Thursday, 23 May 2019

UB40 - UB40 Live (1982)


Recorded live in Ireland February 1982

Running Time 51:53

This was the first official UB40 live album, The Lost Tapes from 1980 were not released until the 2000s. This is taken from gigs in Ireland in 1982 and contains material from the band's first three albums - three tracks from Signing Off, four from Present Arms and three from UB44. The sound quality is excellent throughout and the material is played impressively, reproducing the sound of the studio recordings with ease. UB40 could play, particularly saxophonist Brian Travers and the album showcases just what a good band they were in those vibrant, early days. Considering they had only been around for three years they sound most experienced already, effortlessly delivering the material.


1. Food For Thought
2. Sardonicus
3. Don't Slow Down
4. Folitician
5. Tyler
6. Present Arms
7. The Piper Calls The Tune
8. Love Is All Is Alright
9. Burden Of Shame
10. One In Ten                                        

There are no particular highlights, all the tracks are good - clear, sharp, bassy and of course featuring vocalist Ali Campbell's unique voice. For me, it is a trip down memory lane having seen them live in both 1980 and on this tour at the Brixton Academy in South London. The underrated Love Is All Is Alright is a memory of that latter gig and the dubby toasting of Folitician too. Good solid stuff from a group who were far more ground-breaking and credible than they were ever given credit for, particularly in this period. Just listening to tracks like Tyler and Burden Of Shame is so evocative of that 1980-82 period.