Saturday, 13 July 2024

UB40 to celebrate their 45th anniversary with ‘Homecoming’ outdoor show

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.

The Homecoming also sees 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.

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.

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.

UB40’s guitar/vocals, Robin Campbell, 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, drummer, Jimmy Brown, 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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