Saturday, January 25, 2014

UB40 vs. UB40!? Original Band Responds To Ali Campbell's Announcement That He Is UB40



The five members of UB40 issued a statement on their website and Facebook page which seems to suggest they will be suing ex-singer Ali Campbell and former members Mickey Virtue and Astro who announced last week that they were also calling themselves UB40. The original members had kept silent about the announcement until yesterday, when they finally issued a statement of their own calling the move a "desperate attempt by our former band mates to hijack UB40's brand name, business and legacy."


A statement issued by five remaining founder members Brian Travers, Jimmy Brown, Earl Falconer, Norman Hassan and Ali's brother Robin Campbell said they were now consulting lawyers. It said:

Following the announcement by three former members of UB40 of their intention to ‘reform’ to record a new album and to perform live under the name UB40, the five founding members of UB40 wish to make the following statement:

“We are outraged at this latest desperate attempt by our former band mates to hijack UB40′s brand name, business and legacy. As UB40 we have worked continuously for the last 35 years touring the world with our live show and promoting our recorded albums.

“As our fans know, Ali Campbell left UB40 six years ago citing issues with the band’s management, and has since pursued a solo career. In that time, Ali has repeatedly attempted to discredit his brothers and former band mates, through the media and otherwise, but this latest attempt to confuse and manipulate UB40′s fans is, frankly, pathetic. We are disappointed that he feels it necessary to behave in this way and equally disappointed that Astro has joined with him.

“UB40’s five remaining founding members Robin Campbell, Brian Travers, Jimmy Brown, Earl Falconer and Norman Hassan will be touring extensively throughout 2014 and the UK in March and April. With this in mind, UB40 are delighted to announce that extra dates have been added, including a second night in Birmingham on April 19th, with tickets going on sale from Monday, 27th January.

For all genuine UB40 dates please go to our official website, Facebook and Twitter pages at www.UB40.co.uk , facebook.com/ub40official and @UB40official.

“As for Ali, Mickey and Astro, the matter is now in the hands of our lawyers”.


Trumpeter and vocalist Astro publicly quit the group during a radio interview late last year and immediately connected with Ali Campbell and Virtue. The trio released a statement last week announcing "the three founding members (were) back together, performing and recording as UB40 once more" and launched a new UB40 website which included dates for shows across the world.

The existence of two groups sharing the same name echoes other disputes over the years including a legal battle for the right to the name Bucks Fizz. In the court fight which three past members of the Eurovision-winning group brought against the sole original member who had retained the rights to the name, they were judged to have given up their rights by leaving the line-up.

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