7 Days in Dubai - - LIFE -

It has been eight years since Ali Camp­bell left UB40 but de­spite a rather com­pli­cated his­tory, the found­ing singer is still wow­ing the crowds world­wide with the band’s mu­sic. The Birm­ing­ham out­fit were re­spon­si­ble for bring­ing reg­gae to the main­stream in the 1980s and be­yond thanks to a string of hits such as Food For Thought, Please Don’t Make Me Cry and their in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the Neil Di­a­mond clas­sic Red, Red Wine. Found­ing mem­ber Ali now tours and records with for­mer mem­bers Astro and Mickey Virtue while an­other UB40 is also a go­ing con­cern with Ali’s brother Dun­can on vo­cal du­ties along­side gui­tarist Robin. De­spite a bit­ter le­gal wran­gle that has been go­ing for eight years, Ali’s group are go­ing from strength to strength. This year they have a string of high-pro­file dates to look for­ward to in the UK and Ire­land, in­clud­ing a night at Lon­don’s O2 and an al­ready sold-out arena show in Dublin. Ahead of their show along­side Billy Ocean at the Dubai Duty Free Ten­nis Sta­dium on Thurs­day, Ali ex­plained the band’s global ap­peal. He said: “Re­cently we played on the four is­lands of Hawaii. What a beau­ti­ful place, we sold out two nights at Honolulu, which is fab. Be­fore that we were do­ing the Red, Red Win­ery tour of New Zealand, an idea that fi­nally came about from a joke six years af­ter we talked about it. “We re­cently played Amer­ica too, the first time I had been there in eight years and that was bril­liant. We’re look­ing to do the same amount this year, around 32 dates, but we’ve dou­bled the ca­pac­i­ties and mainly we’ll be on the west coast, around some beau­ti­ful places and winer­ies.” De­spite the pos­i­tive vibe from fans, there’s lit­tle change in the fam­ily sit­u­a­tion. Ali says: “No, the ‘dark side’ is still try­ing to sue me and I'm de­fend­ing my­self and it is cost­ing for­tunes and the lawyers are the only peo­ple mak­ing money. I was up­set when it hap­pened, but it is eight years ago and even though they are still clearly try­ing to get some­thing out of it, I'm happy to be car­ry­ing on with the new band and I think we have got the hottest reg­gae band in the world at the mo­ment.” As part of her Un­break­able world tour, pop mu­sic leg­end Janet Jack­son will cap off the pres­ti­gious Dubai World Cup meet­ing on Satur­day with a lively show at the Apron Views con­cert stage.

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