Review: UB40, “Getting over the Storm”, Ipswich Regent, Ipswich, April 5


UB40 - Credit: Archant

Empty seats at a pop concert is usually a poor reflection on the featured band, but it was the total opposite at the Ipswich Regent on Saturday.

An enthusiastic crowd packed into the intimate venue to share an evening with UB40 and were on their feet before the first lyric of the night had even been sung.

Yes, the veteran Birmingham reggae band were on good form as they rolled back the years with classics such as Higher Ground, Homely Girl, Red Red Wine, Can’t Help Falling in Love and Kingston Town.

They overdid it with some of their new material from their latest album “Getting over the Storm”, although the hardcore fans seemed to know every beat and carried on dancing regardless, while a cameo from Earl Falconer was too short and pretty forgettable.

Lead singer Ali Campbell quit the band in 2008, shortly followed by Mickey Virtue, in what was far from a harmonious split, but the rest of the group continued – including brother Robin – while fellow sibling Duncan took over on lead vocals.

The pair were on stage on Saturday and kept the crowd entertained, but something didn’t sit right, and that was the absence of Ali and his distinctive voice.

That said, they proved they still have plenty to offer, with or without him – especially backed by a sound brass section – and the crowd’s ovation suggested they have got over any storm created by the split.