In the Mix

UB40 founders make Hawaii visit

October 21st, 2015

When a popular band loses its lead singer, there’s often quite a bit of drama among fans when a new voice steps in to take the reigns.

COURTESY UB40Former UB40 members, from left, Mickey Virtue, Ali Campbell and Astro Wilson will headline the Honolulu stop of the UB40 The Reunited Tour in January.

COURTESY UB40

Former UB40 members, from left, Mickey Virtue, Ali Campbell and Astro Wilson will headline the Honolulu stop of the UB40 The Reunited Tour in January.

Just look at Van Halen. Or Journey.

But it seems UB40 got things backward. Five years after leaving the group to pursue a solo career, Ali Campbell and fellow founding members Astro Wilson and Mickey Virtue decided to get the get the band back together.

Only problem? UB40 never went away when Campbell left in 2008. They simply replaced him with his brother, Duncan Campbell, and continued to release music and tour the world.

Once UB40 Reunited — the new name used by Ali Campbell, Astro and Virtue — started playing shows last year, the biggest drama came from the brothers Campbell as they traded shots in press interviews.

Airing out all their dirty laundry inevitably led to a lawsuit in the UK that appears to be heading to trial early next year. At stake are the rights to use the UB40 name, which the three former members are now using without the “Reunited” tag. When they return to Honolulu early next year, they’ll be introduced as UB40 Featuring Ali Campbell, Astro and Mickey Virtue. Expect hits like “Red, Red Wine,” “(I Can’t Help) Falling in Love” and “Kingston Town” along with newer tracks off the trio's 2014 album, "Silhouette."

Tickets for the Jan. 29 concert at Blaisdell Arena are priced from $39 to $139 and go on sale at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Blaisdell Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets (including all Walmart stores on Oahu) and online at www.ticketmaster.com. The Hawaii stop of the UB40 The Reunited Tour is produced by promoters Ray Jr. and Tantriq Entertainment.

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Jason Genegabus is Entertainment Editor/Online at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and has covered the local nightlife, music, bar and entertainment scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at jason@staradvertiser.com and follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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