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UB40 ft Ali Campbell promises fireworks

Life & Style
Ali Campbell (centre) and UB40 members on arrival at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport. Pic by Hilary Maradzika

POPULAR British singer Ali Campbell yesterday brought in a 16-member UB40 outfit for what looks like another memorable gig to be held this evening at Old Hararians Sports Club.

Campbell, born Alistair Ian Campbell, was in jovial mood when he touched down at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport yesterday afternoon.

By bringing a 16-member group, it buttresses the notion by the organisers — Ngoma Nehosho Promotions — that the performance will be a full band set.

Campbell said he was happy to return to Zimbabwe and could not wait to perform. Some members of the group return to Zimbabwe having been part of the original UB40 outfit that staged a memorable performance at Rufaro Stadium when they visited the country 37 years ago.

“I’m really happy to be back in Zimbabwe and I cannot wait to do the show, I hope many of you come as you possibly can. Come sing and dance if you love reggae music, we are a reggae band,” he said.

Some members of the group said they were coming to Zimbabwe for the first time, but promised a good show.

“This is our first time being in Zimbabwe and I am looking forward to the show. As part of our performance, we are going to honour Astro. We always honour him throughout the shows, so that’s something people should expect.

“Expect great reggae music from a trusted reggae icon,” they said.

Campbell was lead singer of the trailblazing UB40 of the late 1970s until the turn of the millennium before he left the group due to a disagreement with band management and embarked on a solo career.

As part of UB40, Campbell sold over 70 million records worldwide and toured the globe for 30 years.

In January 2014, Campbell joined forces with other former UB40 members Astro and Mickey Virtue to record under the UB40 name and released a track titled Reggae Music.

The group later changed its name to UB40 featuring Ali, Astro, and Mickey until late 2018 when Virtue departed and they continued touring and recording as UB40 featuring Ali Campbell and Astro.

However, Astro died on November 6, 2021 after recording tracks for the group’s latest album titled Unprecedented.

Today’s show is expected to honour Astro as the group is likely to perform songs from their latest album  Unprecedented and many other yesteryear hits.

Walter Wanyanya from Ngoma Nehosho Promotions said everything was in place to host the British music outfit.

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