UB40 returning to Aotearoa for summer tour

Tuesday 15 November 2022

One of reggae’s most successful acts UB40 are looking forward to returning to New Zealand this December!

The legendary British band make their eagerly anticipated return to celebrate their 40th anniversary (2020) and to perform all their hits at shows in Napier, New Plymouth, Matakana, Tauranga, Nelson, and Queenstown. The reggae pioneers will be joined by the legendary Jefferson Starship and Australasian heroes Dragon. Both acts will join UB40 on all six dates.

UB40 founders Robin Campbell, James Brown, Earl Falconer, Norman Hassan, long-time members Martin Meredith, Laurence Parry along with Tony Mullings, Ian Thompson and Matt Doyle, who was announced as the band’s new lead singer in 2021 following Duncan Campbell’s retirement, will start their Anniversary Tour with a celebratory arena tour in the UK and Ireland this December playing Castlebar, Belfast, Leeds, London’s iconic Wembley Arena and a special hometown performance at Birmingham’s Utilita Arena.

UB40 will then travel to Aotearoa for six nationwide shows from the end of December to early January, taking in Napier on December 29, New Plymouth on December 30, Matakana on January 2, Tauranga on January 4, Nelson on January 6, before ending in Queenstown on January 7.

The New Zealand shows will offer audiences a taste of classic hits like ‘Food for Thought', '1 in 10', 'Red Red Wine’, ‘Kingston Town’ and ‘Can’t Help falling In Love With You’, as well as tracks from the recently released albums FOR THE MANY and BIGGA BAGGARIDDIM. The band will also perform brand new music, ahead of their new album UB45 being released next year, including the single ‘Champion’, which recently featured as the official anthem of the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The upcoming album, UB45, is the ultimate celebration of UB40 past and present featuring new original material and also a reworking of some of the band's classics and greatest hits, performed by new frontman Matt Doyle. Doyle has stunned audiences across the UK and Europe with his debut performances including his Commonwealth Games performance of ‘Red Red Wine’, which the Times called ‘groovy and convincing'.

UB40 is one of the UK’s biggest exports. They have achieved more than 40 top 40 hits in their native Britain. With international sales of over 100 million records, the band are one of the biggest UK music acts of all time and continue to record charting albums while touring across the world including regular trips to New Zealand, where they have firmly found a place in the hearts of fans.

After four decades of success including their hit singles, international stadium tours and festival headline slots, the band suffered the devastating loss of founder member, lyricist and lead sax player Brian Travers who lost his long battle with cancer in 2021. Although "There is a giant Brian shaped hole that can never be filled", they continue with the surviving key founding members and songwriting core, staying true to and building on the legacy and ethos of the band.

UB40 are founder members Robin Campbell (vocals and guitar), Earl Falconer (bass, vocal), Jimmy Brown (drums) and Norman Hassan (percussion, vocals) with new lead vocalist Matt Doyle. The band also features Martin Meredith (sax) and Laurence Parry (trumpet), who have both been in UB40’s touring and recording line-up for over 20 years, Tony Mullings (keyboards) and Ian Thompson (sax) creating a genre-defining synergy of horns and rhythm section that are uniquely UB40.

Joining UB40 at all six New Zealand dates are the legendary Jefferson Starship and Kiwi heroes, Dragon.

Held at the height of summer, UB40 with special guests Jefferson Starship and Dragon promises to put on a show like no other. With back-to-back hits; the perfect concert settings and summer in full swing; this is not to be missed.