UB40 at The Complex

Reggae Rise Up

UB40 at The Complex

Matisyahu, Raging Fyah

Sat 7.22.17

7:00 pm

The Complex

Salt Lake City, UT

$46.00 - $51.00

UB40
UB40
When vocalist Astro and keyboard player Mickey Virtue rejoined forces with Ali Campbell, the spirit of their old band UB40 was never going to be far from the surface. All three were founding members of the iconic Birmingham reggae troupe who 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.

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, Ali, Mickey and Astro are now turning their attention to the studio and a new album, Silhouette, that 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, recorded in London's legendary RAK Studios, plays unashamedly to the trio's strengths. Ali's voice, described by Astro as being 'like a fine wine' (red, presumably), remains as strong as ever - rich, melodic and instantly recognisable. 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.

"Going into the studio with Ali again took me back in time," says Astro. "We hadn't recorded together for years. But, once he started singing, the years just rolled away. And, whenever I had my own ideas for a vocal part, I was encouraged to go for it. There was never any hassle, as we're all having such a blast."

"Silhouette is like a continuation of the solo albums Ali has made since leaving the old band," adds Mickey. "Musically, he's been really consistent. Ali's genius is the way he can work a set of lyrics around a great melody. Any song he sings could easily be a UB40 tune."

Among the album's highlights is the title track and first single Silhouette. A 1957 hit for the American doo-wop group The Rays, though the yearning take that appears on the album owes more to an early 1970s version by the crown prince of reggae, the late Dennis Brown. "It's a cracking tune and the reaction when we play it live is phenomenal," says Astro, who adds vocals to the track. "We've always mixed covers and originals. On the first UB40 album, Signing Off, we had one song by Randy Newman (I Think It's Going To Rain Today) and another made famous by Billie Holiday (Strange Fruit)."

Silhouette also includes an upbeat reggae interpretation of Any Time At All (from The Beatles' A Hard Day's Night album), a cover of Bob Dylan's enigmatic 1966 single I Want You (a number Ali remembers from his childhood) and an inspired take on The Chi-Lites' Yes I'm Ready (a song originally on the B-side of the soul standard Have You Seen Her). Says Ali: "Have You Seen Her was a song that meant a lot to me in the 1970s. I used to listen to the seven-inch single on my Dansette record player in the dark. And, in Yes I'm Ready, there was also a great track on the flipside – a song that nobody has really heard of."

Two other covers that may be less familiar are Sha-La-La, once a harmony hit for The Pioneers, and Jamaican singer Ernie Smith's Ride On Sammy, a cautionary tale that warns a philandering rude boy to change his ways. There is also the lilting lovers rock of Missing You. It was written by Lionel Richie as a tribute to his departed friend Marvin Gaye, it was a hit for Diana Ross, though Ali is covering the Lee Roy Gibbons version. "Lee Roy misinterpreted it as a love song," he says. "He assumed that Lionel Richie wrote it about a woman he was missing, but it was actually inspired by his memories of Marvin."

Amid such originals as the self-explanatory Reggae Music and Cyber Bully Boys, the album contains the poignant Tomorrow On My Shoulder, a previously unpublished track written by Ali's father, Scottish folk singer Ian Campbell. "It's a song about parenthood," says Ali. "My dad gave it to me when I had my first son."

As original members of UB40, Ali, Mickey and Astro helped to define reggae music for a generation. The multi-racial band, formed in 1979 in the Birmingham suburb of Moseley, pooled a diverse set of influences to put a fresh, indigenous slant on Jamaican reggae. After encouragement from Chrissie Hynde, who offered them support slots with her chart-topping band The Pretenders, they recorded their independently released debut album, Signing Off, on an eight-track tape machine in the home of producer Bob Lamb. An unexpected number two album, it gave them the conviction to chart their own course.

"Chrissie Hynde discovered us," recalls Ali. "We'd only done a dozen gigs when she saw us at the Rock Garden in London. She was top of the charts at that time, but she took us on tour. We were on the road with The Pretenders when our first single, Food For Thought and King, reached number four in the charts."

"We owed a lot to the late 1970s ska movement, too," adds Mickey. "We shirt-tailed the ska movement but we also stood apart from the 2-tone acts: their thing was a mix of punk and ska and ours was a new homegrown strand of reggae."

UB40 went on to dominate charts around the world, not least with the hugely successful Labour Of Love series. The first Labour Of Love album, in 1983, yielded a cover of Neil Diamond's Red Red Wine that topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic. The band secured two further chart-topping singles at home in (I Can't Help) Falling In Love With You (also another US number one) and I Got You Babe, a duet between Ali and the band's old friend Chrissie Hynde, and Ali and Robin Campbell also scored a No.1 with Baby Come Back.

When Ali Campbell departed in 2008 after 29 years and a dozen major world tours with the band, he was followed out of UB40 by Mickey Virtue. Campbell, with Mickey lending a helping hand, has since released two solo albums. Astro remained with the band until November 2013, when he left to team up again with Ali and Mickey. Now, following some spectacular gigs at home and abroad, the trio are facing the future with renewed confidence and vigour.

"When we play live now, it feels like a real 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."

"For me, it's all about promoting reggae. At the end of the day, the fans don't care about what goes on behind the scenes. They only care about the music, and I'm sure they are going to love this record."
Matisyahu
Matisyahu
MATISYAHU

$27.50 advance | $32.50 day of show
Doors: 9pm | Show: 10pm
Email for VIP SUITE or PLATINUM TABLE reservations


Bio:
When Matisyahu first started touring to packed clubs more than eleven years ago, it was prior to the release of Live at Stubbs, the now Gold record, and prior to that record's single "King without a Crown" reaching #1 on the alternative rock radio charts. His performances were a raw expression of his spirituality at that time and were supported by musicians who played a foundation of roots reggae augmented by the energy of a rock trio. Fans latched on quickly for a variety of reasons, but in August of 2005, just months after the release of Live at Stubbs, Matisyahu found himself on stage at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival with the de facto leader of improvisational rock-n-roll; Phish's front man Trey Anastasio. Many early fans of Matisyahu remember that moment clearly not because of the songs he played in front of the 80,000 person crowd, but because of his seemingly unfettered confidence (or perhaps naiveté) in helping lead Trey and his band through an improvisational display of beat boxing and lyrical gymnastics during the two songs performed. It may have been unrefined, but Matisyahu's passion for full band improvisation was laid bare.
Fans within the improvisational-jam scene began flocking to Matisyahu's shows shortly thereafter. "King without a Crown" climbed the charts and Matisyahu's follow up record Youth was nominated for a Grammy, but the blessings and curses of mainstream success each took root. While Matisyahu's bands have always been comprised of serious multidimensional players who have artfully molded the foundations of roots reggae into many genres, that early; if only a brief display of complete surrender to the music, seemed in some way to take a back seat. Through his lyrics however, Matisyahu developed a more personal, artistic, and sophisticated way to express the yearning for deep spiritual meaning, and as his own beliefs opened up to find more variety and depth, the desire for his performances to match the unpredictable flow of life developed as well.

Now, more than a decade later, Matisyahu has formed a band that truly gives itself over to the music on par with his lyrical desire to connect to something beyond the self. The band features original Stubbs guitarist and longtime staple of the downtown New York improv scene Aaron Dugan, Dub Trio bassist and long-time Matisyahu collaborator Stu Brooks, percussionist and Cyro Baptista go-to-drummer Tim Keiper, and Addison Groove Project founder Rob Marscher. Combined, the music and lyrics transcend their parts. At its most basic moments the music now feels alive; an entity unto itself, being born in the moment and evolving each night. No two performances of a song are alike. At its most exultant moments the music becomes full-band improvisation. Lyrics are rearranged on the spot to serve the energy of the jam, no instrumentalist is playing simply to demonstrate individual skill, and Keiper's percussive mastery finds the subtle cracks within Matisyahu's beat boxing to propel the music beyond anything it's ever achieved previously.

What makes this music so engaging and unmatched, is that Matisyahu; a vocalist with no other instrument at his disposal, is an integral creative part in the improvisation. Dugan and Marscher work well beyond the constraints of the "solo" constantly working to modulate the improvisation, while Brook's pocket is so deep and harmonically smart, that regardless of how far the melodic elements of a jam may get pushed, it's impossible not to feel rooted to the core of any tune performed. Matisyahu allows his band to breathe within each tune, finding his place with a wordless melody that serves to enhance the harmonic elements of an improvisation, developing the rhythmic ideas with his beat boxing, or crowning a jam with a full-on lyrical call-to-the-heavens and the great unknown. It's that cathartic moment as a jam summits and the audience lets out its release that tells the performers we are all in it together. During the
most recent Fall 2015 tour, video and audio posts of these moments inspired a steady stream of comments and inquiries asking, "What album is this song on?" It's not on any album. It is the song of that moment, and that moment only.

These moments have the ability to connect the many different kinds of Matisyahu fans. The fan going through a hard time, looking to connect to lyrics about faith and searching. The fan looking for that unmatched connection inherent in the risk-reward of improvisational music. The fan who finds pride or representation in some of the ancient sources of Matisyahu's inspiration. All of these fans share the space together with Matisyahu who is now both a player and a playee, bound to his bandmates' creation
in song and in spirit. the band.

It's been more than a decade for Matisyahu the singer; this is the time of Matisyahu
Raging Fyah
Raging Fyah
Raging Fyah is one of the most talented and dynamic Reggae group to hit the International music scene. Divinely united, five stunning musicians- Anthony Watson, Courtland White, Demar Gayle, Delroy Hamilton and Kumar Bent set out to rekindle a flame of positivity within the music industry.

Though capable in other genres of music most of Raging Fyah songs assume a roots rock reggae feel, heavily influenced by passion, purpose and life experiences when writing lyrics - Raging Fyah members at best ensures that every word touches the soul of each listener, which in a positive way uplifts and motivates people from all socio-economic, Political and cultural background.

The resulting melodies have been likened to legendary artistes such as Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Third World. The band has its own recording label, Raging Fyah Production.

Raging Fyah is committed to changing the world, note by note, melody by melody- spreading light in areas of darkness, growing when conditions seems most bleak, demolishing obstacles without remorse.
The band simply keeps blazing like a "Raging Fyah".
Venue Information:
The Complex
536 West 100 South
Salt Lake City, UT, 84101
http://www.thecomplexslc.com