In the morning of July 5, UB40 have announced fellow Birmingham reggae band KIOKO’s Matt Doyle as their new lead singer.
The announcement comes a week after Duncan Campbell announced his retirement from UB40 in order to focus on his recovery from the seizure he suffered at his home last month.
Doyle will already be familiar to many UB40 fans after KIOKO opened for the Brummie legends’ 40th anniversary concert at The Royal Albert Hall in May 2018, before supporting them on their UK tour later that year and their European tour in 2019.
In addition, Doyle’s lead vocal features on the track ‘You Don’t Call Anymore from UB40’s new collaborations album Bigga Baggariddim, which was released on 25th June.
UB40 guitarist and vocalist Robin Campbell said, “Matt has already demonstrated his ability and compatibility with the band on our latest album Bigga Baggariddim with the track You Don’t Call Anymore. He’s a talented young man with a voice and singing style that will prove to be a good fit and a great asset to the band. And on top of all that he’s a nice guy, too.”
Matt Doyle said of his appointment as UB40’s lead singer, “I don’t quite know how to put into words just how incredibly honoured and grateful I feel to be given this opportunity. “I have loved UB40‘s music for as long as I can remember and that love has only grown since getting to know them and watching them play live night after night on tour. They took KIOKO under their wing and gave us the opportunity of a lifetime by inviting us out on tour, and although I’ll deeply miss playing shows with KIOKO I know that they will carry on to do incredible things and that we will always remain the best of mates. I wish the absolute best for Duncan and I hope that he makes a full and speedy recovery, I’ve seen how much love he puts into his performance and he has written some incredible songs that I can’t wait to sing, as well as all the hits that have been such a big influence on my own music. UB40 have loyal and wonderful fans and I have loved getting to know so many of them already. My promise to them and to the fans all around the world is that I will always give it my all singing the songs they know and love and, alongside this legendary band, bring them a performance they’ll never forget.”
Doyle will play with UB40 at all of their dates this summer, starting on July 31st at Lingfield Park Racecourse, before embarking on the band’s twenty-four-date UK tour in November and December.
Some hours after the announcement, Matt Doyle‘s band KIOKO made a statement, too.
“As some of you may have already seen or heard, our very own Matt Doyle has had the honour of being invited to sing for UB40 on a permanent basis. While this will unfortunately involve his stepping down from KIOKO, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we genuinely couldn’t be happier for him.
This isn’t a decision Matt or anyone has taken lightly and means the end of 15 years’ music making together in one form or another. We grew up and became grown(ish) men together, and we’ve shared some unbelievable adventures that we’ll all be reminiscing about for years to come. We wish Matt all the success he deserves in all his future endeavours and send nothing but love and positivity his way has he starts a new journey.
Obviously Matt is an incredible singer who isn’t easily replaced but we have no intention of slowing down now, especially as gigs and festivals are starting to return to our lives. We’ve been busy writing a heap of new material during lockdown that we’re sure you’ll love, and are planning to get in the studio as soon as possible. In the mean time, keep a lookout for live dates and come and check it out first hand!”
In the mean time, we’re sure you’ll all join us in wishing Matt the very best. Matt, we’ll miss you brother. Won’t be the same without you.“