‘Earsplittingly loud’ is usually just a figure of speech. Not so for UB40, whose recent concert aggravated a fan’s perforated eardrum to the extent that it began bleeding during their first song.
The Birmingham-founded reggae group sold out tickets for its concert in Cambridge last Monday. However, several audience members were not satisfied with their experience on the night.
Approximately 30 people walked out of the concert at the Cambridge Corn Exchange. Their main complaint was noise – Anna Webster, owner of the bleeding ear who left before the band had finished their first song, told BBC Radio Cambridge that “[the bass] was vibrating through your whole body – it was actually altering heart rhythms.”
Ms Webster has since been appeased with an offer of VIP tickets to the band’s August concert in Wolverhampton.
The band, which was nominated for a Grammy in the Reggae category in 2006, and more recently won the BBC Radio 2 ‘Album of the Week’ award for their album Getting Over the Storm, came to Cambridge to perform the third-to-last concert of their spring tour. The issues raised by Ms Webster and her fellow fans are a new development – the majority of reviews from earlier concerts are positive, with a select few saying that the music was “not loud enough”.
Responsibility for ensuring that volume did not exceed maximum health and safety regulation levels rested on the band’s sound crew, according to the event’s promoter DHP Concerts. While no official report was compiled regarding the band’s noise levels, Cambridge Corn Exchange claims that it adheres strictly to health and safety guidelines, and that earplugs were available on the night.