|Ali Campbell. Photo: Sunday Mercury|
The NZ Herald reported at the weekend that he "is returning to New Zealand to help uncover a new generation of performers - and banish unpleasant memories of his last visit.
...Campbell, who has been performing for 30 years, is still smarting about an Australian-based music promoter, Andrew McManus, and the row they are having after he headlined the Raggamuffin music festival in Rotorua in January.
McManus says he accepts responsibility for a $27,000 tax bill but he had already had paid Campbell £160,000 ($313,000).
Campbell, for his part, said he "did [McManus] a favour" by playing this year after slow festival ticket sales.
"UB40 played [in 2008], and then Ziggy Marley and then I played with my band but then they got Mary J Blige to headline - and she's not a reggae performer. So he [McManus] rang me and asked me to come [back]."
Campbell said that after he performed and "saved" the show, McManus failed to pay all of his bill. He would not say what he was paid.
"He said to me, 'I'd never cheat you, Ali, you're my brother' ... I won't be working with him again."
McManus Entertainment runs the festival in both Australia and New Zealand but pulled out of this year's Australian leg because of poor sales.
The Australian promoters' New Zealand company - Andrew McManus Presents - went into liquidation in March last year just before it was due in court for a legal battle with band Pacific Herbs. The company owed creditors $394,000.
McManus was emotional when he told the Weekend Herald that he would always be grateful to Campbell for his support and credits him with coming up with the Raggamuffin idea. He wanted to make things right.
"I owe Ali, Ali's going to get paid. Ali's my buddy, Ali and I have been through a lot together. I love him. I've never had a one-on-one to explain it to him. I didn't even realise it was an issue.
"If you said to me, Andrew have you made some wrong decisions in the last 24 months, I'd say 100 per cent yes, I have." NZ Herald story here.
UPDATED: Dec 4 2012, Ali Campbell's UB40 has been added to the bill at Raggamuffin, and he's also playing a show in Auckland, with Toots and the Maytals. Any outstanding issue must has been settled, tho Campbell has told the NZ Herald he thinks Raggamuffin went off-track when they booked acts like Mary J Blige, Billy Ocean and Lauryn Hill, and they should be reggae only.