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UB40 ‘Raise the Roof’ at Rainbow

Thursday, November 12, 2009 16:05 | Filled in General Updates


The controversial saga over the Rainbow roof has finally reached its climax.  The well known and much loved live music venue faced the threat of closure earlier this summer after receiving a noise abatement order as the result of one persistent complaint from the notorious Abacus flats (already the source of a noise abatement order that had put paid to outside events at the locally revered Spotted Dog).  A spirited defence of all that the pub held dear saw over 20,000 sign up to a ‘Save the Rainbow’ facebook campaign, and considerable publicity generated in all media forms by the emotive subject.  Pub landlord Kent Davis remained defiant throughout vowing to fight the case all the way to ‘the European court of Human Rights, the Pope and President Obama if needs be….’, and appealed the decision, committing in the meantime to erect a sound insulating roof over the source of the noise problem in The Rainbow Courtyard.

An immediate fundraising initiative was taken with the launch of the Raise the Roof ‘Abate the Abatement’ summer street festival, which was held on August 1st.  A full house of nearly 3000, raised nearly £15,000 for the roof fund.

With a new roof costing £30,000 and the appeal, if lost, likely to cost in excess of a hundred thousand pounds in legal fees (awarded to the city council), a positive outlook was looking grim.

Cometh the Hour Cometh the Man.

Brian Travers one of the original members of UB40 (a Digbeth based legend) has been steadfast in his support of The Rainbow since day one, vowing to do all he could to help and his celebrity endorsement  generate huge publicity for the situation.  When he heard of the shortfall in funds he immediately committed to try and arrange a benefit gig for the pub – not easy given the schedule of a 70 million, multiple platinum record selling band.  This morning UB40 were able to announce the UB 40 RAISE THE ROOF FUNDRAISER on Tuesday November 3rd at The Rainbow Warehouse in Digbeth.  Tickets will be £20 and a unique opportunity to see one of the UK’S biggest selling and best live bands in a one off small intimate venue for 350.  All proceeds will go to the Raise the Roof fund.  This will be a prelude to UB40′s national tour which commences on 23rd November in Glasgow.

‘Words simply cannot express the magnitude of our gratitude to UB40, who have demonstrated they are as good to their principles today as they were when I first listened to them.   They personify why keeping live music venues alive and vibrant is so important – they are inspirational – God Bless every one of them’ was how an emotional Mr. Davis expressed his view on the matter, adding ‘this is beyond doubt the gig of the year – UB40 in an age of make believe are quite simply LEGENDS.’

Work is due to commence on the new roof shortly after the gig, and bring a happy ending to one of the Summer’s most enduring topics.

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1 Comment to UB40 ‘Raise the Roof’ at Rainbow

  1. Lizzie says:

    December 18th, 2009 at 4:04 am

    And didnt they do a great job they defo raised the roof that night

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