UB40 celebrating 45 years with outdoor show in Moseley, Birmingham, with very special guests

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Birmingham reggae band UB40 are celebrating 45 years of amazing music with an outdoor concert in Moseley, Birmingham - where the band first started out in 1978 - with some very special guests - see the line up, dates and how to get tickets here

It’s 45 years since Birmingham’s iconic reggae band UB40 set out on their road to international stardom - and the band are celebrating in a brilliant way.

The group are hosting a very special outdoor show in Moseley Park and Pool with a host of special guests. The concert is aptly named The Homecoming - as Moseley is where their journey began, with band members attending Moseley School of Art and rehearsing in a cellar in Trafalgar Road, where Earl Falconer (bass/vocals) and saxophonist Brian Travers lived.

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Joining the globetrotting superstars are British soul/R&B pioneers Soul II Soul, Manchester’s The Mouse Outfit, DJ Don Letts,and Caribbean ensemble Freetown Collective. Also on the bill are Birmingham’s own Friendly Fire Band and Young Culture Band, who both demonstrate reggae’s continued importance to the city, and the enduring influence of UB40.

Singer Ali Campbell quit the band in 2008 following disagreements and he went on to form his own band, but there is no mention of Ali being at this show.

The Homecoming does see a rare screening of the 1984 UB40 film Labour Of Love, along with artist Q&As hosted by broadcaster/actor Adil Ray. There will also be a range of award-winning street food vendors and craft beer on tap.

So what is the history of UB40?

UB40 are the world’s biggest reggae band. Scoring over 50 UK hit singles, including three number ones, they’ve also topped the US charts twice, and headlined countless major festivals across multiple continents.

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But it all began in Brum in 1978, specifically in and around the Moseley neighbourhood, as band members attended Moseley School of Art, and rehearsed in a cellar in Trafalgar Road, under Earl Falconer (bass/vocals) and saxophonist Brian Traver’s flats.

They also went on to play their first ever gig at the nearby Hare And Hounds in 1979 (an event commemorated by a PRS For Music Heritage Award plaque) and recorded their debut album, Signing Off, in the basement of producer Bob Lamb’s Moseley home. Ali Campbell quit in 2008 and now fronts a band called UB40 featuring Ali Campbell.

UB40 perform during the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony at Alexander Stadium UB40 perform during the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony at Alexander Stadium
UB40 perform during the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony at Alexander Stadium | Getty Images

UB40’s Robin Campbell (guitar/vocals) said: "Moseley is where we started and spent our first formative years, so it will be a true homecoming and could get emotional."

Recalling the band’s connection to the neighbourhood, Jimmy Brown (drums) added: "Moseley was always very bohemian - eccentric, arty, with some great pubs. A few of us would hang out at The Fighting Cocks - one of our first gigs was in the upstairs room there - and we once played on the back of a lorry driving up and down Moseley Road. It was the birthplace of the band."

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How do I get tickets to see UB40: The Homecoming?

UB40: The Homecoming is on Sunday 27 August 2023 at Moseley Park and Pool, Moseley, Birmingham. Presale begins Tuesday 7 March 2023, 10am (sign up via the link below to gain early access); General Sale, Friday 10 March. Tickets £50 (adult) with a VIP ticket, which includes limited edition goodies and much more, available for £125 (booking fees apply).

For tickets and more information, see: UB40: The Homecoming

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