Founding UB40 members, vocalist Ali Campbell, second vocalist Astro and keyboardist Mickey Virtue have been moving full steam ahead since their 2014 reformation. Following an Unplugged + Greatest Hits release last November, the Birmingham, UK based reggae group has announced plans for a US tour with dates that include Matisyahu and Raging Fyah.
As been previously reported, and to avoid confusion, UB40 been through its share of controversy in recent years as lead singer Ali Campbell departed the original group in 2008 along with keyboardist Mickey Virtue, and later joined by Astro, who would leave in 2013 resulting in two groups touring under the name UB40 –- one led by Ali and the other by his brother, Duncan Campbell, whom Ali refers to as the Dark Side. Despite the mess, both groups have gone on to release new music, but Ali is quick to point out (and we’re just as quick to agree) that there is only one true UB40.
In 2014, Ali, Astro & Mickey released a new album, Silhouette, followed by last November’s double disc. Unplugged + Greatest Hits release that featured classic UB40 songs re-imagined in an unplugged setting.
Ali, Astro & Mickey’s UB40 will continue their momentum into 2017 with the news of their U.S. tour being announced. Their live set up has developed into a formidable touring outfit with an 11-piece touring ensemble, complete with a three-piece horn section. They’ll set out on the road with dates that include guest spots by Matisyahu or Raging Fyah. The tour will take place starting July 3rd in San Rafael, CA and concluding on July 29th in Las Vegas, NV. There will be 14 total dates, all primarily on the west coast, hitting California, Nevada, Arizona, Montana, Washington, Oregon, Colorado and Utah.
The Pier was invited out to interview Ali Campbell and Astro last August while they were on tour in California. During our talk, it was asked if there were any up and coming reggae artists that have caught their attention and Ali advised:
“..in Jamaica, there’s a great band called Raging Fyah. We love them and that’s our choice of the year, you know what I mean? Because they’re young kids and doing roots-rock-reggae and conscience lyrics and they’re exactly what we want to happen as far as reggae is concerned.”
They’ve evolved that sentiment into shared dates on their return to the U.S. for 2017 — You can view the upcoming tour dates below and be on the look out for more information as it applies to Ali, Astro and Mickey’s UB40!
Watch: Ali Campbell – “I Want You”