey will be supporting Ure’s band at the concert.  Voted Scotland’s Most Eligible Woman by the Scotland on Sunday newspaper, and the Most Stylish Musician by the Scottish Style Awards, Hickey is currently recording an album of her distinctively retro pop in her own distinctive style of burlesque glamour.

Speaking about how much he was looking forward to the concert in his home city and the message he wanted to deliver, Ure said: “Trying to reach out to different people and get them involved in the Scottish election is important.  Music is a great way to bring people together and thats why I am headlining the gig for the SNP on April 26th at O2 ABC in Glasgow, supported by the talented Lou Hickey.  It’s the first time in over a year that my whole band has played in the UK, so will be a great night for us.”

The free concert will be held on April 26 at 7:00 PM at the O2 ABC in Glasgow’s Sauchiehall St.  To book a ticket, simply fill in the form on the www.VoteSNP.com/Concert webpage.  Tickets are limited and will be issued on a first come first served basis.