Monday, July 3, 7:30 pm.
As original members of UB40, Ali Campbell, Mickey Virtue and Astro helped to define reggae music for a generation. The multi-racial band, formed in 1979 in the Birmingham suburb of Moseley, pooled a diverse set of influences to put a fresh, indigenous slant on Jamaican reggae. After encouragement from Chrissie Hynde, who offered them support slots with her chart-topping band The Pretenders, they recorded their independently released debut album, Signing Off, on an eight-track tape machine in the home of producer Bob Lamb. An unexpected number two album, it gave them the conviction to chart their own course. UB40 went on to dominate charts around the world, not least with the hugely successful Labour Of Love series. The first Labour Of Love album, in 1983, yielded a cover of Neil Diamond’s “Red Red Wine” that topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic. The band secured two further chart-topping singles at home in “(I Can't Help) Falling In Love With You” (also another US number one) and “I Got You Babe,” a duet between Ali and the band’s old friend Chrissie Hynde.