UB40: The band, featuring Ali Campbell, Astro and Mickey Virtue, are coming to Bluesfest 2016.
UB40: The band, featuring Ali Campbell, Astro and Mickey Virtue, are coming to Bluesfest 2016. Contributed

Incredible number of musicians to visit our shores

BRITISH reggae pop group UB40, featuring Ali Campbell, Astro and Mickey Virtue, will be bringing their iconic music back to Byron Bay Bluesfest.

Since getting back together a couple of years ago, the band has been touring relentlessly, vocalist

Ali Campbell said.

When he spoke to APN, he was on a day off between touring Europe and heading off to Edinburgh.

"The audiences seem to be really excited about us being back together," Campbell said.

"You can feel it; it's palpable."

While he's never really stopped performing, Campbell said he was glad to be back with the band.

"I never stopped performing. It's just I left UB40, the old band which I started, about seven years

ago now," he said.

"I've carried on playing reggae all around the world.

"We're kind of trying to save the legacy of UB40, unlike the guys I left behind who I call the darkside."

Campbell said they were looking forward to taking to the Bluesfest stage.

"We're really happy we've been invited to do Bluesfest," he said.

He said after three decades, they were thrilled UB40's music was still in demand.

"It's amazing that we're still selling out 30 years after we started," he said.

"Nobody could imagine we'd still be going, let alone selling out."

Campbell said he had loved coming to Australia to tour since they first did in 1981.

"I like all of the major cities actually and I also like Byron Bay," he said.

"I think Byron Bay is a pretty special place.

"It's got pretty special people there."

Campbell said their goal with the Bluesfest show was to perform their well-known hits.

"We're not self-indulgent," he said.

"We don't come out and do new material that nobody's heard."

He said the reaction from the audience was what kept them interested in performing.

"What makes it exciting is the reaction. If we didn't get a good reaction we wouldn't do it.

"We had over 40 top-20 hits in the 80s and 90s."

Hot picks

  • Thursday: Hiatus Kaiyote, Kamasi Washington, D'Angelo, Kendrick Lamar .
  • Friday: The Mick Fleetwood Blues Band, Graham Nash, Elle King, Lord Huron, City and Colour and The National.
  • Saturday: D'Angelo (second show) , Eagles of Death Metal and The Mick Fleetwood Blues Band featuring Rick Vito.
  • Sunday: Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, The Decemberists, Modest Mouse, The Cat Empire, UB40 featuring Ali Campbell, Astro & Mickey Virtue; Jackson Browne; Graham Nash, Allen Stone.
  • Monday: Brian Wilson performing Pet Sounds, Sir Tom Jones, Taj Mahal and Joe Bonamassa..


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