Splash FM Website of the Day, 1st August 2005. Be Impressed.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Chumbawamba – Tubthumping.

Chumbawamba have been releasing records since 1986 and have had only one hit. I think that’s some kind of blessing.

They were formed in a Leeds squat in 1984 by frontman Dunst, Lou Watts and Alice Nutter (former drummer with the excellently named Ow My Hair’s On Fire) with the intention of spreading anarchism through pop ditties. Their debut album, the Band Aid baiting Pictures of Starving Children Sell Records, failed to instigate popular revolution and they spent the rest of the 80’s happily yelling at Thatcher.

However, with the Tories being booted out of government, 1997 saw Chumbawamba take a strange turn. They signed to that bastion of radical socialism EMI. Amid talk of crippling the musical and political establishment from the inside Chumbawamba released Tubthumping. The song is a pile of catchy vocal hooks that any drunken, forehead-slapping moron could sing along with on their hen night and as a result became a massive international hit.

Chumbawamba briefly became infamous after the 1998 Brit Awards. Never ones to let a good pop song get in the way of half-arsed political sloganeering, they changed the words of Tubthumping to “New Labour sold out the trade unionists and now they’ll sell out the dockers” – no one really cared. What actually made an impact was Chumba’s Danbert Nobacon throwing water on Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott. Somehow this failed to bring the establishment crashing to its knees.

Chumbawamba’s next shot at controversy came with Alice Nutter’s appearance on US talk show Politically Incorrect. She suggested that fans should steal their album from large record shops. Failing to realise most people were smuggling the album back into the shop after realising Tubthumping was the only decent song on it.

Chumbawamba were eventually dropped by EMI after the release of What You See is What You Get in 2000. They claimed this was due to the lyrics which attacked the media and big business. However, astute observers (me) put it down to the vast indifference the public showed to the record.

Chumbawamba – Tubthumping.

Buy Tubthumper.

Watch Chumbawamba’s protest against The Smashing Pumpkins’ 52 piece drum-kit.


At 3:50 AM, Blogger soundfromwayout said...

That was Chumawamba who walked out? Later in the show during "1979" the same naked man and an accomplice frolick out once again.

It's almost priceless the look on James Iha's face. The full color video of the entire show is on some Pumpkins Trading Forums.


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