On January 29, the internationally-acclaimed UB40, featuring three original band members and a big line of well-known reggae musicians will take the stage at the National Auditorium. Thanks to the input of expert sound technicians, the auditorium will be well set up for the event, and the auditorium’s space, which is intimate by international standards, will offer excellent, close up views of the band.
The Rarotonga concert, scheduled during the band’s New Zealand-Australia tour, is attracting visitors from all over the region, and to whet your appetite for what will be an unmissable event, here’s a Q&A from band member Astro, courtesy of Cityscape.
1. Congrats on your 40th anniversary and success of (new album)A Real Labour of Love, what was it like getting back in the recording studio?
Thank you. It was great to finally be back in the studio to record A Real Labour Of Love. They are a collection of songs that we used to sing on the tour buses while touring in the 1980s.
2. Did you have any idea it was going to be so well received?
No, we had no idea, because as always, it’s the public that decides if it is a hit or not! Obviously we hoped people would love it, but nothing is guaranteed.
3. You sing lead on six of the tracks. Which is your favourite (and why)?
It is really hard to pick a favourite as I love them all, but International Herb which is about a subject that has always been close to my heart.
4. What’s the best thing about being on stage?
Looking out to a packed audience knowing that the crowd are in for a treat
5. How does it feel watching a massive audience singing along with you?
To see an audience singing along and dancing to the songs we perform is what I live for. Seeing different generations knowing the songs word-perfect just elates me
6. Who has been the biggest influence on your music?
To many to mention but U-Roy was probably the biggest alongside Bob Marley, John Holt and Big Youth.
7. At what age do you see yourself playing until?
Never really thought about it, but as long as people buy tickets and I am physically able to get on stage, I will be there. Retirement isn’t a word in my vocabulary.
8. Tell us your number one pet hate.
My #1 pet hate is people autograph-hunting in restaurants while sitting with my family. Pushing bits of paper between your fork and mouth!
9. You’re stuck in an elevator with Donald Trump – what do you say to him?
Not fit for general consumption!
10. Finish this sentence Red, Red, Wine makes me…
Feel so fine, it keeps me rocking all of the time