Sun shines sec­ond time around

Central Otago Mirror - - CONVERSATIONS - JO MCKENZIE-MCLEAN

Last year they were rained out. This year, they slathered on sun­block.

UB40 did not dis­ap­point for their take-two Red Red Wine Vine­yard Tour at Waitiri Creek in Queen­stown on Thurs­day.

While snow and rain ear­lier in the week threat­ened a re­peat of last year’s hor­ren­dous weather, forc­ing the can­cel­la­tion of UB40’s con­cert, the sun came out the sec­ond time around.

Lead singer Ali Campbell said the band was happy to be back in Queen­stown and had been do­ing ‘‘all the touristy bits’’, in­clud­ing get­ting out on the wa­ter, eating a Ferg­burger, and en­joy­ing a gui­ness at Pog Ma­hones.

‘‘The first time we came it we got rained off. We have re­turned like we said we would to do the show. We are re­ally happy to be back. There was no-one more dis­ap­pointed than us when we had to can­cel. It was cir­cum­stances be­yond our con­trol.’’

The three­some of orig­i­nal UB40 band mem­bers Campbell, Astro and Mickey Virtue were a per­ma­nent act and would con­tinue tour­ing while they were still hav­ing fun, Campbell said.

In 2008, Ali left UB40 to pur­sue a solo ca­reer. Fel­low found­ing mem­ber Micky Virtue joined him, fol­lowed in 2013 by Ter­ence ‘Astro’ Wil­son, and they formed their own group us­ing the same name.

‘‘We are back to­gether per­ma­nently, us three. There are two UB40s knock­ing about but we are the real ones with the orig­i­nal singers. We are the real deal and we are on a world tour ba­si­cally and we have been for three years. We are hav­ing a whale of a time. We are go­ing to carry on do­ing it while we are still hav­ing fun.’’

Tour­ing these days was a lot hap­pier, done in com­fort and they had less egos to con­tend with, he said. ‘‘We are very, very lucky. Do­ing the Red Red Win­ery Tour has been the best idea I ever had. it has just been a joy. We have broken box of­fice records and (it has) just been the best tour­ing we have ever done...We want to do a world tour of the winer­ies. We are work­ing on that at the mo­ment. We have done a cou­ple of northern Amer­ica tours in the last year. We have been in South Africa, Zam­bia ...all over ba­si­cally.’’

As well as a song about red wine and do­ing the win­ery tours, the band had also just re­leased its own red wine made with Emi­nent Life. ‘‘That is why it has taken so long...it has taken 30 years to re­search it.’’

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