16. VeszprémFest
Premium Music Festival
10-13 july 2019

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UB40 feat. Ali & Astro

Opening Act: From 8:00 pm: Budapest Riddim Band feat. MC Kemon & Busa Pista – doors open at 7:00 pm

Eighteen studio albums, 10 gold and platinum albums, more than 70 million units sold, 4 Grammy nominations and dozens of world hits – the founding members of UB40, Ali Campbell and Astro, who headed one of the most successful reggae bands that is still active today, are currently on tour to celebrate the 40th anniversary of their career and band, and will be performing at VeszprémFest.

With a name inspired by the unemployment benefit form in the UK, UB40 was formed in 1978 in Birmingham, giving their first concert in the following year.  The group is known for its hit songs such as “Food For Thought”, “Red Red Wine”, “Can't Help Falling in Love”, “One in Ten” or “I Got You Babe” featuring Chrissie Hynde.

UB40 includes musicians of English, Scottish, Irish, Yemeni and Jamaican parentage. The band’s line-up was stable for three decades from their foundation until 2008, when singer Ali Campbell and keyboardist Mickey Virtue left the eight-member band. In 2013, singer and trumpet player Astro followed suit.

Ali Campbell, Mickey Virtue and Astro announced in 2014 that they plan to reform UB40 and record a new album together. That was Silhouette, which was then followed by numerous concerts and several other albums by the trio: The Hits of UB40 Live album in 2015 and the Unplugged album in 2016, the latter entering the UK Albums Chart at #17.

Their album entitled A Real Labour of Love was released in 2018 in the vein of the Labour of Love series of albums published in the 1980s, which includes cover versions of the songs that have been most influential in their musical development. The success of A Real Labour of Love exceeded all expectations: it peaked at number 2 on the UK Albums Chart, and entered the Billboard Reggae Albums chart at number one.

UB40, led by Ali Campbell and Astro, has since given concerts in many cities worldwide with massive success. The British pioneers of reggae are celebrating the foundation of UB40, which took place 40 years ago, credibly representing the intellectual heritage of the music band.

Opening act

Budapest Riddim Band feat. MC Kemon & Busa Pista
Opening act from 8:00 pm: Budapest Riddim Band feat. MC Kemon & Busa Pista – doors open at 7:00 pm

Four talented young musicians met, or rather met again, in the autumn of 2007 and founded the Budapest Riddim Band, a reggae/dancehall backing band. They created the country’s first riddim band, building on their more than ten years of experience in reggae-dancehall and other musical groups. Their primary goal is to introduce Hungarian audiences to, and spread, Jamaican music.

Their gigs are characterised by diverse rhythms and serious changes in dynamics, but musical humility is also part of their approach in order to provide the singer with the most professional support.

In recent years, the band has worked with various internationally recognised performers: Mr. Perfect (JAM), Chezidek (JAM), Spectacular (JAM), Omar Perry (JAM), Deadly Hunta (GB), Dr. RingDing (D), Shaka Black (Monserrat), Tribuman (FR), Mystic MC (DEN), Warrior King (JAM), Ras Muhamad (IND), Exile Di Brave (JAM) and Planetman (GB)

Needless to say, they have worked and continue to work with Hungarian performers too, resulting in a close collaboration with the Hungarian underground scene. This is how this musical group came about too, in which MC Kemon and Busa Pista show a new side of theirs in a slightly different style of music.

Thomas Kemon Wesley, better known by his stage name of MC Kemon, has lived in Hungary since 1998. He first came as a football player at MTK Budapest, but due to his unquestionable musical talent and perseverance, he has realised his dream through years of hard work. He is worthy of representing Hungarian culture both in Hungary and abroad. One of his most well-known compositions that has reached most people in Hungary is Tisztelet (Respect). His writes his songs in both Hungarian and in English.

Busa Pista has been part of the hip-hop scene since 1993. He has released four solo albums so far. He is the lead singer of Zuboly, Irie Maffia, Mangani 808, Bupino and MXB. He was the host of the first ever Slam Poetry competition in Hungary. Beyond freestyle, he has had a radio show called Szabadfoglalkozás (Liberal Profession) on Tilos Radio for ten years.

Line-up:

  • MC Kemon – lead singer, rap
  • Busa Pista – lead singer, rap
  • Mammazita – vocals
  • Krisy – keyboard, vocals
  • Ritchey Dixon – guitar
  • Serious Peetah – bass guitar
  • General – drums

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