Thanks to all who have sent in information on the B15 project. It’s fascinating! There is I think scope for an article on UB40’s contribution to UK (and indeed JA) reggae – apart from the fact that the first album (and it’s dub version) is fantastic, they are actually a proper reggae band that has always had a black UK and JA audience as well as a pop audience. And their cover of Red Red Wine is, perhaps surprisingly, genuinely really good when you separate its musical essence out from the schmaltzy pop side. Eden has a magnificent refix of it with a fab MC on which he put on one of his end-of-year mixes. (He won’t let me host it!)
Anyway, some Discogs info on B15. First, the label: “Oracabessa Records was set up by Ali Campbell and Brian Travers (both known as leadsinger and sax player of UB40, respectively). Working from their studios in Oracabessa (St. Mary, Jamaica) and Birmingham (United Kingdom), the record label is used to promote Jamaican dancehall and reggae artists, mixing their vocals with UK 2-Step and other dance music.” Which is fascinating, obviously. Now B15 themselves: “Angus Campbell & Ian Wallman came up with the B-15 Project name because of their Birmingham postcode (B15).” So the comments box massive are bang on and it looks like a cousin of Ali Campbell. Good work all round!