Silhouette is the new single from Ali Campbell, the legendary voice of UB40 reunited with Astro and Mickey, released 18th August on Cooking Vinyl. The single is the first to be taken from Silhouette, the new album out October 6th.
Recorded partly in London's renowned RAK Studios, Silhouette is an inspired mix of freshly-minted new songs and sparkling, reggaefied cover versions of classics by The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Chi-Lites and others. Silhouette was originally a 1957 hit for the American doo-wop group The Rays, and later helped to break Herman's Hermits in the States. The yearning take that appears on Silhouette, however, owes more to an early 1970s version by the crown prince of reggae, the late Dennis Brown.
As founding members of UB40, Ali, Mickey and Astro helped to define reggae music for a generation. The iconic Birmingham reggae troupe topped the UK singles chart on three occasions and sold 70 million records as they took their smooth yet rootsy musical blend to all corners of the globe. Campbell left the band in 2008 after 28 years and has since released four reggae-themed solo collections, with Mickey, who left UB40 soon after Ali, joining him on keys. Astro remained with the band until November 2013, when he left to team up again with Ali and Mickey.
Ali's voice remains as strong as ever - rich, melodic and instantly recognisable. “He’s a genius in the way he can work a set of lyrics around a great melody,” says Mickey. “Any song he sings could easily be a UB40 tune.”
With the redoubtable Astro lending strong vocal support and Mickey's keyboards to the fore in a new band that includes a three-piece horn section, their lithe but potent sound should delight fans old and new. Having reiterated their credentials as consummate live performers with triumphant gigs this year in places as far flung as Nigeria, South Africa and Papua New Guinea, the trio have a quartet of UK festivals dates this summer and will embark on a headline tour in December.
“When we play live now, it has the feel of a proper group,” says Ali. “The musicians in our band have all played with other reggae acts, so they love what we're doing. And the fact that Astro is back with us after six years speaks volumes about the music we are making.”