UB40 Musicians Declared Bankrupt

Four members of the reggae band UB40 were declared bankrupt on Tuesday by a UK judge in Birmingham County Court.

UB40 performing live.
Reflex Recordings | UB40.co.uk
UB40 performing live.

Saxophone player Brian Travers, drummer Jimmy Brown, trumpeter Terence Oswald and percussionist Norman Hassan were declared bankrupt last week after the failure of the band’s record label DEP International.

The bandwhich sold more than 70 million albums worldwide including hits Red Red Wine, Kingston Town and I Got You Babe formed after its members met on the dole queue in 1978.

Ironically for Travers, Brown, Oswald and Hassan the name of the band originated from the acronym for Unemployment Benefit Over 40 - the British benefit for those out of work in the UK at the time, which is now known by the far less adaptable Jobseekers Allowance.

The court order lasts for one year and means that tax officers could seize property from the men to pay off outstanding debts.

Front man Ali Campbell who acrimoniously split from the band in 2008 citing "management difficulties" said through a spokeswoman the bankruptcy case showed he had been right to leave the band.

"It is ironic that the very week they celebrate their first gig they have been declared bankrupt, after administration began in 2006, vindicating both Ali and Mickey Virtue's decision to leave UB40," she said.