UB40 star Robin Campbell admits band are 'pinching themselves' over 'magical' top 5 album

August 2016: Robin Campbell on the night UB40 headlined the Solihull Summer Festival in aid of the charity Help Harry Help Others
August 2016: Robin Campbell on the night UB40 headlined the Solihull Summer Festival in aid of the charity Help Harry Help Others -Credit:Graham Young / BirminghamLive

UB40 star Robin Campbell has spoken of his joy over the band's highest-charting studio album in 31 years. The Brummie band's new album UB45 debuted at No.5 on Friday.

It features Matt Doyle as lead vocalist, who joined in 2021 and replaced Duncan Campbell, who left due to health. The album marks their most successful studio release since Promises and Lies, which reached No.1 in 1993.

Robin said the band felt 'reinvigorated' and were 'humbled' by their achievement. He said it felt 'like a major milestone', describing how 'something magical' happened between the band members.

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Robin said: "We’re pinching ourselves at being back in the top five – what a moment. There’s really no feeling like it. We are so humbled by this and grateful to each and every person who has bought or streamed UB45, and supported us over all these years.

"What an honour to still be standing strong as a band after more than four decades. It feels like a major milestone in the new era of UB40 for us to achieve our highest album chart position since the nineties, and with our singer Matt Doyle is pretty special."

He added: "When there’s a change in the line-up, particularly with the singer, some bands struggle, but thankfully we haven’t experienced that. I think it’s because in many ways, Matt has reinvigorated us as a group.

"His voice fits us like a glove, he’s full of enthusiasm and he’s a great songwriter. When we all get together in the studio, something magical just happens between us. It still feels like it did in the early days."

Guitarist and founding member Robin said the new music 'came with a certain degree of pressure' given their legacy and vast catalogue of hits, Mirror reports. He added: "We’re proud of our new songs, we feel they stand up and hold their own, alongside the classics which we’ve breathed new life into.

"To still be representing reggae music in the charts four decades later is incredible. We’ve seen many trends come and go, so to be flying the flag for this genre and to still have a receptive audience never stops being a privilege.

"We’re full of energy and looking forward to getting back on the road and performing these songs live." During a career spanning more than four decades, UB40 brought reggae to the mainstream achieving a record 45 UK Top 40 singles - joint with The Rolling Stones.

Hits include Red Red Wine, Kingston Town, One in Ten and Many Rivers to Cross . Founding member Ali Campbell - who fronts his own alternative UB40 group - was replaced as frontman in 2008 by his older brother Duncan.

A bitter feud between Ali and Robin has continued for many years, with legal rows over who has the right to use the UB40 name.