UB40's Ali Campbell on his love for Ireland: 'The Irish always know how to party'
Ali Campbell has made his love for Ireland no secret.
The singer songwriter has been touring the world for the past 37 years, and will return to Ireland in August for Groove Festival.
"We love Ireland," Campbell (58) told Independent.ie.
"We smashed The Point a few years ago. The Irish always know how to party.
"I drink my fair share of Guinness. Ireland is like a mecca."
After departing the reggae band in 2008 and embarking on a solo career, Campbell rejoined UB40 in 2014 with band mates Astro and Mikey.
Despite being on the road since he was 19, Campbell said he enjoys touring more now than he did when he started.
"It’s been brilliant to get back on the road. I love it more now than I did when I started.
"We’re a lot more comfortable now, staying in lovely hotels and having the time of our lives."
With the music industry constantly evolving, Campbell noted how reggae is still a relatively new music genre that is being picked up by new artists.
"Reggae is still a very young music genre, it’s only since 1960 that it existed. It’s universally loved.
"It’s still fresh, look at Ariana Grande, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber – they’re all using reggae beats. It’s crossing over into pop now."
He said that the band's current biggest challenge is to find a format that sells.
"We’re adapting to downloads. For now, we’re all about live.
"I’ve no advice to give to any upcoming artists because I’m still learning myself. Music is cyclical. It’s all about finding the new."
Following the devastating Manchester attack in May, which killed 22 people, Campbell said that it's important to continue "unifying" people.
"It’s our job to unify people. Reggae is healing. I still feel the same getting stage. It’s about love, peace and compassion."
Groove Festival will take place at Killruddery House & Gardens in Bray, Co Wicklow on Saturday 19 and Sunday August. Tickets, from €59.50 plus booking fee, are available from groovefestival.tickets.ie.