The excitement was palpable after it was announced that the legendary award-winning British band UB40 will be in Kenya for the Real Labor of Love 40th anniversary tour. The band would be performing at the Carnivore Gardens on February 1st, 2020.
The excitement got bigger when we came to learn that the concert would include Ali Campbell and Astro who were some of the original members of the group.
— Stephen Musyoka (@smusyoka) January 7, 2020
However, as it turns out, it’s just Ali and Astro who will be coming to town according to a tweet by the band. The two go by the name UB40 featuring Ali Campbell and Astro and I guess that had confused some of their fans.
“This event has nothing to do with UB40! Ali and Astro left UB40 a long time ago…. Please remove your post,” read a reply from UB40’s Twitter page.
Departure from UB40
After 30 years as the lead singer of UB40, Ali left the band to focus on a solo career although there were reports that he left because the band was mismanaged.
UB40 confirmed his departure with a statement from their spokesperson.
“Ali Campbell has taken the decision to focus on his solo career and in doing so, could not give his full commitment to UB40. The other band members of UB40 are naturally disappointed and saddened after being together as a band unit and as good friends and a “family unit” for almost thirty years,” he said.
Astro theatrically quit the band 5 years later claiming that the band was mismanaged. He compared it to a ‘rudderless ship’ with no clear direction nor action plan and said that he had been unhappy for so long. However, their decision to release a ‘country’ album named Getting Over the Storm was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
“Since Ali and Micky departed, the band has been like a rudderless ship with no clear direction, no action plan. We’ve muddled our way through on a wing and a prayer. There has been a serious lack of communication between the band and management. My heart just isn’t in the new album where my contribution has been reduced to a backing vocalist which, as our fans know, is not my role in the group. I’m a frontman, a lead vocalist. While it may be true there is a long relationship with reggae musicians and country music, that doesn’t mean that’s what I want to play, far from it, and it’s definitely not something I wish to be part of, subjecting our fans to what I consider to be substandard. I cannot bear to see what we are offering to our loyal fans. I believe they deserve better than this and I am sorry, but I cannot and will not lose my integrity as a respected reggae musician,” he stated.