After spending much of the first half of the year celebrating its 40th anniversary in Europe, UB40 is bringing the party to North America for the first time since 2008 -- and high time for it, according to singer-guitarist Robin Campbell.
"It's been too long since we've been in the States," Campbell tells Billboard ahead of the trek with Steel Pulse, which begins Aug. 2 in Detroit and runs through Sept. 29, also promoting the group's new album For the Many. UB40 has been touring the rest of the world during the interim, and Campbell lays blame for the group's North American absence on former singer, and his younger brother, Ali Campbell.
Ali Campbell left UB40 during 2008, replaced by another younger brother, Duncan Campbell. But in 2014 he and other former members Terence "Astro" Wilson and Mickey Virtue joined forces and began performing as UB40 Featuring Ali Campbell, Astro and Mickey Virtue. That led to litigation with their former bandmates that's currently still in motion. "We didn’t' really want to come back to the States until we had the legal things sorted out that would stop him from using our name," Robin Campbell explains. "We've been touring the world but the promoter he was working with was making it difficult for us to get someone to bring us over to the States. But we finally said, 'To hell with it. We'll come over anyway.' We may be playing smaller venues than we have before, but that's OK. I like smaller venues."