Artist News

UB40 hit out at former members’ use of their band’s name

By | Published on Tuesday 28 January 2014


Somewhat unsurprisingly, UB40 aren’t impressed by the news that UB40 have gone into the studio with the intent on releasing some new material.

As previously reported, three founding members of the pop reggae outfit – Ali Campbell, Mikey Virtue and Astro – all of whom quit the band in recent years, earlier this month announced their intent to record new material having staged a reunion show together late last year. The trio have registered the domain and have implied that they intend to use the moniker UB40 for their new collaborations.

But the band they all quit still continues to record and tour as UB40, with Ali’s brothers Robin and Duncan amongst its number, the former another founder member, the latter now frontman. And in a statement last week, that band said: “We are outraged at this latest desperate attempt by our former bandmates to hijack UB40′s brand name, business and legacy. As UB40 we have worked continuously for the last 35 years touring the world with our live show and promoting our recorded albums”.

The statement, on their website, continues: “As our fans know, Ali Campbell left UB40 six years ago citing issues with the band’s management, and has since pursued a solo career. In that time, Ali has repeatedly attempted to discredit his brothers and former bandmates, through the media and otherwise, but this latest attempt to confuse and manipulate UB40′s fans is, frankly, pathetic. We are disappointed that he feels it necessary to behave in this way and equally disappointed that Astro has joined with him.

“UB40’s five remaining founding members Robin Campbell, Brian Travers, Jimmy Brown, Earl Falconer and Norman Hassan will be touring extensively throughout 2014 and in the UK in March and April. As for Ali, Mickey and Astro, the matter is now in the hands of our lawyers”.

So that all sounds like fun, doesn’t it? It remains to be seen what name Ali Campbell, Virtue and Astro use if and when they put their new material out.