Ultravox! – Live at The Marquee Club – December 26, 1978 – Flip Martian Collection –
Ultravox! tonight, in concert at the Marquee Club in London, recorded on December 26, 1978- cleaned up, spiffed up and turbo-charged by Flip Martian for his Live And Loud website/podcast.
Ultravox! are certainly no strangers to Past Daily – I seem to be running one of their concerts at least once a year, through various eras of the band’s existence. Prior to this, the earliest example I could dig up were two concerts during the fateful US tour of 1979; the tour that split the band apart with John Foxx parting ways and heading into a solo career.
This show is different – it comes right around the time of the release of their third album, Systems Of Romance, and was one of the results of their relationship with German producer Conny Plank, who had his hand in a number of bands around this time, not the least being The Tourists, who went off to become The Eurythmics.
There are fans of Ultravox! during this period and fans of Ultravox during the Midge Ure era – they are, essentially two completely different bands – and with the collaboration of Conny Plank, the band achieved a harder, more techno edge which was all but abandoned during the second phase of Ultrvox (dropping the !) and embracing a more flowing, romantic and epic style – and of course gathering a whole new fanbase, thanks to MTV and the guiding hands of George Martin.
There are those, myself included, who found much to admire about both incarnations of the band – this is just the earlier/edgier one – and it is just as valid, in my estimation, as the later one – they just go to different places.
So if you aren’t familiar with the John Foxx incarnation of Ultravox!, this is a very spirited and urgent performance, nicely captured and elaborated on – should be an interesting listen all the way around. Especially if you play it loud.