Ultravox and the Stones

Midge Ure in flull flow at the stones

Midge Ure in full flow at the stones

On a cold winter’s night in Stornoway, I waited outside the Caberfeidh Hotel, wondering what to do. I was working for the Stornoway Gazette, the ‘Only Newspaper Printed in the Outer Hebrides‘ according to its masthead, and I was the Island’s soul dedicated newspaper photographer. What’s more I was onto a scoop. I’d had a tip-off from the Manager of the hotel, that a, ‘big band from the south’ was staying with them.


Recording the Video for 'One Small Day

He’d told me the band’s name as if it really should mean something to me. Oh ‘Ultravox‘ I said knowledgeably when he called with his hot scoop, wow. I think I’d heard of them, just, but I around that time I was a little in the musical wilderness. Anyway, I went into the bar to scope the place out and got into conversation with a cool looking leather jacketed Glaswegian. A few pints later, I confided my mission to him and asked if he knew the band?


It was a freezing cold day in the Outer Hebrides

I suppose I’d been expecting someone fairly outlandish and aloof to be the leader of this big band from ‘the south’ but when my new drinking buddy told me he thought I might be looking for him, I was chuffed. This was Midge Ure. I was even even more delighted when Midge asked us on the band’s video shoot the following day.

These pictures were taken at Callanish Stones the day after my meeting with the band. I can’t remember the date exactly but it was mid winter ’84 and bitterly cold. The band recorded the video for ‘One Small Day’ which was a single released from the album ‘Lament’.

The stones are called Tursachan Chalanais in their Gaelic name and are an ancient Megalithic site built around 3000 years BC. They lie on the west coast of the island of Lewis.


4 responses to Ultravox and the Stones

  1. sheila

    Met Midge Ure in the Caberfeidh hotel on the Saturday night. What a nice man. Finishing yr 6 at the nicholson Institue with a group of friends. No calvanistic approach though, hailing from the southen isle of Barra. Now living in Oz and had a conversation with my boss about the video today

  2. Kim

    I can put my hand on my heart and say that I’ve been an Ultravox fan for decades (just putting it in words makes me feel old!) and in the late 80’s when I moved from Sydney to London I made the treck across the UK and out to the Outer Hebrides. I had to see the Callanish standing stones for myself and I’m so glad I did. The day was bitterly cold and there was not another soul around – just perfect.
    I absolutely fell in love with the place. Back in Australia now but one (small) day I hope to return to the Outer Hebrides – this time with my ipod loaded with all my favourite Ultravox songs!

  3. Michael

    In the 80s the lads I worked with were big Ultravox fans and so once they found out where the video was shot away we went to Lewis. I don’t know what it is like now but it was a fantastic place to visit and I would love to go back.

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