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Home » News » Weekend Life » UB40 to rock Gabs

UB40 to rock Gabs

Publishing Date : 28 August, 2017

Author : DAVE BAAITSE

Legendary English reggae and pop band, UB40 is returning to Gaborone after spelling a successful night at the national stadium almost three decades ago.

The group, which is reminiscent with the old generation, has fans across the population and the latest show is anticipated to attract mostly the senior citizen class who still carry the memories of the ‘Red Red Wine’ night in 1989 live in Gaborone. The event billed for November 18th 2017 at the National Stadium is brought by Gaborone Annual Spring Festival. To allow them ample time to thrill their audience, the event organisers did not pitch a lot of acts in the lineup.


The legendary band will perform alongside Sereetsi and The Natives, Wizards, Charma Gal, former Lucky Dube band and renowned DJ Fresh. The UB40 music event plots the country favourably in the tourism scale, hence the Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO) should be licking its fingers as local promoters continue to do wonders for event tourism.


Formed in December 1978 in Birmingham, England the band has had more than 50 singles in the UK Singles Chart, and has also achieved considerable international success. They have been nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album four times, and in 1984 were nominated for the Brit Award for Best British Group. UB40 have sold over 70 million records worldwide. The ethnic make- up of the band's original line- up was diverse, with musicians of English, Irish, Jamaican, Scottish and Yemeni parentage.


Their hit singles include their debut "Food for Thought" and two Billboard Hot 100 number ones with "Red Red Wine" and "Can't Help Falling in Love". Both of these also topped the UK Singles Chart, as did the band's version of "I Got You Babe". Their two most successful albums, Labour of Love (1983) and Promises and Lies (1993), reached number one on the UK Albums Chart. Their profile states that the band's line-up was stable for nearly 29 years, from March 1979 until January 2008, when front man Ali Campbell left the band, followed shortly thereafter by keyboardist Mickey Virtue. Another member, Astro, remained with the band until November 2013, when he departed the original band to team up with Campbell and Virtue in a new version of UB40.


In 2014, legal advice was sought by the original band (now consisting of remaining co-founding members drummer Jimmy Brown, guitarist Robin Campbell, bassist Earl Falconer, percussionist Norman Hassan, and saxophonist Brian Travers, along with new vocalist Duncan Campbell) against the group containing Campbell, Virtue, and Astro over usage of the band name, due to it being used by both parties. UB40 were influenced by the many blues parties they attended as teenagers in the multicultural Balsall Heath area of Birmingham. Their love of ska, reggae and early lovers rock inspired such original tracks as "King", "Madam Medusa", "Food for Thought", "Signing Off" and "One in Ten".


Their early musical style was unique, with a heavy influence of analogue synthesizers, psychedelic rock guitar, saxophone and dub producer techniques. The Campbell brothers are the sons of the late folk musician, Ian Campbell. Their father regularly took them to folk festivals and gigs and introduced them to music and to touring. It was at his father's folk club "Jug O' Punch" that Ali Campbell made his singing debut with Dave Swarbrick's daughter, Suss, singing "Why Does It have To Be Me?

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