November 24, 2017
As infectious and happy the UK’s biggest reggae export’s emissions sound, disputes had riddled the band’s legacy and resulted in a rift between the two resulting camps of founding members, with both still touring the globe under the same moniker, the one which was selected in reference to the signing-on document issued to people claiming unemployment benefit from the UK government's Department of Employment at the time of the band's formation. The designation UB40 stood for Unemployment Benefit, Form 40. Following a serious assault on singer Ali Campbell, he received a hefty compensation package, which he put toward funding musical instruments for the fledgling band members.
Be it as it may, what descended upon tonight’s stage was a full-bodied seven-piece band that delivered the classics as well as newer tunes of the band’s extensive catalogue, which was warmly received by an appreciative and fervent crowd that was happy to chant and sway along, culminating in the night's final number, crowd pleaser and encore conclusion, the Neil Diamond-penned classic ode to the redness of vino, which made UB 40 a household name transcending generations – with tonight’s demographics being an example par excellence with a diverse crowd of all ages.
Tonight’s incarnation of UB40 delivered a fine celebration of ska, reggae and lovers rock infused with their trademark style with a heavy influence of analogue synthesizers, psychedelic rock guitar, a brass section and a dub approach informing the irie vibe.
A band that knows exactly what their audience wants and dishes it out generously.
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