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Old 28th July 2014, 01:01 PM
reggaeron reggaeron is offline
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I went to the Newmarket races on Friday a gift for me because the person who bought it thought it was UB40. You already know it was the imposter and I did too but went along because I knew I’d love the racing. Yes you guessed it a Heart FM presenter introduced UB40 with Ali, Astro & Mickey. It was 95% Labour of love tracks and for a true UB40 fan a bit predictable and dull. Obviously for a big majority of the crowd who were well tanked up after drinking from 3pm onwards (9pm start for gig) they didn’t really care.

I was totally sober but was intrigued how they would sound after seeing the real UB40 as recently as May this year. The backing band (DEP band) were very flat sounding, there was no crowd intervention from the DEP band and it was very bassy, ie trying too hard to sound like hard reggae. Sometimes Ali’s voice showed his uniqueness and melodic voice but too often it was truly awful. The worst track was 1 in 10 almost unrecognisable. For most who were drunk and not true fans (as Ali says it was a captive audience come mainly for racing) it fulfilled a purpose to dance and sing along to Karaeoke style hits.

Oh and it looks like Astro is the new front man as he did all the talking and appeared on as many songs as he could to toast to.
The person who I went with who is not a UB40 fan but has seen the real UB40 back in May with me commented after the Gig. ‘I preferred the Real one we saw back in May they sounded a lot tighter and I enjoyed it more’. Enough said, I ditto that 100%. Such a shame that many people are being subjected to sub standard live UB40 music.

Last edited by reggaeron; 28th July 2014 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 28th July 2014, 01:21 PM
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GefferyMorgan GefferyMorgan is offline
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Originally Posted by reggaeron View Post
I went to the Newmarket races on Friday a gift for me because the person who bought it thought it was UB40. You already know it was the imposter and I did too but went along because I knew I’d love the racing. Yes you guessed it a Heart FM presenter introduced UB40 with Ali, Astro & Mickey. It was 95% Labour of love tracks and for a true UB40 fan a bit predictable and dull. Obviously for a big majority of the crowd who were well tanked up after drinking from 3pm onwards (9pm start for gig) they didn’t really care.

I was totally sober but was intrigued how they would sound after seeing the real UB40 as recently as May this year. The backing band (DEP band) were very flat sounding, there was no crowd intervention from the DEP band and it was very bassy, ie trying too hard to sound like hard reggae. Sometimes Ali’s voice showed his uniqueness and melodic voice but too often it was truly awful. The worst track was 1 in 10 almost unrecognisable. For most who were drunk and not true fans (as Ali says it was a captive audience come mainly for racing) it fulfilled a purpose to dance and sing along to Karaeoke style hits.

Oh and it looks like Astro is the new front man as he did all the talking and appeared on as many songs as he could to toast to.
The person who I went with who is not a UB40 fan but has seen the real UB40 back in May with me commented after the Gig. ‘I preferred the Real one we saw back in May they sounded a lot tighter and I enjoyed it more’. Enough said, I ditto that 100%. Such a shame that many people are being subjected to sub standard live UB40 music.

Thanks for the the review! I guess they pump up the bass as much as possible, trying to recapture that famous UB40 sound but can't do it...because they don't have EARL FALCONER! Indeed, they don't have Robin, Norman, Jimmy, Brian, Martin or Laurence either. He can tout himself as the "legendary voice of UB40" all he wants...and he can even take pride in having Mickey and Astro with him. But he can't deny that he doesn't have the REAL UB40 behind him!

He keeps saying the same old line over and over, "you don't buy Rolling Stones tickets and expect to see Derrick Jagger instead of Mick Jagger...and you don't buy UB40 tickets and expect to see Duncan Campbell as the singer." Number one problem I have with this, is that there is no Derrick Jagger! lol Mick Jagger has a brother named Chris that's a musician, but where's this Derrick guy come in? He's a figment of Ali's imagination! lol. Secondly....you don't buy UB40 tickets and expect to hear an old fat guy who looks like he ate his former self for breakfast, being backed up by a band that sound like an out-of-work polka band (speaking of Ali and his band of misfits).
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Old 28th July 2014, 01:59 PM
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There is an enormous amount of good will towards UB40. There are loads of hits to chose from, and most of it has a feel good factor.

that's why we get so many tribute bands. playing our music all night creates a party atmosphere. People are guaranteed a good time.

This is the approach that our ex singer has taken.

Like a tribute band he has gone for the karaoke sing-along. It doesn't need to be done particularly well [most tribute bands sound a bit rough round the edges], and it doesn't really have to sound much like the original records as long as you can sing along.

I'm not really knocking it, these hits are responsible for the bands long career, it's great to have those hits in the armoury when it's not hardcore UB40 fans [like festivals and racecourses etc] that your playing to.

But there is a lot more to the band than a bunch of middle-of-the road reggae hits. OUR commitment to dub and our political songs are equally [if not MORE] important to us, and I would suggest, to fans of the band.

Which is why UB40 have reintroduced songs from BEFORE the labour of love hits [when we had hits with our OWN songs], and are playing plenty of new material too.

By the time our ex singer left the band had already been coasting along on those lol hits for too long already. Things were getting a bit stale. We knew something had to be done and this contributed to aldi's decision to leave the band.

A decision he has obviously lived to regret.
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Old 28th July 2014, 02:35 PM
Junkie Rock Star Junkie Rock Star is offline
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Originally Posted by reggaeron View Post
The backing band (DEP band) were very flat sounding,
Your entire review is pretty much the same as I wrote back in Feb when they played here. My friend's band opened for them, and he also commented on how flat the DEP band were....

I won't go into the vocal nightmare, lest I be accused of being brainwashed again
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Old 28th July 2014, 02:38 PM
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GefferyMorgan GefferyMorgan is offline
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Your entire review is pretty much the same as I wrote back in Feb when they played here. My friend's band opened for them, and he also commented on how flat the DEP band were....

I won't go into the vocal nightmare, lest I be accused of being brainwashed again

What type of soap did they use when they washed your brain? Irish Spring makes my head itch lol
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Old 28th July 2014, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by GefferyMorgan View Post
Thanks for the the review! I guess they pump up the bass as much as possible, trying to recapture that famous UB40 sound but can't do it...because they don't have EARL FALCONER! Indeed, they don't have Robin, Norman, Jimmy, Brian, Martin or Laurence either. He can tout himself as the "legendary voice of UB40" all he wants...and he can even take pride in having Mickey and Astro with him. But he can't deny that he doesn't have the REAL UB40 behind him!

He keeps saying the same old line over and over, "you don't buy Rolling Stones tickets and expect to see Derrick Jagger instead of Mick Jagger...and you don't buy UB40 tickets and expect to see Duncan Campbell as the singer." Number one problem I have with this, is that there is no Derrick Jagger! lol Mick Jagger has a brother named Chris that's a musician, but where's this Derrick guy come in? He's a figment of Ali's imagination! lol. Secondly....you don't buy UB40 tickets and expect to hear an old fat guy who looks like he ate his former self for breakfast, being backed up by a band that sound like an out-of-work polka band (speaking of Ali and his band of misfits).


It's very unfortunate that he uses mick jagger and the rolling stones as an example.

A few years back mick did a solo album without the stones. The record company invested heavily in it, they even commissioned a one hour documentary that was shown on BBC on the eve of the records release.

Selling less than 30,000 copies in the first few weeks of release.

The record bombed and was immediately forgotten.

You see, the BIG difference between mick jagger and aldi campbell is that mick wouldn't do anything so stupid and self destructive as leave the rolling stones. He knows how much the band mean to him and the fans.

Even the lead singer has to show respect to the rest of the band.
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Old 28th July 2014, 07:00 PM
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i have been doing a tribute of some sort for 20 years to ub40 and although i was a singer to for a couple of bands it is an honour to still be able to play a wealth of music over 34 years i am never tired of performing tracks simply cos i can go back to 1980 up to 2014. my set is never the same and thank fk for that although i also incorporate many other artists so its good to chop and change. Its true RRW and Kingston Town get the crowds up for a singalong which is probably why Aldi does it. But i can tell you i get asked to perform more signing off tracks than any other album. Also Blue eyes crying and Midnight Rider are stomping tracks with Cream Puff and Bring it on home so i can say my set is not loaded with Lol 1,2,3 tracks

Last edited by old loonie; 28th July 2014 at 07:08 PM.
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Old 28th July 2014, 07:10 PM
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It's very unfortunate that he uses mick jagger and the rolling stones as an example.

A few years back mick did a solo album without the stones. The record company invested heavily in it, they even commissioned a one hour documentary that was shown on BBC on the eve of the records release.

Selling less than 30,000 copies in the first few weeks of release.

The record bombed and was immediately forgotten.

You see, the BIG difference between mick jagger and aldi campbell is that mick wouldn't do anything so stupid and self destructive as leave the rolling stones. He knows how much the band mean to him and the fans.

Even the lead singer has to show respect to the rest of the band.
He and Keef are the Mavis and Vera of rock'n'roll bit like you and BT really

Last edited by Saad; 28th July 2014 at 07:13 PM.
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Old 29th July 2014, 08:40 AM
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I attended a UB40 gig in March and the Newmarket races gig, both were equally as enjoyable.
The main difference being that where one was prolifically better vocally,the other was prolifically better musically. It really is a case of what you deem to be more important.
One mans' meat is another mans' poison, I'll continue to watch and buy both sets of material.
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Old 29th July 2014, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by john balfour View Post
I attended a UB40 gig in March and the Newmarket races gig, both were equally as enjoyable.
The main difference being that where one was prolifically better vocally,the other was prolifically better musically. It really is a case of what you deem to be more important.
One mans' meat is another mans' poison, I'll continue to watch and buy both sets of material.


Nice try john.

what you say may work as a soundbite, but it falls apart when you examine it.

To begin with, aldi and the 'dep' bands' vocals are NOT prolifically better. You may prefer to listen to aldi rather than dunc, that is personal choice. But the elephant in the room is the absence of RBC's harmonies.

Most of UB40's big hits had this approach to the vocals. RRW, CHFIL, CHERRY OH BABY, HOMELY GIRL all made extensive use of this 'brother blend'. It's what gave the band that distinctive vocal sound.

There are countless examples of siblings in bands, it can be a pain because the slightest disagreement can cause an argument that goes all the way back to when they were 4, but when those voices work together they produce a unique sound that money can't buy. A sound developed over years of singing together. That's how the band got the oft used nickname 'the everley brothers of reggae'.

Aldi knows this is important, that's why he has vocalist on stage whose job it is try and reproduce that unique vocal sound. And in that he falls way short. No matter how technically good this singer is, he will never be able to resonate the way aldi and RBC did, or for that matter, the way RBC and dunc can. You may think that aldi is a 'prolifically better' singer than dunc, that's personal choice. But to claim that the vocal sound they produce live is 'prolifically better' than the vocal sound UB40 produce live is demonstrably untrue. Not having that distinct unison vocal has left our ex singer a little exposed. It illustrates just how much he relied on RBC's harmonies to fill out the sound. There's a richness to the harmonies that is completely missing from aldi's sound. UB40 still have that.

When people go to see a live band, it's usually because they have bought the bands records and want to see them perform those songs live. The audience want to see the musicians who played on those records. And they want to hear those songs in a form they are familiar with [there's nothing more annoying than a band doing a 20 minute free-form jazz version of their big pop hit].

UB40 have always prided themselves in sounding exactly like our records. Part of the appeal of the band is the distinctive sound these musicians make together. There is no doubt, when we come on stage and fire up a gig, that we are the musicians that made those records. In almost all instances we sound uncannily like the original recordings. All bands want this, but many of them fail.

Over all, our ex singer sounds nothing like those original records. You may love what he does, that's your free choice, but it is NOT a UB40 gig.

And 1 in 10 is probably the ultimate example of that.

Your neat little soundbite wraps everything up in a neat package with a bow around it. Superficially 'clever'.

But I think regaeron's more scatter shot approach is more accurate. It has nuance.

Nothing personal old chap, I just thought I had to pick you up on it.
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