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Will UB there?

Published on September 4, 2018 2:50PM

Entertainment of a particularly fine vintage will be on offer in Lincoln City on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 14 and 15, when English reggae troupe UB40 take to the stage at Chinook Winds Casino Resort.

The concerts will see original band members Ali Campbell, Mickey Virtue and Astro play top hits like “Red Red Wine” along with tracks from their new album.

All three were founding members of the iconic reggae troupe, which topped the UK singles chart on three occasions and sold 70 million records as they took their smooth yet rootsy musical blend to all corners of the globe.

Formed in 1979 in the Birmingham suburb of Moseley, UB40 pooled a diverse set of influences to put a fresh, indigenous slant on Jamaican reggae.

“Chrissie Hynde discovered us,” Campbell said. “We’d only done a dozen gigs when she saw us at the Rock Garden in London. She was top of the charts at that time, but she took us on tour.”

“We owed a lot to the late 1970s ska movement, too,” Virtue said. “We shirt-tailed the ska movement but we also stood apart from the two-tone acts: their thing was a mix of punk and ska and ours was a new homegrown strand of reggae.”

UB40 went on to dominate charts around the world, not least with the hugely successful “Labour Of Love” series. The first “Labour Of Love” album, in 1983, yielded a cover of Neil Diamond’s “Red Red Wine” that topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic. The band secured two further chart-topping singles at home in “(I Can’t Help) Falling In Love With You” and “I Got You Babe,” a duet between Ali and the band’s old friend Chrissie Hynde.

Campbell, Virtue and Astro are now turning their attention to the studio and a new album, “Silhouette,” that is an inspired mix of freshly minted new songs and sparkling, reggae-fied cover versions of classics by The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Chi-Lites and others.

“Going into the studio with Ali again took me back in time,” Astro said. “We hadn’t recorded together for years. But, once he started singing, the years just rolled away.”

The Sept. 14 and 15 concerts will start at 8 pm at Chinook Winds Casino Resort, 1777 NW 44th Street. Tickets, $50 to $65, are available by calling 1-888-MAIN ACT (624-6228) or online at www.chinookwindscasino.com.

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