LIVE REVIEW: UB40, Wolverhampton Civic, 27.10.2010

I was very excited to go see UB40 – partly because they are from Birmingham and partly because it’s UB40!! Their music around the Midlands is legendary and you’d be hard pushed to find a Midlander who doesn’t like them or at least doesn’t know one of their songs.

UB40 are a Birmingham reggae band who originally came out with very political music around Thatcher’s government time where unemployment was high. It has been argued that their music was very forward thinking because it relates to society today and the economic crisis’ of this time. It seemed appropriate that this tour should be named after their first album, “The Signing Off”.

There was much anticipation outside the venue before the gig started with people running to the smallest queue to get in, and there was a good mix of those who would remember the Signing Off album’s release and those who knew mainly their cover versions.

The show was divided into two parts, the first half involved the playing of the entire “Signing Off” album, which is mainly instrumental, this was echoed by Robin Campbell when he said “We weren’t very good at writing lyrics then, so we did mainly instrumentals” –  I almost fell out of my seat laughing – well I suppose it’s best to be honest! This half seemed to go well but for those who didn’t know the music it was quite difficult to get into it, it was the normal recognisable UB40 sound and you could sway to it but not really anything you could sing along to unless you knew it, but seemed to be well received by most of the crowd. There was a shot interval and then that’s when the magic happened!!

The second half was made up entirely of hits, it was song after song of tracks that everybody loves, including “Kingston Town” and Rat In My Kitchen”, then the massive moment that was “Red Red Wine” , which of course needed no introduction. There were a few new songs in there also which included one led by bassist Earl Falconer who rocked the stage.

The band finished what we thought was their last song to only come back on after the room shaking cries of “We want more!” of the crowd. They bought the house down with their final number and the entire crowd singing along; “Fools Rush In”. It bought the show to a spectacular end, with Astro dancing along the stage making eye contact with what seemed like every audience member.

It was an excellent show albeit a little slow starting but you would know that they would be playing the entire “Signing Off” album before going, however what really made it for me was every member of the band commitment to their music and to their fans, they truly put on a good show with an excellent friendly atmosphere.

Well worth a groove to.

Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Eleni Kypridemos

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