UB40 are Britain’s greatest reggae artists and have survived more than 30 years in the music business, clocking up more than 70 million record sales worldwide with songs like Kingston Town and Red, Red Wine. With over 50 singles in the UK Chart, UB40’s contribution to pop music is extraordinary.
Ali, Astro and Mickey, the three founding members are currently embarking on a huge world tour, which the fans have been crying out for, playing all the hits and new tracks from the forthcoming album Silhouette, which will be released in October. Due to phenomenal public demand a further six concert dates have been scheduled for 2015 alongside dates at the Birmingham NIA on Friday 17th April 2015 and London O2 Brixton Academy on 18th April 2015.
The new dates are Nottingham Royal Concert Hall on 9th April, Ipswich Regent on 10th April, Bournemouth BIC Pavilion on 12th April, Bristol Colston Hall on 14th April, Cardiff St David’s Hall on 15th April and Sheffield City Hall on 20th April.
The band commented, “We can’t wait to get back on the road – the response from the fans has been overwhelming and we can’t wait to play new material from our new album Silhouette, as well as all those classics. 100% reggae, 100% UB40. Big love Ali, Astro & Mickey”
The summer of 1978 saw the eight members of the Birmingham band, soon to become UB40, drawn together by their love of Jamaican reggae. Taking their name from a notorious British unemployment form, the band played their first local gig in Birmingham in 1979, and spent the rest of the year performing at pubs and clubs around the UK.
British radio legend John Peel was so impressed with the group’s first demo tape that he invited them to perform on his Radio One show in 1980. At the same time, the band were also asked to support The Pretenders on their triumphant national tour.
They released a Top 5 single in the UK in February 1980 and, in 1981, released a brace of albums, ‘Present Arms’ and ‘Present Arms In Dub’. Their breakthrough came with the hit single, ‘Red, Red Wine’. The song topped the British singles charts in 1983 and, after renewed promotion following the 1988 Nelson Mandela Concert at Wembley, the single reached the number 1 spot in the US.
Touring America and Canada in 1985, the group celebrated another hit single with ‘I Got You Babe’, recorded with Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders. In 1986 they finished ‘Rat In The Kitchen’, and further recording in 1987 and 1988 was complimented by a world tour.
1993’s platinum selling album, ‘Promises And Lies’, spawned the hit ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’, which topped the U.S. pop chart for seven consecutive weeks. The subsequent tour culminated in a series of shows in South Africa, with them dedicating their anti-apartheid anthem, ‘Sing Our Own Song’, to President Nelson Mandela.
The band’s initial line up lasted for 30 years from the band’s formation in 1978 until front-man Ali Campbell’s departure from the band in 2008. Since that time, two other founding members (Mickey Virtue and Astro) have also left the band, and the trio of Campbell, Virtue, and Astro have since formed UB40.
The Brand New Heavies who will be supporting the band for their 2015 dates are without doubt true pioneers of the London Acid Jazz scene. A British institution, their unique mix of jazz, funk and soul has lit up the UK music scene for well over two decades. Over the years The Brand New Heavies have been responsible for some of the UK’s biggest R & B/ soul tracks, scoring 16 top 40 singles including ‘Dream On Dreamer’ and ‘You’ve Got A Friend’, as well as over two million album sales.
2014 TOUR DATES
Friday 19th December 2014 Birmingham O2 Academy – SOLD OUT
Saturday 20th December 2014 London IndigO2 – SOLD OUT
Sunday 21st December 2014 Manchester Academy
2015 TOUR DATES
SPECIAL GUESTS – THE BRAND NEW HEAVIES
Thursday 9th April 2015 Nottingham Royal Concert Hall
Friday 10th April 2015 Ipswich Regent
Sunday 12th April 2015 Bournemouth BIC Pavilion
Tuesday 14th April 2015 Bristol Colston Hall
Wednesday 15th April 2015 Cardiff St David’s Hall
Friday 17th April 2015 Birmingham NIA
Saturday 18th April 2015 London O2 Academy Brixton
Monday 20th April 2015 Sheffield City Hall
TICKETS: KILILIVE.COM / SEETICKETS.COM / 0844 871 8803