UB40 Legends Ali, Astro & Mickey, Matisyahu, Raging Fyah
Relix Presale: Wed, 2/1 10am - Thu, 2/2 10pm
Knitting Factory Presale: Thu, 2/2 10a0 - 10pm
General On Sale: Fri, 2/3 10am
We are UB40 featuring Ali Campbell, Astro and Mickey Virtue, all of us founding members of the original UB40. Ali and Mickey left the band in 2008 and were reunited with Astro when he left too in 2013.
The original line-up of UB40 with Ali, Astro and Mickey enjoyed huge success over a period of 30 years from 1979 until 2008, including number 1 album’s and multiple top 10 gold and platinum selling albums and Grammy nominations, 4 number ones worldwide. Total of 70 million plus sales.
We would not want anyone to confuse Ali, Astro and Mickey’s band with the band that carried on using the name UB40 after 2008 made up of other founding members and new members they tried to replace us with in their attempt to trade off the reflected glory of the success of the original line-up.
Only with Ali Campbell, the legendary voice of UB40, reunited with Astro and Mickey can audiences get to experience the closest thing to the sound of the hugely successful original line-up of UB40 as all the hits are played. They can also get to hear these three founding members’ and UK reggae pioneers’ latest take on the genre.
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.
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 Virtuoso keyboardist Big Yuki . 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 Yuki 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. It’s been more than a decade for Matisyahu the singer; this is the time of Matisyahu the band.
Raging Fyah is an authentic, soul-filled, roots rock reggae band, with a fresh contemporary flare, that will literally set your
soul on fire! That’s what makes Raging Fyah one of hottest spreading, most captivating and powerful entertainment packages in a long awaited Jamaican Reggae Renaissance!
The “Fyah” was ignited in 2006 by Anthony Watson (drummer), Demar Gayle (keyboardist) and Delroy Hamilton (bassist); then they were later joined by Courtland White (guitarist) and Kumar Bent (lead singer) as they set out to rekindle a flame of positivity in the music industry.
Fueled by passion, purpose and life experiences, their lyrics touch the soul of the listener, uplifting and motivating people from all socio-economic and cultural backgrounds. Whether the message is love, peace or empowerment, Raging Fyah burns through barriers of time age, race or class and has songs for everyone to love.
In 2011, they released their debut album, “Judgement Day”, and gained popularity and presence locally and internationally, with a few of the songs - su ch as the title track “Judgement Day” and hit single “Far Away” - receiving rotation on the air waves and even found their way onto a few charts.
With conscious roots reggae on the rise, the “Fyah” continued to spread into 2012, and there was a heavy demand for the
band’s thrilling live performances at various shows. Their talent and versatility enables them to aptly adjust the intensity of their flame. So whether at an intimate acoustics set or a large stage shows such as Rebel Salute and Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival, they steadily captured the hearts of the Jamaican listeners. In that same year the band hit the road to perform on the international stages of South America as well as to headline several major reggae festivals in Europe such as Summerjam, Rototom Sunsplash and Garance.
Since then the band has been doing shows locally and returned for another tour in in Europe in Spring of 2013. They have
also released three new singles “Dread” , “Naah Look Back” and “First Love” are they currently in studio working on their second album.