Monday, 4 June 2018

UB40 - The Lost Tapes. Live At The Venue (1980)


Recorded live at The Venue, Victoria, London in 1980

I remember seeing UB40 live in November 1980 and what a breath of fresh air they were. At last, this live performance from London Victoria's now-defunct "The Venue" from those great days has been released here.


1. Tyler

2. My Way Of Thinking
3. Burden Of Shame
4. Strange Fruit
5. I Think It's Going To Rain Today
6. Summertime
7. King
8. Food For Thought
9. Little By Little                                         

Opening with a storming version of “Tyler”, they play a lot of material from their stunning debut album, "Signing Off" (six tracks in fact) plus non-album single, the excellent "My Way Of Thinking" and a "B" Side, a cover of Billie Holliday's "Strange Fruit". They cover the jazz classic "Summertime", instrumentally, as well.

The sound quality is really excellent, particularly given that it dates from 1980, but still retains that essential "live" quality that makes you remember the gigs you saw and want to be back there. “Burden Of Shame” just takes me right back. Just listen to that saxophone, bass and keyboards at the end bit. Great stuff.

There is a more "live" and earthy feel to this recording than on 1982's previous live release, "UB40 Live", which, for some reason, had much less atmosphere. It is also clear that the band are still possibly not that well known to their audience, as songs are introduced and Astro exhorts the crowd to dance on several occasions.

This was when UB40 were really cooking, with all that vitality of being a relatively new group, with new success. Nothing tired or "going through the motions" here.


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