Feb 4, 2008

Ali Campbell of UB40 Quits

UB40's frontman Ali Campbell, who is quitting the band after almost 30 years, says he's surprised he lasted so long.

Campbell announced last week he had made the “agonising“ decision to leave the British reggae group after its current world tour, due to ongoing issues with management.

Campbell is currently in Australia with the rest of his UB40 bandmates - as they prepare to begin touring the country tomorrow as part of the Ragamuffin world tour.

The 48-year-old says he will now concentrate on his solo career and his latest album Running Free.

“I am surprised I lasted that long - 28 years of my life,“ Campbell said. “I made a solo album 12 years ago and its taken this long to make a second solo album because of UB40 commitments. “With UB40 we make an album more or less every year. “It's pretty difficult to find time to do my own thing.”

Asked if he felt emotional to be leaving the band, he said: “Emotional in terms of I'm really happy to be getting out of it and doing my own thing.” But Campbell denied that pursuing his solo career was the reason behind his decision to quit. “I haven't left to do a solo thing. I've already been doing a solo thing,” said Campbell. “I'm not the only one to have my own projects ... we always have.”

Campbell's comments contradict a band spokesman, who said Campbell was leaving to pursue his solo career, and it was “as simple as that.” “They understand their point view, I don't think they understand my point of view,” Campbell said. “It's just something that's been going on quite a while so I've decided to leave after this tour.” "(But) we all knew each other from the age of 11 anyway - before the band and so we'll know each other after the band.” Campbell said he was angry that news of his departure had been leaked during the tour. “Somebody leaked it from the band's management, which was silly because it kind of makes people wonder what we're doing playing this festival,” Campbell said. “We're here to play shows as we always do there's no difference on stage or anything, it's not like we're arguing on stage - we're still doing the same show.” “It's probably the best show we've done so far.”


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