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16/06/2012 UB40 Bankrupt 29/01/2008 Ali Campbell left UB 40
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UB 40 - News
|16-06-2012 04:58 | 0 comment(s)|
| The Birmingham band have sold more than 70 million records and notched up 50 chart hits in a remarkable 33-year career.
But four of its members are now officially penniless after being chased through the courts by tax officials.
A judge at Birmingham County Court has declared Brian Travers, Jimmy Brown, Terence Oswald (known to fans as Astro) and Norman Hassan bankrupt.
Their details have been listed by the Insolvency Service. The court order lasts for a year and means that tax officers could seize property to pay off any outstanding debts.
The case revolves on the failure of the band's record firm and management company DEP International - and follows a bitter bust-up over band finances which split the group.
At a previous hearing in July, District Judge Richard Musgrave gave liquidators the green light to chase debts and royalty payments on UB40's hits including chart-topping Red Red Wine. He also warned the reggae outfit they would have to pay costs in the case, which already run into tens of thousands of pounds.
At the time the band vowed to fight bankruptcy, solicitor spokesman Adrian Stickland, saying: "If bankruptcy proceedings are issued following this hearing today, the band will vigorously oppose them."
But in recent weeks it became apparent that the battle had been lost - ironically at the same time UB40 were honoured with a Performing Rights Society plaque at the Hare and Hounds pub in Kings Heath, Birmingham, where they played their first gig in 1978.
Masking their money worries, the band treated 150 fans, including actor Keith Allen and kickboxing champion Kash "The Flash" Gill, to a half-hour, semi-plugged show at the venue.
Former frontman Ali Campbell, the founding member who acrimoniously split from the group in 2008 in ongoing wrangles about the band's finances, was absent after not being invited to the special show.
His spokesman said the bankruptcy court case showed Ali was right to quit the band.
"It is ironic that the very week they celebrate their first gig they have been declared bankrupt, after administration began in 2006, vindicating both Ali and Mickey Virtue's decision to leave UB40," she said.
"Ali did not personally receive an invitation to the Hare & Hounds show and, as such, did not turn it down. He most definitely would have liked to have been invited as it is where the journey began and Ali is proud of the fact that UB40's music has been honoured."
The rest of the UB40 have been keeping tight-lipped about the costly legal defeat. They were understood to be recording a new album at a studio in Redditch, Worcestershire Ali Campbell and keyboard player Mickey Virtue stormed out of the group in 2008.
Speaking in July this year, Campbell - whose brother Duncan now fronts UB40 - said he tried to warn bandmates about the impending financial disaster.
"This is the very reason why I left the band," he said. "This was my biggest fear when I was with them, that bankruptcy was going to happen and no-one can say I didn't warn them."
He also revealed he no longer got royalties on the group's hits and confessed that they blew much of their cash at the height of their fame. "In the 1980s we were living in five-star hotels and we got through a lot of money," he said.
"Why weren't the other guys listening to me when I started to flag these money problems up?
"They decided to back the management and not me, I'm still very bitter about it. I was very proud of what I achieved with UB40. It was a band I started, I was with them for 28 years and we made 24 albums. But we were divided and ruled, and this is what happened in the end.
"UB40 have been asset-stripped by the people around them."
A fifth original member of UB40 - Robin Campbell, the brother of Ali - was also involved in the Birmingham County Court case although is not listed as bankrupt.
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