Matthew Martin is a senior reporter at the Rotorua Daily Post

UB40 show a smooth success

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Almost 5000 people packed the Village Green to get their reggae fix on Saturday. Photo / Stephen Parker
Almost 5000 people packed the Village Green to get their reggae fix on Saturday. Photo / Stephen Parker

UB40's Rotorua concert went off without a hitch with thousands enjoying a great day of music in the sun at the Village Green.

Not a single noise complaint was received by the Rotorua Lakes Council with Rotorua police saying the crowd was very well behaved.

The reggae legends were supported by ManaLion, Beau Monga, Jason Kerrison and New Zealand's own reggae legends Herbs, Three Houses Down and Ardijah.

UB40's Ali Campbell, right, gets the crowd into the reggae vibe. Photo / Stephen Parker
UB40's Ali Campbell, right, gets the crowd into the reggae vibe. Photo / Stephen Parker

Concert-goer and Rotorua DJ Jay Kohunui said the whole day was a treat for music fans.

"I got there when Herbs were performing and the crowd were already enjoying the perfect day for a concert. Listening to their [Herbs] classic sounds sung acoustic-style was a treat.

"Three Houses Down were next and played a good set, and got the crowd up and hyped for the next act, the legendary Ardijah, who spoke of opening for UB40 back in the early 90s.

"They are still an amazing act, the performance was second to none," Mr Kohunui said.

"The main act UB40 came on with the familiar face of Astro warming the crowd with a instrumental intro. Then the man himself, Ali Campbell, greeting the crowd with 'how you doing Rotorua', setting the mood for the rest of the night.

"Ali singing those timeless classics had the crowd enjoying every minute of the performance, mixed with some of the new tracks from their forthcoming album.

"It was a great concert and it was good to see everyone enjoying themselves like the early days of Raggamuffin."

Concert promotor Jacman Entertainment director Jackie Sanders said as usual for Rotorua there was a last-minute surge on tickets that brought the crowd up to about 5000 for the 6000-person capacity venue.

"It was lovely - great people and a fantastic atmosphere.

"Rotorua is always a last-minute town and it all went well in the end. People were walking out saying, 'Thank you it was awesome'.

"The band said they loved it. I know they really like Rotorua and only having played at the stadium they were all commenting how beautiful it was to play a gig like that in such a lovely setting," Ms Sanders said.

She said the band enjoyed playing a full two-hour set.

"They are keen to come back but may have to leave it a couple of years.

"New Zealanders love Ali and UB40. On the tour they are playing to more than 40,000 people, all at smaller venues, but Saturday had a real festival feel to it."

Rotorua police Senior Sergeant Karl Kohleckner said the crowd was very well behaved.

"It was well patrolled and well organised, and there were no issues there at all," he said.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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