UB40's Ali Campbell doesn't want to reconcile with his brothers
- Bang Showbiz
- 7 March 2018
UB40's Ali Campbell has no interest in reconciling his relationship with his brothers Robin and Duncan Campbell after he was forced to leave the reggae band he started in 2008 after a disagreement about their management
UB40's Ali Campbell has no interest in reconciling with his brothers after he was forced the leave the original line-up of the band.
In 2008, the 59-year-old singer was left with no choice but to quit the reggae group he founded back in 1979 after a disagreement with his sibling Robin Campbell and his other bandmates over the practices of their management which he considered to be against their socialist ideals.
The band went on to split into two factions with the third Campbell brother Duncan replacing Ali on vocals in one line-up and expensive legal battles followed over who could use the iconic name.
Ali is now reclaiming the legacy of his group, and his version, titled UB40 featuring Ali Campbell, Astro and Mickey, is set to land the highest entry in the UK album chart this week with their new LP 'A Real Labour of Love'.
Although he is pleased to be back as UB40, Ali isn't ready to forgive or forget his siblings for their treatment of him.
Speaking exclusively to BANG Showbiz, he said: "I don't really want to speak to them. With UB40 we were all brothers as far as I was concerned. When I found out stuff that was going on with the management I went to the band thinking they would support me and they didn't ... The band backed the management over me, to this day I'm still bewildered by it. They let me go when I was the singer and I wrote all the tunes. I started the band and it was always my band and it continues to be ... It's been going on for 10 years. They were taking me to court to stop me from using the name of my band that I started in 1979 ... I just ignore them and hope they go away."
And the 'Red Red Wine' hitmaker believes Robin and Duncan's group is tarnishing the legacy of UB40 with their poor live shows and by turning their back on their reggae roots and releasing country record 'Getting Over the Storm' in 2013.
Ali fumed: "Astro had to come back to the fold after the 'dark side', as I call them, made a country record. That was just ridiculous, it was a slap in the face to me and my fans, and it was a deliberate thing they did. They only sold about 5,000 copies of the record, it was just a disaster ... I think they're dreadful and are destroying the legacy of the band and still are whenever they play ... What's killing me is that there are a lot of people out there that don't care what's happened internally and don't care about us airing our dirty laundry in public, the worse thing is that people think that Duncan is me! Duncan is a folk singer, that's his style. For Duncan to be singing my hits it's bloody embarrassing, they are better UB40 tribute band singers out there."
Ali thinks the legal rows over the name UB40 is a farce anyway because it comes from the government paperwork Unemployment Benefit, Form 40 which was required to be filled out by jobless individuals to claim a benefit back in the 1970s and 1980s in Britain at the same time that the late Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister.
The vocalist said: "All I've been doing is defending myself, at great cost to me and to those guys, now I think they've just run out of steam and run out of money to try and stop me from using the name. The fact is UB40, the name, isn't owned by me or anyone, it stands for 'Unemployment Benefit, registration form 40, it's owned by the government, or Margaret Thatcher!
"But look, we've differentiated ourselves now. We've been on the road together for four years and we're building the UB40 brand again."
UB40's 'A Real Labour of Love' is out now.