UB40 lost its frontman, Ali Campbell, earlier this year, but the band named after a British unemployment form had no plans to go out of business.
“That never occurred to us, really,” says his brother, guitarist Robin Campbell. “I think (Ali) had some idea we would just stop going. But we’ve never been Ali’s backing band; it’s a band ... that’s been going for 30 years, so when Ali said he was leaving it didn’t occur to us to finish. We just thought, ‘How are we gonna continue?’”
Adding younger brother Duncan Campbell, he adds, “just seemed that was the obvious thing for us. That made life very easy.”
Robin Campbell acknowledges that the “the wounds are still a bit fresh” between the brothers, but that didn’t stop UB40 from putting out its new album “Twentyfourseven,” which features tracks Ali recorded with the band before his departure, as well as some additional material with Duncan — the Four Tops hit “It’s All in the Game” — and also with friends Maxi Priest and Arrested Development.
“Twentyfourseven” came out overseas in June and debuted at No. 2 on the U.K. reggae chart. It’s expected out in the U.S. this fall, with a UB40 “Greatest Hits” coming on Sept. 30. Robin Campbell says the group is happy with its current situation.
“I’m really chuffed,” Campbell notes. “I thought the album we’d done with Ali was the best thing we’d done for years, and now it’s a lot more varied and fresh. It sounds like we’re having a lot of fun.”
UB40, with Maxi Priest, performs at 7:30 p.m. Friday (Aug. 22) at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $36.50 pavilion, $10 lawn. Call (248) 377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.
Send your thoughts and comments to