UB40 featuring Ali Campbell tour will go ahead this year in memory of Astro

1 February 2022, 12:12 | Updated: 1 February 2022, 16:36

UB40 confirm tour will go ahead in memory of Astro

By Mayer Nissim

UB40's former member Astro died last year, and his band's lineup will continue touring in his memory.

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UB40 featuring Ali Campbell have confirmed that they will continue with plans to tour this year.

Ex-UB40 member Astro died in November 2021 of a short illness, and the lineup of the group featuring singer Ali Campbell will play their previously-announced shows in February in his memory.

"I can't wait to get back on stage and see all our wonderful fans," Ali said.

"It’s going to be incredibly difficult without Astro by my side. Remembering Astro, let the music play on. Big love, Ali."

London-based reggae/dancehall sound system Reggae Roast will support the group as special guests and tickets for the shows are available now.

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The full tour dates are as follows:

  • Friday, February 25 – London, The O2
  • Saturday, February 26 – Brighton Centre
  • Friday, March 4 – Cardiff Motorpoint Arena
  • Saturday, March 5 – Birmingham Utilita Arena
  • Sunday, March 6 – Sheffield City Hall

The group will also play a number of summer festivals, including spots at:

  • Friday, June 15 – Blenheim Palace, Woodstock
    Saturday, July 15 – Isle of Wight Festival 2022, Newport
    Friday, July 1 – Sign of the Times Festival 2022, Little Hadham, Hertfordshire
Ali Campbell and Astro
Ali Campbell and Astro. Picture: Alamy

There are currently two bands touring under the UB40 banner.

Founding members Ali Campbell and Mickey Virtue quit UB40 in 2008, followed by Astro in 2013.

Ali was replaced on vocals by his brother Duncan in 2008, while Ali toured concurrently as part of UB40 featuring Ali Campbell and Astro – prompting much animosity and legal struggles between both groups.

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Duncan retired from music in June 2021, having suffered a stroke a year earlier. He was replaced in that version of UB40 by Matt Doyle, formerly of the reggae band Kioko.

That group, which still contains founding members Jimmy Brown, Earl Falconer and Norman Hassan – as well as Duncan and Ali's brother Robin Campbell – continues to record and tour as UB40.

After Astro's death, Ali Campbell's group is touring as UB40 featuring Ali Campbell.