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Old 17th December 2009, 09:34 PM
Pigsy Pigsy is offline
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Default Plymouth Evening herald review

HEY say a change is as good as a rest and swapping lead singers has done wonders for UB40's verve and enthusiasm.

With novice frontman and vocalist Duncan Campbell in the spotlight, replacing errant brother Ali, the heart and spirit of the veteran reggae champions from Birmingham were back on fine form at Plymouth Pavilions on Tuesday night for a cracking night just bursting with hits.

Duncan's voice doesn't quite capture the quirky richness of his younger brother's tones, but the warmth and accuracy is there. He appears a little awkward taking centre stage, frequently flicking little glances at older brother and guitarist Robin for reassurance; his dance moves and mic technique are straight from the uncle-at-a-wedding karaoke handbook, but he clearly loves every minute up there.

The rest of the band – the core members still together after more than 30 years – watch over him protectively like mother hens, relishing the good vibes of minstrel harmony and sharing them with their audience, who swayed along from the off.

Billed as the Labour of Love tour, the setlist was naturally stuffed with covers of age-old reggae songs and a feast of my own personal favourites from the UB40 library – Kingston Town, Higher Ground, Cherry Oh Baby, Come Back Darling and, of course, the anthemic Red, Red Wine.


They tucked in some numbers from newest album of originals 24/7 and the forthcoming Labour of Love IV, as well as One In Ten, from their more politically-motivated early dole-queue days.

Toastmaster Astro seemed a little subdued, but it was fun to see cuddly groovster Norman Hassan and uber-cool bassist Earl Falconer taking centre stage to pitch in on lead vocals. Musically the guys couldn't be faulted with solid, understated rhythms and fabulous brass embellishment.

They rounded off a gentle singalong, smooch-along party with the heart-melting Can't Help Falling in Love.

Earlier it felt like the best kind of 'buy-one-get-one-free' moments when Caribbean reggae maestro Eddy Grant and his nine-piece band turfed up as the opening act.

Recently lured out of semi-retirement after some 20 years, the 61-year-old was fit, fabulous and in fine voice, reminding us of the cultural origins of the UB40 catalogue.

Affable Eddy roused the crowd with a rally of infectious tunes including Electric Avenue, I Don't Wanna Dance, Do You Feel My Love, Living On The Front Line, Gimme Hope Joanna and the stirring, stand-out Hello Africa.
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Old 17th December 2009, 09:34 PM
Pigsy Pigsy is offline
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so piss off the reviewer at Nottingham
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Old 17th December 2009, 09:36 PM
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groot!
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Old 17th December 2009, 10:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pigsy View Post
so piss off the reviewer at Nottingham
Yeaaaaaa thanks for putting that up lol
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Old 17th December 2009, 10:17 PM
kate13 kate13 is offline
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thanks that's a good review
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Old 17th December 2009, 10:21 PM
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Enjoyed reading that, thanks
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Old 17th December 2009, 10:29 PM
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nice review! See we've got taste in the SW!!
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Old 17th December 2009, 11:13 PM
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nice one
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Old 18th December 2009, 08:29 PM
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In the first two or three songs I thought Duncan's mike was a little quiet
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Old 18th December 2009, 09:22 PM
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I think that's a good honest review
Thanks for that

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