The party with UB40 on the first day of the 2019 Stanbic Ghana Jazz Festival started almost at midnight with the If It Happens Again I’m Leaving song and the crowd was immediately sucked into the band’s infectious music for the next hour.

The nine-piece English band offered the excited audience its easily digestible pop-reggae which was lapped up with glee. Many in the audience knew the lyrics of almost their entire repertoire and sang as well as danced along on the neatly-engineered concert floor in the sand at La Pleasure Beach.

It was a magnificent show right by the Atlantic Ocean as UB40 did what it had done for many years throughout the world, delighting a highly receptive crowd with hits like Cherry Oh Baby, Kingston Town, Fijian Sunset, Many Rivers To Cross and Red Red Wine.

There had been about an hour and a half break before UB40 came on stage. Stanbic Ghana officials explained it was due to part of the band’s key equipment, including their portable mixing station, not arriving with them and therefore the need to reset sound levels manually.

Once the technical issues were resolved and the band got going and promised the audience something really nice was coming their way, urging them to clap and wave their hands, everything was spot-on with the highly-experienced UB40. Their show fitted in perfectly with the festival theme of Nostalgia.

With four big screens mounted by the sides of the performance area, the audience not close enough to the players could still see every detail of action on the stage. 

Proceedings on the night had kicked off with Nhyira Addo as emcee and the sound of sea waves enticing everyone to enjoy the evening out. The Blue Rhythms, an in-house Stanbic Bank band was the first on stage. They did their best as amateurs but it was obvious they could still polish their act.

The audience at the Labadi Beach Hotel obviously had fun

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