Lo scienziato borderline

UB40, dangerous as ever

The original article has been published on the italian journal “Il Manifesto” National Edition on July 11th


UB40 – the biggest English and World’s reggae band – are playing at the most beautiful French music festival of the year, on the Mediterranean Sea, at the border with Spain, the three-day Les Deferlantes in Argeles sur Mer.

Some big foreign names were called there to attract international attention and public. At the press conference they seem a bit desperate: they are asked whether their last album is country or reggae, and if they appreciate the “Red red wine”, French, of course . Their reggae hit of 1983 is still haunting them. By the way, they said they prefer the Italian and Spanish wine, throwing bystanders in dismay. They looked bored, however, although, I think,  as dangerous as ever yet.

Someone had to give them a helping hand: we asked them what they thought – starting right from the UB40 form  from which they take their name – of the sharp rise of unemployment rate in the United Kingdom. Clear answer: “We’re still – but not for long – in the ending of the American century, and – until this will last – the situation will only get worse. The current capitalist system is entirely unfit for the purpose, and since 2010 (when the Conservatives came to power, ed) nothing has changed.” Indeed, it’s getting worse. There will be, it’s their forecast, a big crash in a few years and much trouble in the streets: “That’s where I will be” said one of them, called James…

It’s time to talk about Nigel Farage and UKIP, the neo-ally in Europe of Italian M5S party of Beppe Grillo. Their opinion is clear: “He is an idiot” (quotation marks!) “Farage politics is based on prejudice and lies, it is built on the discomfort of people, by offering them solutions that do not lead anywhere. And Farage lies on many things, and he knows it very well.” “It’s our worst politician, he – say – embodies a sort recurring nightmare, a demagogue that suddenly wears a tie and becomes respectable. Temporarily, of course.”

We asked them how comes that many people – in the low-level British working class – do follow him: “It is a recurring question, every time things go wrong and there’s a crisis, those who propose “quick solutions” pop up. It was so in the 30’s  – a clear reference to Nazi Germany – it is so also in this ending of the ‘long century’. Many people – in the UK, Italy and beyond – put the blame for the rising unemployment on immigrants; however,  there are much more people working than unemployed ones, then resources for welfare could be available. Unemployment is not due to immigrants: our model of society is based on immigration. No immigration, and this system would collapse. It is a nonsense building fences, the social and people’s force always relentlessly slaughtered them.” Always dangerous, UB40: on July 17th they’ll play in Sarzana, Italy. Be careful, you are close to a land of anarchists, we warn them. They smile, happily.


UB40: Brian Travers (Saxophone/Horn Arrangements), Duncan Campbell (vocals), James Brown (drums) at the press conference

UB40: Brian Travers (Saxophone/Horn Arrangements), Duncan Campbell (vocals), James Brown (drums) at the press conference


                                                           You’re on the italian press, now, guys!

UB40 at the party in Les Deferlantes

UB40 at the party in Les Deferlantes…


Upcoming live performances:

July 192014 La SpeziaItaly Ceramica Vaccari La Spezia Casa Musicale Biso, Via Del Prione, 171, 0187 734253
August 022014 Les GetsFrance Les Gets
August 17 2014 Henley on Thames Rewind Festival
August 29 2014 Wolverhampton Wolverhampton Race Course