Ub40 – Getting Over The Storm
CD / DL / LP
Late seventies dino-reggae band UB40 have once again dusted off the cobwebs in an attempt to keep their career alive with their 18th studio album, Getting Over The Storm.
Giving credit where due is important, and I have to say I’m impressed with the fact that the band are still releasing new material on a quite regular basis with no real ‘break’ period within their musical career. Or I would be impressed if UB40 were actually doing something new but if this record is anything to go by the band seem to be working very devoutly to a “if it aint broke” ethos, with the songs sounding as if they’ve simply recorded new lyrics over old riffs.
So it makes it difficult to write anything interesting about this record because, quite simply, it isn’t very interesting listening to it. UB40 have become essentially a tribute act to their own sound, living in complete sweat-drenched fear that deviating even slightly from the path they cut out with songs like ‘Red Red Wine’ and ‘Kingston Town’ will result in them becoming a laughing stock among whatever bored housewives are still getting their kicks from songs that are more suited to Blackpool cabaret intended for OAPs to slow dance to than the stadium sized venues this Birmingham formed group seem to do on a regular basis.
Which is an interesting point, really. It is undeniably obvious that 99.9% of the people who have to mortgage their homes to watch the band are paying through the arse to hear the hits, and not whatever half-arsed attempt at new material they pull out every few years. So how do the band handle that at a show, knowing that any statement even close to “we’re gonna play some new stuff” will be met with a shower of false teeth and catheter bags until they’re forced to do ‘I got You Babe’ for the thirteenth time that night. It must be a crushing feeling to know that not a single person gives the slightest fuck about what you’ve done in almost thirty years and the only reason anyone buys your new records is down to three reasons:
1). They thought it was a ‘Greatest Hits’ collection.
2). They’re trying to amass the largest UB40 collection so when they snuff it their Grandkids will have something to sell on eBay.
3). They drank too much at one of the shows, had a spare £20, and thought that the one new song that was somehow squeezed out during the hail of stale biscuits and Werther’s Originals wasn’t all that bad (but this is mainly because it sounds exactly the same as one of the successful singles) so bought it in the hope that maybe they’d bump into one of the band on the way back to the car and would have something to get signed.
If you still want to buy this album then go ahead, but I’m not going to tell you where it’s available from because I don’t care.
All words by Ian Critchley. More writing by Ian on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive.