UB40

Daily Record - - INFO -

AT THE height of their fame, UB40 topped the charts across the globe and sold more than 70mil­lion records, ce­ment­ing their po­si­tion as Bri­tain’s big­gest reg­gae band.

After form­ing in Birm­ing­ham in 1979, the eight-piece re­jected the stereo­types sur­round­ing bands of young mu­si­cians and main­tained an al­most iden­ti­cal line-up for nearly three decades.

But all that changed in 2008. Front­man Ali Camp­bell quit in a cloud of an­i­mos­ity along­side key­boardist Mickey Virtue. They were later joined by Astro.

The re­main­ing five, in­clud­ing Ali’s brother Robin, re­placed the front­man with an­other Camp­bell brother, Dun­can, and a court case en­sued as both claimed the right to use the UB40 moniker.

Look closely enough and you’ll see the ri­val groups tak­ing small nib­bles at each other. On June 25, Team Robin (UB40) will play a 40th an­niver­sary show at the Royal Al­bert Hall in Lon­don.

Next month, Ali’s out­fit (UB40 Fea­tur­ing Ali, Astro and Mickey) will play the same venue as part of a Teenage Can­cer Trust gig.

Coin­ci­den­tal, per­haps. But cer­tainly for Ali, the dust still has not set­tled. He said: “I keep see­ing Dun­can singing my songs on YouTube and words fail me.

“I think he’s de­stroy­ing the legacy of the band and the worst and most em­bar­rass­ing thing is that peo­ple think it’s me. That truly makes my skin crawl.”

Ali hasn’t spo­ken to Robin or Dun­can in al­most a decade and he can’t en­vi­sion a time when he’ll want to. “F*** them. I was be­trayed by them all,” he said.

“There’s not re­ally any point in the me get­ting back in touch. Too much wa­ter has gone un­der the bridge.

“We try to ig­nore them in the hope they go away. It’s as sim­ple as that.”

Ali, Astro and Mickey have a new al­bum com­ing out provoca­tively ti­tled A Real Labour of Love. It’s a con­tin­u­a­tion of the orig­i­nal band’s trio of Labour of Love al­bums – reg­gae

Dun­can is de­stroy­ing the legacy of the band. It makes my skin crawl ALI CAMP­BELL

JA­MAICAN VIBE Katy Perry, Ri­hanna, Be­y­once and, right, Ari­ana Grande have all in­cor­po­rated reg­gae into their mu­sic

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