UB40 ready to hit Raro with their greatest songs

Saturday December 15, 2018 Published in Local

Astro, of legendary reggae band UB40 took time out this week to answer some questions on the band’s eagerly anticipated concert at the National Auditorium next month. The concert, which will feature world class musicians and what has been touted as the best sound system set up ever seen in the Cook Islands, takes place on January 20.

You’ve said in 2014 that you don’t believe that reggae is getting enough airplay on mainstream radio.  Has that changed? Does it matter so much in this age of Spotify?

I don’t think it’s changed much. There are always specialist shows but they are generally outside peak listening hours and a lot are late night or the early hours. But even without an even playing field, reggae still marches on.

What’s biggest change you’ve seen in the industry since starting out?

The biggest change has got to be the birth of downloads and streaming. These things didn’t exist when we started in the business.

What’s the best thing about still touring?

The best thing about touring is getting to meet the fans and rekindle friendships from over the years.

You’ve been to New Zealand a lot – what is it about this country that keeps you coming back?

The simple answer to that is the fans, they are the reason we keep coming back. Plus the country’s natural beauty and culture. Besides, you can’t do a world tour and exclude New Zealand. That would be madness!

Are there any Zealand acts you’re into at the moment? Favourite Zealand acts you’ve played with?

I have been following Salmonella Dub for quite a few years, Katchafire, Fly My Pretties and Black Seeds

What’s your favourite New Zealand red wine?

Black Barn Vineyard in Hawkes Bay, one of the best red wines I have tasted!

What can fans expect from your set in Rarotonga? Will there be a UB40th birthday cake?

Fans can expect as many hits that we can cram into our set. We will be playing a few tracks from A Real Labour of Love. But we are not self-indulgent, we know that the fans want to hear the hits and ultimately what the fans want the fans get.

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