Tuesday, 25 February 2014
UB40 tour: Ali Campbell sets the record straight
In light of a campaign to discredit the legitimacy of UB40’s SA tour based on it being made up of three of the original members and not all of them, the band has released a formal statement to set the record straight once and for all: “Following the statement by our ex-colleagues and co-musicians in UB40, we would like to reply with a clarification of the situation. Ali Campbell and Astro Wilson are the two long time vocalists who sang on all the previous UB40 albums and UB40 hits, (prior to the Country and Western album that the remaining members saw fit to record a matter of months ago). Campbell and Astro ARE the voices of UB40 – they created the sound on record and on stage. Anyone going to a concert by the remaining five will be treated to merely a karaoke version of how the band did indeed sound, with a replacement singer who has never recorded a previous UB40 album and is no part of the UB40 history. There is only one vocal sound for UB40 and only two genuine vocalists and it is us. We have a legal right to use the name UB40 and we intend to do so. The only deception being committed here is by them, purporting to be a band that recorded the albums and songs that our loyal fans have bought over many years. We sing reggae, songs we recorded as UB40, plus new material. UB40 is who we are and the fans can judge for themselves.” Seed Experiences is bringing the band to South Africa in April 2014. They’ll play on Friday 4 April 2014 at Val de Vie Estate in Paarl and on Saturday 5 April 2014 at Emmarentia Dam in Johannesburg. It is well known that the famous frontman and voice of UB40, lead singer Ali Campbell left the band in 2008 along with Micky Virtue. Additional band member, Astro (Terence Wilson), left in 2013. In January 2014 these three members from the original band announced that they had reunited to perform live and to record new music under the name of UB40 and in the spirit of the original music. This is the tour that is coming to South Africa and is officially billed as UB40 as per the contract with their leading and reputable global booking agent The Agency Group Ltd. The other band in the UK is made up of the other remaining member and still performs under the name of UB40. This band performs without the legendary voice of Ali Campbell, Astro or Micky Virtue. The name dispute between the bands will be left to the artists to settle directly and does not affect the SA Tour going ahead as planned. Fans can expect to hear the old classics like Red Red Wine, Kingston Town and Rat In Mi Kitchen. Considering the fact that Seed Experiences released the UB40 featuring Ali Campbell tour over a month ago, it is unfortunate that another South African event promoter who had apparently (and unbeknownst to Seed Experiences) wanted to bring the other UB40 to SA has tried to discredit the tour without contacting Seed Experiences first. If they, or any other promoter wish to bring out UB40 without their famous lead singer then of course they’re more than welcome to do so. Seed would also like to reiterate that they have been transparent from the outset that this tour comprises three of the band’s original members; as is evident in all marketing and campaign visuals, leaving no room for public confusion.