THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE REGGAE QUESTIONNAIRE: Duncan Campbell of UB40

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UB40: Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain
THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE REGGAE QUESTIONNAIRE: Duncan Campbell of UB40
The story goes that when Duncan Campbell was asked if he wanted to join the band his brothers Ali and Robin were forming in Birmingham he declined because he knew they wouldn't get anywhere.

That was 1978 and the band was UB40 who went on to sell millions of albums, and then more millions.

Controversially he got the chance to join in 2008 – after a career which included running a fish'n'chip shop in Australia – when lead singer Ali quit, to be followed by Astro and Mickey Virtue.

The remaining UB40 carried on using the name (which Ali and the departed still object to) and Duncan's first album with them was Labour of Love IV which continued their series of covers albums.

UB40 with Duncan Campbell and brother Robin play the Raggamuffin IX festival on Saturday 20 February at The Trusts Arena, Auckland.

The first piece of music which really affected you was . . .

Have You Seen Her by The Chi-Lites. It was the first single I ever bought for a girlfriend … I think it did the trick at the time! 

Your first role models in music were . . .

Stevie Wonder. He really was the best of the Motown period and he was and still is the greatest. You could argue that he really invented the pop song and is vocal gymnastics are incredible without being forced.

Lennon or Jagger, Bob Marley or Burning Spear, dancehall or raggamuffin, Michael Jackson or Jay-Z?

Lennon, Marley, dancehall, Michael Jackson

If music was denied you, your other career choice would be . . .

Professional snooker player in the ‘70s when it was so very cool

The three songs (yours, or by others) you would love everyone to hear are . . .

Any three songs from the next album … we’re back into working on it now

Any interesting, valuable or just plain strange musical memorabilia at home?

Lots of folk music memorabilia. Dad ran the famous Birmingham folk club The Jug O’Punch and pretty much anyone who was vaguely a folk musician would play there and often stayed at our place so I have lots of photos and bits and pieces from that time.

If you could get on stage with anyone it would be . . . (And what you would play?)

Stevie Wonder – and I’d play whatever he told me to play … I’d sing The Lord’s Prayer if that’s what he wanted me to do.

The last CD or vinyl album you bought was . . .

George Ezra

One song, royalties for life, never have to work again. The song by anyone, yourself included, which wouldn't embarrass you would be . . .

Any track from Adele’s 25 album. I think she’s an extremely talented performer. I’m impressed by some of the young British singers and performers who are coming through like Ed Sheehan as well.

The poster, album cover or piece of art could you live with on your bedroom forever would be . . .

Anything by Leonardo would be nice of course! I went to art school, as did most of the band. At school we were separated into two streams and if we passed the art exam we were pushed towards arts school and we learned to appreciate classical art.

You are allowed just one reggae box set, and it is . . .

Complete Trojan Records box set

Getting_Over_the_StormDavid Bowie sang, “Five years, that's all we've got . . .” You would spend them where, doing . . .?

In Tahiti, but I know that paradise can soon wear thin and so I’d still want to be doing what I’m doing now as well – playing with UB40 around the world

And finally, in the nature of press conferences in Japan, “Can you tell me please why this is your best album ever?”

Because it is our latest material!

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