Celebrating Birmingham's Popular Music History
Before they were famous – when I was in various bands on the Moseley scene (remember Big Ears at the Fighting Cocks?) – they used to rehearse in a grotty house on Trafalgar Rd. They borrowed an H&H amp from us once and it came back with a broken facia, having fallen out of the back of their van! I always understood that they had a helping hand from Ali and Robin’s father Ian Campbell, of the successful 50s Ian Campbell Folk Group – anyone know if this was true? Their debut album Signing Off was recorded by sometime Steve Gibbons Band drummer Bob Lamb, in his rented flat in Moseley, possibly Blenheim Rd or one of the adjacent roads in the ‘Red Triangle’.
My memories of UB40 start at Lark In The Park at Cannon Hill, can’t remember the year, and on the back of a lorry at Moseley Festival. The Feds moved them on from the triangle in front of The Bulls Head so the lorry slowly went up St Mary’s Row round to Trafalgar Road while the band carried on playing (sort of) and we all followed on behind.
I returned from Europe in 1980 and heard “Food For Thought” on radio 1 and shouted to my matey Sean- “they’ve made it!” It was a great moment. We were working in a factory warehouse in Plymouth and nobody else knew who I was talking about. They soon did.!
UB 40 – Good Band from Sparkhill
I saw UB40 at one of their early gigs at a pub next to Aston Cross near to the Ansells Brewery. I don’t remember much other than I enjoyed it and chatting to Jim Brown afterwards. Probably the summer of 1979.
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