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, Mickey and Virtue, 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, which will be released later in 2014. Due to phenomenal public demand, a new date has been added at Birmingham NIA on Friday 17th April 2015. Tickets go on sale Wednesday 23 July 10am.
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 was 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, 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.
TICKETS: £37.26 (includes admin fee & £0.70 renovation levy) + £2.55 fulfilment fee. Available from www.theticketfactory.com or 0844 338 8000.