on 28 March 2011
As a lifelong UB40 fan, I have never aligned myself to either camp after the great split, prefering instead to support both camps providing the quality still remained. Hence my attending the Ali Campbell gig at the Royal Albert Hall which was billed as his 1st solo outing. There were a number of big name 'friends' due to appear on the night including Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Mick Hucknall, Katie Melua and many more. These artists did not turn up for a variety of reasons but there were still a number of artists who accompanied Ali on his Running Free album including Sly & Robbie, Lemar, Bitty McLean and Beverly Knight et al. Although disappointed at the 'big names' not appearing, it still made for a pleasant night. So it was with some excitement that I bought this DVD expecting the gig in all its glory (minus the numerous technical difficulties on the night - but I put these down to new band, new beginnings etc). Instead I have been left with a huge feeling of being underwhelmed. The tracklisting is out of order and incomplete (missing out some of my favourites including Groovin & Let Your Yeah Be Yeah to name but a few). The special features amounted to short backstage interviews with the artists who did play on the night - very nice in itself, but I expect more from expensively priced DVDs nowadays!! The editing and dubbing is also slightly out of sync. All in all a very average production. If you are an Ali Campbell fan, then you will find some nice tunes on the DVD (overlooking the awful casio synth introduction to Kingston Town), but would it be enough for me to buy knowing what I know now? No most definitely not!