A Tale of Two Bands: UB40 featuring Ali, Astro and Mickey

UB40 featuring Ali, Astro and Mickey (left to right) Ali Campbell, Terence Astro Wilson and Mickey Virtue performs at Rose Music Center in Huber Heights on Wednesday, Sept. 6. CONTRIBUTED

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UB40 featuring Ali, Astro and Mickey (left to right) Ali Campbell, Terence Astro Wilson and Mickey Virtue performs at Rose Music Center in Huber Heights on Wednesday, Sept. 6. CONTRIBUTED

In 2008, original singer Ali Campbell left UB40 after 29 years. That decision still has repercussions nearly a decade later. In fact, there are currently two versions of the band working, one of which — UB40 featuring Ali, Astro and Mickey — performs at Rose Music Center in Huber Heights on Wednesday, Sept. 6.

Astro, born Terence Wilson, recently discussed the current state of his UB40.

DARK VS. LIGHT

“We like to call the others the Dark Side. They’ve decided to try to take us to court but it all seems to have fallen by the wayside. To be honest, there’s no reason for any of this. The world is a big enough place for both bands to exist. They’re determined to try and stop us from working but the fans seem to be voting with their feet and we’re playing in arenas and stadiums around the globe and they’re playing nightclubs and working men’s clubs.”

PROMISES AND LIES

“I wish them the best but don’t fancy the chances with Duncan Campbell, who took over for Ali. He might be a Campbell but he’s not a very good singer. From the reactions I’ve seen, the fans have been disappointed. Whenever we’re promoting, we always clearly state it’s UB40 featuring Ali, Astro and Mickey to let people know exactly what they’re going to get. So far, we’ve had no complaints of what we’ve been delivering to the public.”

NEW MUSIC

“We’re back in the studio working on a couple of albums. One will be out on Valentine’s Day next year on Universal and it’s absolutely fantastic. It’s probably the best thing we’ve done in 15 or 20 years. I can’t tell you anything else because I’m sworn to secrecy. The other album is a collaboration album. We resurrected these dub tracks me and Ali produced years ago and sent them to some bands on the West Coast, to reggaeton stars in Latin America and artists in Britain and Europe. We’re allowing them carte blanche to put whatever they want to put on top of the tracks.”

LABOUR OF LOVE

“We’re still on our same mission, which is to popularize reggae music around the world. We’re all pleased the genre is now an international language everybody understands. It’s played around the world and not everybody has English as their first language. They don’t necessarily understand what’s being said but everybody understands a good bass line and a drum beat. I think a bass line can say more than 1,000 words ever could.”


WANT TO GO?

Who: UB40 featuring Ali, Astro and Mickey with special guests Morgan Heritage

Where: Rose Music Center, 6800 Executive Blvd., Huber Heights

When: 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 6. Doors open at 6 p.m.

Cost: $23.50, $33, $43, $53

More info: 937-228-2323 or www.ticketmaster.com

Artist info: www.ub40.org

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