Friday, January 25, 2008

Cod reggae singer cashes in chips

Ali Campbell has quit UB40 after thirty years. Campbell, it seems, wants to concentrate on a solo career; UB40 is going to continue without him, according to their official statement:

"Ali Campbell has taken the decision to focus on his solo career and in doing so, could not give his full commitment to UB40.

"The other band members of UB40 are naturally disappointed and saddened after being together as a band unit and as good friends and a family unit for almost 30 years."

"UB40 will continue to record and perform with the existing seven members.

"UB40 has never been about any one individual, but more a collective of band members, who have all contributed to create the unique sound that UB40 have become renowned for over the last three decades."

This is quite brave, isn't it? UB40's distinctiveness has always been down to Campbell's voice; take that away and you're surely just left with a fairly basic pub reggae band.

The sad thing, of course, is that had they split sometime during the first Thatcher administration, they'd probably have been recorded by historians as talented, innovative pioneers rather than grinding on into something of a punchline.