UB40 is a household name for good reason, and we were lucky enough to be there when they played the Thebarton Theatre (affectionately dubbed the Thebby) on Thursday 26 November.
It is only natural that a band whose music career spans decades, would amass such a splendidly diverse fan-base. From kids as young as 12 to ladies and gentlemen of all ages, all vying for the best positions by the barrier. If the turnout at the Thebby is anything to go by, not only do UB40 appeal to everyone but, even all these years later, they can evidently still pull a crowd.
To start off what was to be a fantastic night out, the support act, Charlie A’Court got the crowd going with an acoustic Blues set, which included some hilarious lyrics such as “please don’t make me sleep on the couch again”. Thoroughly entertaining. But then it was time for UB40.
To show their enthusiasm, even before the band walked on stage, the crowd was singing along with the songs from the UB40 back catalogue, playing through the speakers, while the roadies finished setting up. The eager UB40 fans did not have long to wait before the band members began to emerge on stage to an intro that would not be out of place in the beginning of a Batman movie.
Whilst set up as your traditional concert, UB40 front and centre, crowd behind the barrier and so on, it certainly didn’t stay that way for long. As soon as the band got going, the ‘dancefloor’ became just that. Not a single person in the crowd was still, all boogy-ing to the beat. It left the concert feeling more like a giant dance party, although granted a giant dance party lucky enough to have UB40 playing live.
Like the consummate entertainers and performers they are, the band was engaged with the crowd every step of the way, encouraging the raucous sing-alongs. Playing to fans at every level, they played songs for the “hard-core” fans as they described them, as well as hitting all of those fantastic songs everyone is bound to have heard like “Here I Am”, “Can’t Help Falling in Love” and the absolutely mandatory “Red, Red Wine”, during which the audience and band were bathed in red lighting.
Of course it wouldn’t be a concert without an encore! And what an encore it was. The highlight being the crowd using their phone flashlights to wave in time to the beat of “Kingston Town”. A film of which was taken on the night and we were told would be placed on the Band’s Facebook page. All in all, an absolute blast and all around good fun!!
The concert may be all said and done, but that doesn’t mean that we have to miss out on any UB40 action. With their new album Getting Over the Storm out now, we can relax in the Reggae wonder that is UB40 until the next time they visit our lovely shores.