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Kingdom of Bahrain
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THEY love their reggae and ska in Bahrain and following the success of the One Step Behind tribute show celebrating the music of Madness, now it was time to stomp along with ‘dad dancing’ steps to the sounds of UB40.
Rats in the Kitchen flew into Bahrain from the English city of Birmingham, home of the original band, to perform at The Gulf Hotel Bahrain’s famous British public house-style venue with a crowd that knows how to party.
A bitter split has led to the original UB40 line-up splitting up with the brother of the lead singer now performing with one act and the lead vocalist behind all the chart hits, Ali Campbell, joining two other playmates, in another version. The latter appears to be keen on collecting air miles by regularly popping over to the kingdom to perform (twice in less than a year).
But we can’t get enough of their classic tunes, like One in Ten, Falling in Love With You and Rat in Mi Kitchen which the cover band was inspired to play with for their name.
Singer Box did a fair impression of the Campbells, supported by Longdraw, also on vocals and playing guitar, Bill on bass, KD on sax, Joey on keyboards and Bamboo on drums. The band delivered a fun couple of sets to keep the Friday Brunchers well and truly satisfied.
Although Rats in the Kitchen had more than 50 UB40 songs in the UK Singles Charts to choose from, they added numbers from a few others acts too, such as Bad Manners’ Lip Up Fatty and even Dexys Midnight Runners’ Come on Eileen.
Perhaps they got carried away by the atmosphere because they then destroyed my personal UB40 favourite, a reggae version of the Chi-Lites’ classic soul hit Homely Girl, by regretfully speeding up the tempo. But I was on my own as far as any criticism was concerned. The dance floor was packed and the crowd was happy to sing along in harmony to everything the band delivered.
They’ll never find a more enthusiastic audience … and one that’s looking forward to the Police tribute act set to shine at this venue next month. They’ll be Walking on the Moon in anticipation.
- Stan Szecowka