An intimate night with reggae giants

Despite some line-up changes UB40 are still going strong and perform at Motherwell Concert Hall next month.

Despite some line-up changes UB40 are still going strong and perform at Motherwell Concert Hall next month.

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UB40 have enjoyed nearly four decades of success, but founder member Brian Travers says they are happier now than they’ve ever been.

The band who’ve had over 40 hit singles in the UK and achieved sales of over 100 million records were rocked in 2008 when lead singer Ali Campbell left the band.

He was replaced by his brother Duncan and Brian believes this has brought them together as a group.

He said: “We actually asked Duncan to be our lead singer when we started, but he turned us down as he didn’t think the band would go anywhere.

“Ali took the job and we enjoyed a lot of success, but we always felt Duncan was actually the better singer so when Ali left we asked him to be our front man and this time he agreed.

“There had been some tensions in the band, but now I think we are the happiest we have ever been and there is a real sense of togetherness.”

UB40 perform at Motherwell Concert Hall on Tuesday, May 5, and with a capacity of just over 1,000 Brian believes it is perfect for their style of music.

He said: “Playing the massive arenas and stadiums was great, but nowadays we are much happier in smaller venues.

“Reggae is much more at home in a more intimate setting so I believe that a capacity of 1,000-1,500 is perfect to connect with the audience and let the music speak properly.”

Brian has travelled all over the world and is amazed everywhere UB40 go the people see reggae as ‘their’ music.

He said: “People have such a connection with reggae that perhaps they don’t with any other style of music.

“When we were growing up in Birmingham we saw it as ‘our’ music and the Caribbean have laid a real claim on it but, even if we go to somewhere like Sweden, the people there are just as determined it belongs to them, it’s incredible.”

The show starts at 7.30pm and tickets costing £26.50 are available by calling 01698 403120 or visiting Culture NL