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News |  30 Apr 2021 16:23 |  By RnMTeam

Reggae Rajahs collaborates with UB40 on a new album

MUMBAI: Following 2019’s critically acclaimed original album ‘For The Many’, English reggae/pop ensemble UB40 will release ‘Bigga Baggariddim’ on the 25th of June, an incredible celebration of the genre they endorse and a seminal reggae collaborations album. The release comes at a time when the reggae legends are preparing for their autumn winter stadium tour. 

Over 35 years after the original ‘Baggariddim album, the Birmingham reggae veterans' have reunited with guest artists who appeared on the 1985 album as well as collaborated with new and diverse reggae talent from Jamaica, New Zealand, India and UB40’s home town of Birmingham, who sing and deejay over cuts of the same rhythms to lend their individualistic rootsy musical blend to the brand-new release. 

‘Bigga Baggariddim’ will be the band’s 20th record. Musically, the new material features contributions from founding members Robin Campbell (co-vocals/Guitar), Brian Travers (saxophone/keyboards), James Brown (drums), Earl Falconer (bass/keyboards/vocals) and Norman Hassan (percussion/vocals), alongside longtime members Duncan Campbell (vocals), Martin Meredith (saxophone), Laurence Parry (trumpet) and Tony Mullings (keyboards) as well as guest appearances from House of Shem, Tippa Irie, BLVK H3RO, Inner Circle, Pablo Rider, KIOKO, Gilly G, Slinger, Winston Francis, Leno Banton 

Robin Campbell of UB40 states, “We really enjoy collaborations and this is a natural progression from the original ‘Baggariddim’, only more international, and a perfect companion to our last album ‘For The Many’ because it uses the same rhythms/backing tracks, but features some of the reggae friends we’ve met and worked with around the world.”  Elaborating further on the band’s India connect he says, “India feels very much like home since we live in the middle of an Asian community in Birmingham. Indian pop music and Bollywood was a major part of our lives. Asian weddings, Indian curries and Bhangra are a regular affair with us. The Rajahs opened a couple of shows for us when we toured India and they’re massive over there,” says Robin. “They’re three guys, all deejays and each of them with a different style but they run an annual festival in Goa, which is a very laidback, hippy place. We played a gig on the beach there and about ten thousand people showed up! It was a brilliant show, but we love going to India. We even played at the Bollywood Awards one year.” 

Marking a maiden alliance, Zorawar Shukla who goes by the stage name General Zooz will be collaborating with the band on ‘Bigga Baggarriddim’. As a member of the Reggae Rajahs and a solo artist in his own right, he is no stranger to the music of Jamaica. Over the course of a decade, Zooz has left a permanent stamp on what it means to a touring performer, having played festivals and clubs around the world with the Reggae Rajahs, established DJ residencies closer to home and even stirred up the internet with things like ‘The Mango Song’ and more recently, 'No Corona!’. 

Speaking about the collaboration General Zooz of Reggae Rajahs adds, My group, Reggae Rajahs, opened for UB40 in Mumbai in 2017. The band had never heard of any reggae artists in India before and they were excited to know about us. I imagine they enjoyed our show because they stayed in touch with us and a few months later they asked us to feature on ‘Bigga Baggarriddim!  UB40 are one of the defining bands of my childhood. I remember listening to their tapes in my parents’ collection growing up. Apart from “Red Red Wine”, their rendition of “Can’t Help Falling In Love” was an absolute favourite of mine. So, you can imagine, that it is a huge honour for me to be asked to feature on a song with them. From the moment I heard the quality of the music they sent me; I knew that this collaboration was going to be something special. With the perfectly synced drum and bass and the groovy horn section, the instrumental track was the ideal base for me to write an ode to the music I love - Roots, Rock, Reggae.” 

It was in cities like Birmingham where people from different ethnic backgrounds first learnt to live with one another, giving rise to multi-cultural Britain. UB40 have embodied this similar, inclusive spirit for more than forty years, and rejoice in new forms of communication that allow them to interact with their fans and also other artists of differing nationalities, ages and cultural backgrounds. 

There’s no better example of this than the three tracks on ‘Bigga Baggariddim’ by New Zealand roots reggae band House Of Shem, whose ‘Good Vibes Tonight’ makes an irresistible opener. From India, the Reggae Rajahs’ General Zooz adds more diversity to UB40’s most eclectic album yet and as the founders of Goa’s annual reggae festival, are a testament to India’s rapidly growing reggae scene.  They perform on the ear worm, ‘Roots Rocks Reggae’.  

Joining this selection of international talent are artists from reggae’s homeland of Jamaica, where a new generation of stars has emerged in the past decade, led by Protoje, Koffee and Chronixx. After UB40’s management heard a BBC 1Xtra session showcasing new Jamaican artists, BLVK H3ROand Leno Banton (son of legendary dancehall pioneer Burro Banton) were invited to appear on ‘Bigga Baggariddim’.  

Veteran Jamaican reggae artists are represented by Winston Francis (whose long list of hits includes Mr Fix It, which UB40 covered on Labour Of Love III) and Inner Circle, whose overdubs on the track ‘Rebel Love’ gives it their distinctive, platinum-selling Inner Circle Sound.  

Reggae bands like UB40, who write and produce their own music, had all but disappeared in the UK until fellow Brummie band KIOKO came along. The two bands met when Kioko performed a tribute to UB40, playing ‘One In Ten’ live at Birmingham’s annual Music Awards. They join the together on ‘Bigga Baggariddim’’s ‘You Don’t Call Anymore’.  

Alongside UB40’s emergence in the 1980s, there was a UK deejay explosion. Of this talent, Tippa Irie made his reputation on London Sound Systems – and guests here on ‘On The Road’ – alongside three Birmingham MC’s: Gilly G (Me Nah Leave Yet), Pablo Rider (Did You See That) and Slinger(My Life Action).   

Pablo Rider and Slinger both featured on the original Baggariddim album in 1985 and also made cameo appearances on ‘For The Many’. They and Gilly G are all expected to join UB40 on the ‘Bigga Baggariddim’ tour which begins in November (see below for details).  

UB40’s passion for reggae and belief in its cultural importance has led them to create an exceptional reggae collaborations album, which will remind the listener of reggae’s timeless and evolving power, whilst also introducing them to new, vital and emerging reggae talent.  Music changes lives, and UB40’s has changed more people’s lives than most. 

 NOTES TO THE EDITOR 

About Bigga Baggariddim Tracklist 

  1. Good Vibes Tonight – UB40 / House of Shem 
  2. On The Road – UB40 / Tippa Irie 
  3. Gravy Train Is Coming – UB40 / BLVK H3RO 
  4. Rebel Love – UB40 / Inner Circle  
  5. Did You See That? – UB40 / Pablo Rider 
  6. You Don’t Call Anymore – UB40 / KIOKO 
  7. Me Nah Leave Yet – UB40 / Gilly G 
  8. Love You Now – UB40 / House Of Shem  
  9. Mi Life Action – UB40 / Slinger 
  10. My Best Friend’s Girl – UB40 / Winston Francis  
  11. Message Of Love – UB40 / House Of Shem  
  12. I’m Alright – UB40 / BLVK H3RO 
  13. Show And Prove – UB40 / Leno Banton  
  14. What Happened To The Have Not’s? – UB40 / BLVK H3RO 
  15. Roots Rock Reggae – UB40 / General Zooz (Reggae Rajahs)  

About Tour

NOVEMBER 2021 

FRIDAY 19TH 

CASTLEBAR 

Royal Theatre ** 

SATURDAY 20TH 

BELFAST 

Ulster Hall ** 

SUNDAY 21ST 

KERRY 

INEC ** 

WEDNESDAY 24TH 

EDINBURGH 

Usher Hall 

THURSDAY 25TH 

GLASGOW 

Barrowlands 

SATURDAY 27TH 

ABERDEEN 

Music Hall ** 

SUNDAY 28TH 

STOCKTON 

Globe ** 

TUESDAY 30TH 

BLACKPOOL 

Empress Ballroom 

 

 

 

DECEMBER 2021 

 

 

WEDNESDAY 1ST 

NORTHAMPTON 

Royal & Derngate Hall ** 

THURSDAY 2ND 

NORWICH 

UEA 

SATURDAY 4TH 

MANCHESTER 

O2 Apollo 

SUNDAY 5TH 

LIVERPOOL 

Eventim Olympia 

MONDAY 6TH 

PORTSMOUTH 

Guildhall 

WEDNESDAY 8TH 

LEEDS 

First Direct Arena 

THURSDAY 9TH 

BRIGHTON 

Centre 

FRIDAY 10TH 

CARDIFF 

Motorpoint Arena 

SUNDAY 12TH 

LONDON 

SSE Arena, Wembley 

MONDAY 13TH 

CHELTENHAM 

Centaur ** 

TUESDAY 14TH 

PLYMOUTH 

Pavillions ** 

THURSDAY 16TH 

HULL 

Bonus Arena 

SATURDAY 18TH 

BOURNEMOUTH 

O2 Academy 

SUNDAY 19TH 

BRISTOL 

O2 Academy 

MONDAY 20TH 

STOKE 

Victoria Hall ** 

WEDNESDAY 22ND 

NOTTINGHAM 

Motorpoint Arena 

 

 

 

UB40 are Robin Campbell, Brian Travers, James Brown, Earl Falconer, Norman Hassan, Duncan Campbell, Martin Meredith, Laurence Parry and Tony Mullings. They are one of the most successful British bands of the last 40 years and one of the greatest reggae artists of all time. Their achievements include 50 singles in the UK Singles Chart (including three UK no. 1s), four Grammy Awards nominations, two US no. 1s and in excess of 100 million album sales.  

Originally forming out of Birmingham in ’78 and taking their name from the UK’s government benefits form, the group’s music has spanned the test of time and is still heard quite frequently today - specifically smash hits such as “Red, Red Wine” and “(I Can’t Help) Falling in Love with You,” among many others. Their debut album Signing Off (released in August 1980) is considered by many to be one of the greatest reggae albums ever released by a British band. It was the start of a career that led to 100 million record sales worldwide. 

 

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