GUITARIST Robin Campbell makes a brief but welcome apology for the late change of venue two songs in. 

“It was technical,” he tells the audience.

Despite all the fuss the over the band choosing to play at the Newport Centre instead of Neon last week - probably the reason the venue is only just over half-full - everyone is in a good mood and just out for a drink and a dance to an evening of fine reggae-treated old standards and UB40 classics. And after 40 years in the music business UB40 certainly know how to put on a show. 

They’ll never sound the same without the other brother Ali, the original lead singer with a voice in a million, but his older brother Duncan who replaced him years ago possesses fine vocal cords.

It takes them a while to warm up but once in their stride the crowd love them.

Vocal duties are swapped when bass player Earl Falconer takes centre stage for some freestyle ragga. He really works the crowd and livens up the evening with his raw energy and charisma.

UB40’s own songs are well-received but it’s the old covers that really got the crowd going.

The concert developed into something of a mass sing-along for numbers like Red Red Wine. Everyone went home singing with a smile on their faces.

Graham James