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UB40 featuring Ali Campbell and Astro

Roots & Soul

Named after a British unemployment benefit form, pop-reggae band UB40 was formed in a welfare line in 1978, and their multi-racial lineup reflected the working-class community their members came from. The band consolidated its street credibility with political topics appealing to dissatisfied youth, and got a boost from fans of the waning 2-Tone ska revival movement. Brothers Robin (lead guitar) and Ali Campbell (guitar, lead vocals) formed the centerpiece of the group, along with Earl Falconer, saxophonist Brian Travers, drummer James “Jimmy” Brown, and percussionist Norman Hassan. The group began gigging in 1979, scoring an opening gig with the Pretenders by the end of the year. By 1980, UB40 added keyboardist Michael (Mickey) Virtue and toaster Terence Wilson (aka Astro), rounding out their initial lineup.

UB40, featuring Ali and Astro have enjoyed lots of success with live touring and recorded music over the last five years, including top ten albums Silhouette and Unplugged and in 2018, they reached number two in the charts with the critically acclaimed, A Real Labour of Love. They continue to tour the world and sell out arenas and festivals. The band is currently preparing for the 2019 40th Anniversary arena tour starting in Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii before UK and Europe, which will then lead into a huge tour of the US.