Currently on their 40th anniversary tour, Jimmy from UB40 spoke to Music Promotions about the longevity in their career, streaming services in music, career highs and much more full interview below.
Dont miss out on tickets for their xmas home town show link for tickets below.
How does it feel to be doing your 40th anniversary tour?
It’s all a bit surreal. Nobody can expect this sort of longevity in this business, but here we are, still selling out and the audiences are as enthusiastic as ever. I have to pinch myself sometimes.
What have you got in store for This tour?
Well this is all part of out 40-year celebrations. We started last year with a show at the Albert hall in London, then we toured the UK earlier this year, and we have recently come back from a big tour of the USA, now we are in Europe and we end in our home town just before christmas. It’s been one of the busiest yesrs for us in decades.
Did you ever think when you began your music journey you’d be here 40 years later?
Would never guess that we would continue for this long at the beginning. Most bands don’t last more than a couple of years. Don’t think anyone would dare to suggest we would still be doing it 40 years later. I don’t think we were think about the future then anyway.
Can you tell us more about your album? How long do you all spend recording, writing and producing?
Yes, the album has been out for a while now. We are very proud of it. It’s all original material apart from one track. We’ve gone back to our roots for this one. Lots of dub, there is even a dub version of the album out too. And it’s very political, as you might guess with a title ‘for the many’. We are old fashioned socialists so we support Corbyn.
As far as recording goes, we are a live band first before anything. We have to fit recording around a heavy touring schedule. So it took a while to get the albun in the can, nearly 5 years. We don’t rush things.
Music has changed a lot since you began, do you think it’s changed in a good way? Like with streaming services we now have?
I’m not sure streaming services are the best way to go, the bands don’t get much reward from that. But I think the rise of digital recording and computer technology are really good for the music. Back in the early days it would costs thousands of pounds a day in recording studios and only record companies could release records. Now anyone can do it with just a couple of hundred pounds worth of gear and they can distribute themselves on line. I think that’s great, it democratises music and bands rely on record companies less.
After the 40th anniversary tour what is next for you?
We are all hitting 60 years old now, but the energy is still there with our performance, so more touring for us I think. While we still can.
You’ve achieved so much in your careers do you have goals set for what’s next on your list? What have been a few of your highlights?
There have been lots of highlights. Playing Madison Square Gardens sold out, with a number one single and album in the USA. Touring Polynesia, being one of the first bands to play south aftrica after the boycott was lifted and playing the biggest concert in their history, with the crowd singing our songs back at us. Playing Russia in 1986 before Glasnost and all the changes. That was an experience. There have been lots of high points.
Just that anyone who comes to our shows are expected to sing and dance as well as the band. So dress appropriately, no high heels.
UB40 – Xmas Hometown Show!
Birmingham Arena Saturday 21st December 2019 Tickets via: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ub40-christmas-hometown-show-arena-birmingham-tickets-71661075205