Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

UB40 star Ali Campbell to ‘tear roof off’ O2 during Storm Eunice reopening gig

Former UB40 members Astro and Ali Campbell (Alex Barron-Hough/Swell Publicity/PA)
Former UB40 members Astro and Ali Campbell (Alex Barron-Hough/Swell Publicity/PA)

Former UB40 member Ali Campbell has said he plans to “tear the roof off” London’s O2 Arena again as he returns to the stage in memory of his late bandmate Astro.

The singer told the PA news agency that Astro, who died in November last year following a short illness, “would have wanted the show to go on” without him.

Campbell will reopen The O2, originally known as the Millennium Dome, on Friday night after Storm Eunice ripped off part of its roof last week.

The 63 -year-old said: “I’m not the most talkative person on stage, I concentrate on singing, and Astro was always the mouthpiece. He would introduce the songs and, of course, I have got to do all that now.

“We are going to miss him terribly. I know he would have wanted the show to go on and that’s what we did.”

Since 2013, the pair had played together as part of a breakaway group after leaving the main band over internal disagreements including about its management.

Speaking about their relationship with the main UB40, he added: “There has been a bit of confusion as the ‘dark side’ as I call them have cancelled a lot of their gigs.

“But on Facebook they have put all their cancellations up and then put mine and Astro’s picture up, which is very confusing for people.

“But we are going ahead with all our shows. There have been no more cancellations. We are the first ones back at The O2 and we are hoping to tear the roof off again.”

Winter weather Feb 21st 2022
Damage to the white roof covering at the O2 arena in London (Yui Mok/PA)

Campbell was an original member of the UB40 line-up and his brother Duncan took over as lead singer when Ali quit in 2008 over a disagreement about management.

Astro was a member from the late 1970s until 2013 when he left to team up with Campbell and keyboardist Mickey Virtue as part of tearaway outfit UB40 featuring Ali Campbell and Astro.

Speaking about Astro’s legacy, Campbell said: “We sold 100 million plus CDs.

“The legacy is there already.

“The love that has been shown to him, especially by the Jamaican community, I have been really touched by that…

“That was a revelation, because he was in a multi-racial band a lot of rastas shunned him. But they seemed to have come around to the fact that he was doing the right thing.

“That’s his legacy really. He was in the biggest-selling reggae band in the world next to Bob Marley. You can’t get a better legacy than that really.”

Campbell said he had not received condolences from his former UB40 bandmates.

“It’s all very acrimonious because Astro left them to come back with me,” he said.

“So there was no love lost there.

“And I haven’t heard from any of them really since I left them.”

Later this year, a new album called Unprecedented will be released, which was recorded before Astro’s death and will be a tribute to the singer, trumpeter and percussionist.

The main band recently announced musician Matt Doyle will replace Duncan as their new lead singer after he announced his retirement from music in June after having a seizure at home.

The band formed in 1978 in Birmingham, choosing their name as a reference to a form issued to people claiming unemployment benefits at the time.

The band produced hits including Red Red Wine and Falling In Love With You.

UB40 Featuring Ali Campbell begin the In Memory of Astro tour on Friday February 25 at The O2 in London.

Tickets available at myticket.co.uk.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]