UB40 are one of the UK’s most beloved music institutions, achieving three UK Number Ones – Red, Red Wine, I Got You Babe (ft. Chrissie Hynde) and I Can’t Help Falling In Love with You – not to mention 17 Top 10 singles.
Since reuniting six years ago, founding members Ali and Astro – backed on stage by a fantastic seven-piece reggae band – have become a formidable touring outfit. They played a sensational show at Scarborough OAT in 2017 and their 2019 ‘The Real Labour of Love’ tour visited Australia, New Zealand, Europe and America.
Ali and Astro have been active during this year’s enforced hiatus. As well as writing songs for their forthcoming album, they reassembled their touring band remotely to record a lockdown single, a poignant cover of the late Bill Withers’ Lean On Me, in aid of NHS Charities Together.
They are now looking forward to getting back on the road in 2021 with a band comprising bassist Colin McNeish, guitarist Winston Delandro, keyboardist Michael Martin, drummer Paul Slowly, backing singer Matt Hoy and a brass section of trumpeter Colin Graham and saxophonist Winston Rose.
And while a handful of songs from the forthcoming album will feature alongside classic UB40 hits, Ali is keen to include older numbers such as King (about the legacy of American Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King) and One In Ten (about unemployment in the UK) that are, unfortunately, as timely today as when they were first sung in 1980 and 1981.
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