Sun shines second time around
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.’’