Former UB40 vocalist? Well, the billing is ‘Ali Campbell’s UB40’, as opposed to the Dep Band (the name under which he has been touring since he left UB40 in 2007), but we’re not sure whether his version features any of the other former members, or any original members: unlikely, as Campbell’s departure instigated financial investigations that bankrupted the group’s business operation. Still, Campbell is the voice behind all of UB40’s hits, most of which are covers: songs like ‘Red Red Wine’ and ‘I Can’t Help Falling In Love’, along with great originals like ‘One In Ten’ and ‘Food For Thought’.
Campbell and co are joined by “very special guests”, Toots & The Maytals, who are much more significant to reggae history. Frederick ‘Toots’ Hibbert was awarded the Distinguished Order of Jamaica in October 2012, and rightly so for the man popularly credited with giving reggae music its name with his 1968 song ‘Do The Reggay’.
That was only one of a string of hugely influential hits, all of which drew heavily on American R&B styles and combined them with the rocksteady and reggae sound. Toots & The Maytals influenced many future artists: ‘Pressure Drop’ was covered by The Clash on their debut album, and ‘Monkey Man’ became one of the signature songs of the ’80s UK ska revival thanks to The Specials cover. This song was also covered by Amy Winehouse and most recently No Doubt.
Tickets are on sale 9am Tuesday 4 December at Ticketmaster.