For the First Time in the Capital
by Jenny Griesel
If there was ever a band that demystified Reggae and opened this genre of music to the rest of the world, it is without a doubt UB40. With their signature rootsy sound, and huge multi hit chart-topping repertoire, UB40 have been wow-ing music fans since 1979. After a brief pause, they reunited and re-entered the music scene in 2013.
Recently, Big Concerts brought UB40 back to South Africa, for their 25 Year Celebrations Tour. For the first time in the capital city, UB40, featuring founding artists Ali Campbell, Astro and Mickey Virtue, performed to a full house at the Sun Square Arena at Time Square, Pretoria, on Saturday 19th May 2018.
This iconic British band brought music fans of all ages and races together with a happy, cheerful vibe in the house. The atmosphere in the Sun Arena was jovial and relaxed. Fans had travelled from far and wide to enjoy this iconic band that crosses all boundaries, and there was a sense of adoration for their beloved Reggae stars on stage.
UB40 began their show with a bang and ended the same way as they pumped out their multiple big hits including I’m going to wear you to the ball tonight, Kingston Town, Cheerio Baby (the hit written by a teenage talent competition), Rat in my Kitchen and Many Rivers to Cross. They also treated fans to two songs of their brand new album. Two tracks, both She loves me now and How could I, present a modern take on their unmistakable iconic UB40 sound.
With a full seven piece band, the production was slick. They moved effortlessly from one song to another with minimal, but what seemed like just the right amount of introduction talk, to every third of fourth song.
After a brief false ending, UB40 returned to the stage to perform crowd favourites I can’t help falling in love with you and of course ended with Red Red Wine that earned a standing ovation.
For the thousands of Reggae lovers that came hungry for their heartfelt, musically rich UB40 hits, they got what they came for and left with full tummies. UB40 did not disappoint, and in fact left fans wanting more!
In their words “Until we meet again – Peace!”
This review was voluntarily done by her, and acted purely as a trusted contributor to Stage and Screen. The views depicted in this review, are that of the contributor, but edited and published according to the established identity and standards of the publication. We thank Jenny for the contribution, and hope for many more collaborations to come.