During their New Zealand visit the English reggae band, which features Ali Campbell and Astro (Terence Wilson), will now perform at Palmerston North's Central Energy Trust Arena on February 8, as well as Napier (January 25), Waitangi (January 26), Nelson (February 5) and Christchurch (February 6).
In what surely must be the most anticipated musical event on Rarotonga for decades, the band will also perform on stage at the National Auditorium, Rarotonga, on January 29.
UB40 started in Birmingham, England at the end of 1978. Since then, they have released 18 studio albums, 12 compilation albums, four live albums, two remix albums and 62 singles and sold more than 70 million albums worldwide.
With 2019 marking 40 years since UB40 first performed live, the reggae icons will be celebrating on stage in Rarotonga with a “Greatest Hits” set with global smashes including “Red Red Wine”, “Cherry Oh Baby”, “Rat In My Kitchen” and “Kingston Town”. Ali Campbell will be joined on-stage by an incredible eight-piece band.
UB40s latest album, “A Real Labour Of Love” reached number 2 on the UK album charts earlier this year and number 1 on the Billboard Reggae Chart, with the album spending several weeks in the Top 10. The legendary reggae band’s highest chart entry since 1993’s “Promises And Lies”, was Radio 2’s Album Of The Week and received four-star reviews in the Daily Mail and Daily Star.
The next single to be taken from “A Real Labour Of Love” was “How Could I Leave”, released in April. The song is a fresh interpretation of a 1977 classic from the Crown Prince of reggae Dennis Brown. “It's a standard because of the hook,”' says Ali. “It's a real ear-worm, a bit like Johnny Cash's ‘Ring Of Fire’.”
As one of the founding members of Britain’s biggest reggae band UB40, singer Ali Campbell topped the UK singles chart on three occasions and sold 70 million records as they took their smooth musical blend to all corners of the globe. Between 1983 and 1998 the band produced three “Labour Of Love” albums, bringing a line-up of hits to a new, global audience. They also topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic with their reggae cover of Neil Diamond’s “Red Red Wine”. “A Real Labour Of Love” is a fresh take on the legendary series of albums, putting the focus primarily on reggae tracks from the 1980s.
Recorded and mixed at Dean Street and RAK Studios, the album was produced by Ali, whose instantly recognisable voice is augmented by the distinctive vocal style of Astro. The latter takes the lead on six of the album’s 16 tracks, placing the two singers at the helm of an 11-piece band. Sadly, “A Real Labour Of Love” also marked the passing of long-serving trombonist John Johnson. A former member of Simply Red who joined forces with Ali seven years ago, John played on the album but passed away shortly after the recording.
The album is dedicated to him.