Topic: Entertainment

Special meet & greet with UB40 members ahead of marae visit

By Wepiha Te Kanawa

UB40 are here in Aotearoa featuring members Ali Campbell, Astro and Mickey Virtue.  

They treated a handful of lucky Aucklanders to a special meet and greet ahead of their first ever vineyard tour next week.  They've also received an official invitation by Ngāpuhi iwi onto Waitangi Marae later tonight.

As in their 1983 Neil Diamond remake, the "red, red wine" was flowing.

Lead UB40 singer Ali Campbell says, "Unfortunately I got "papped" last time I was here doing the New Zealand's Got Talent, and it was due to the pinot noir, I thought I put on one and a half stone in three months because I do love it."

For the next week Ali Campbell, Astro and Mickey Virtue are in town for their new tour and checking out Auckland's sights while they're at it.

Campbell says, "We're coming to party and we want you all to come and party with us, all the hits and some of the new album, Silhouette, will be featuring a couple of songs from that.  But it's mostly a greatest hits set."

Over 30,000 tickets have been sold to their first-ever vineyard tour at seven locations around the country.  Some venues have changed to accommodate overwhelming numbers.

"Usually we did the Raggamuffin shows with Mr McManus but we've done five of those you know.  So we thought we do something different this time around and we are really happy with the way tickets are selling," explains Campbell.

They've even been invited to Waitangi Marae tonight by Ngāpuhi iwi.  The musicians say they're honoured.

Astro says, "I think that goes without saying, I don't think they would put on a celebration for us to have a bad time so I think it's going to be great!"

Waitangi locals are expecting UB40 to be welcomed onto the marae at 7pm, no doubt followed by a delectable Ngāpuhi feast.