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Home   Medway   News   Article

UB40 stars Ali Campbell and Robin Campbell in row ahead of sold out concert at Rochester Castle

14 March 2014
by Lizzie Massey

Team Robin or team Ali? That is the question.

UB40 fans have had their say on Facebook, Twitter and KentOnline after news that tickets to see the band in Rochester sold out - in just a day.

The iconic British reggae group, famous for smash hits including “Red, Red Wine” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love”, will be playing at the Castle Concerts on Friday July 18, with frontman Ali Campbell and other founding members.

UB40 front man Ali Campbell

Reggae reggae source? Ali Campbell claims he is the sound of UB40

But some have said the band, which has the Twitter name @WeAreUB40, are not the real deal and instead UB40 is the title of Robin Campbell and another four of the founding members.

“There is only one vocal sound for UB40 and only two genuine vocalists and it is us. We have a legal right to use the name UB40 and we intend to do so.” - Ali Campbell

In 2008 Ali Campbell left the group after 30 years, alledgedly because of management and business disputes, and was followed by other members who together formed the Dep band.

In January the group announced they were reforming as UB40 to record a new album and go on tour.

The remaining five members of the original group, under Robin Campbell, released a statement on their website saying they were “outraged at this latest desperate attempt by our former band mates to hijack UB40′s brand name, business and legacy.

It read: “As UB40 we have worked continuously for the last 35 years touring the world with our live show and promoting our recorded albums.”

Castle Concerts, Castle Gardens, Rochester

Castle Concerts, Castle Gardens, Rochester

However the dispute is ongoing and the band under Ali Campbell replied on their own site saying: “Ali Campbell and Astro Wilson are the two longtime vocalists who sang on all the previous UB40 albums and UB40 hits. Campbell and Astro are the voices of UB40 – they created the sound on record and on stage.

“Anyone going to a concert by the remaining five will be treated to merely a karaoke version of how the band did indeed sound.

“There is only one vocal sound for UB40 and only two genuine vocalists and it is us. We have a legal right to use the name UB40 and we intend to do so.”


Ali Campbell tweeted Medway Council today (Friday): “We’re bringing the true sound of UB40 to a sold out show at Rochester Castle @castleconcerts

“So pleased to say that we sold out Rochester Castle Concerts today...4,500 tickets in 5 minutes...big love @castleconcerts.”

Tickets went on sale today, although early bird fans could book online from Wednesday, by 11am they were all sold out.

It is believed the tickets sales are one of the fasts Castle Concerts have ever seen, after the likes of Will Young.

Comments on the Medway Messenger’s Facebook page:

Nicholas Sherwood: “Reporting that UB40 are to perform at Rochester castle on the 18th of July when it is actually Ali and his dep band so beware.

Amanda McDermott: “Ali is UB40, enough said! Gutted I didn’t manage to get a ticket.”

Charlotte Jeal said: “It’s not even UB40 playing .... Disappointed much?”

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