A Chumbawamba FAQ
(with a Stalinist bent, according to Boff)
Section 1 - History of Chumbawamba
Part A - Band Personnel
Part B - Biographical Information
Part C - Band History
Section 2 - Information About Chumbawamba
Part A - What Does "Chumbawamba" mean?
Part B - Which Chumbawamba album is the best? / LP and EP reviews
Part C - What other sources of information are there about Chumbawamba?
Part D - What's this about a vegetarian dog?
Part E - Who is...?
Part F - Discography
Part G - Who's married? Who's got kids?
Section 3 - FAQ Information
Part A - FAQ Contributors
Part B - Meta-FAQ
Part C - Revision History
Part D - End Notes
 Section 1 - History of Chumbawamba
[1A] Part A - Band Personnel
Chumbawamba was founded c. 1982 by Boffo [Boff], Dan [Danbert Nobacon], and a person named Midge (the Maximum Rock N Roll interviews identify the person as Mitch, but Alice Nutter indicates the name was Midge, as does Danbert Nobacon--it's possible that MRNR misheard Midge as the more 'American' name Mitch). This three member lineup released material (a track entitled Three Years Later) under the name Chumbawamba on Crass Label's Bullshit Detector 2 V/A Compilation album in 1982 (in addition, two future Chumbawamba members, Artmi/Daz [Harry Hamer] and Dave Passion Killer [Mavis Dillon], released material under the name Passion Killers on this phonodisc, and Boffo [Boff] released a solo track on this phonodisc). Lou Watts suggests in the MRNR interviews that she and Dunstan Bruce were also already considered band members when Three Years Later was released, and Lou Watts had performed with Chumbawamba in early 1982. Harry Hamer and Mavis Dillon also knew each other well by the time they were playing as Passion Killers, as they had both been in another band called The Threat. While members of The Threat, Harry Hamer went by the name Legal Aid, and Mavis Dillon went by the name Optical Illusion. Midge left the band sometime before the end of 1985.
By 1984, the band had increased its member count to ten, with the addition of Alice Nutter, Lou Watts, Diane, Artmi/Daz [Harry Hamer], Dave Passion Killer [Mavis Dillon], and two other members (probably including Dunstan Bruce). Diane was with the band only for a short period of time (probably less than two years. According to Lou Watts, she and Alice Nutter "had to ask Diane to leave" due to "a lot of [personal] trauma"). Most band members' accounts of this period of time indicate that some band personnel probably came and went fairly rapidly, while the stable lineup of later years was assembled. Also, Danbert Nobacon was apparently at least shortly known as Dan Chumba during this time period, Alice Nutter went by Mad Anne or Anne, and Boff went by Boffo.
When Chumbawamba's first single, Revolution, was released in 1985, the band had eight listed members, namely Alice Nutter, Man Afraid (probably Mavis Dillon), Loo [Lou Watts], Dunst [Dunstan Bruce], Boffo [Boff], Danbert Nobacon, Artmi [Harry Hamer], and Simon [Commonknowledge].
The 1986 release We Are The World?, a split 7" with Chumbawamba and A State Of Mind, listed seven members of Chumbawamba, namely Loo [Lou Watts], Danbert Nobacon, Boffo [Boff], Artmi Ringpiece [Harry Hamer], Alice Nutter, Dunst [Dunstan Bruce], and Simon [Commonknowledge].
When Chumbawamba's first LP, Pictures of Starving Children Sell Records, was released in 1986, the band had eight listed members, namely Harry [Hamer], Alice Nutter, Boff, Mavis Dillon, Lou [Watts], Danbert Nobacon, Dunst [Dunstan Bruce], and Simon [Commonknowledge]. This was almost the same lineup as given for Revolution, but Man Afraid had been replaced by Mavis Dillon (probably the same person, however), and Simon Commonknowledge was credited as being on the album, although not necessarily as a band member. Also by this time, Neil Ferguson was associated with the band as their sound engineer. This lineup was given again on the liner notes for Never Mind The Ballots, in 1987.
In the 1988 release Smash Clause 28!/Fight The Alton Bill the band lineup is given as Harry [Hamer], Alice [Nutter], Mave [Mavis Dillon], Lou [Watts], Dunst [Dunstan Bruce], Danbert Nobacon, and Boffo [Boff]. The notes also mention that Cobie [Laan] and Simon [Commonknowledge] were on the release. The 1988 lineup given on English Rebel Songs included Harry [Hamer], Simon Commonknowledge, Lou [Watts], Boff, Mavis Dillon, Cobie Laan, and Danbert Nobacon--notably missing are Alice Nutter and Dunstan Bruce (the liner notes state Alice Nutter was "otherwise engaged" and Dunstan Bruce was "reading football fanzines").
The 1988 lineup probably continued through 1990, when Slap! was released. The Slap! liner notes give the lineup as Lou [Watts], Dunst [Dunstan Bruce], Harry [Hamer], Alice Nutter, Danbert Nobacon, Boff, Cobie [Laan], Mavis Dillan [Mavis Dillon], and Simon Commonknowledge. The liner notes also credit Neil Ferguson.
In 1991 (probably from 1988 on) Cobie Laan was acting as the band's touring sound engineer. By 1992, Chumbawamba had hooked up with MC Fusion [Matty Hanson] of Credit To The Nation, and a series of collaborations began which would last for about two years. The two bands, however, maintained their own distinct images and names, and most fans probably wouldn't consider Matty Hanson to have been a band member, proper. The 1992 Shhh liner notes give the lineup as Alice Nutter, Bert Bacon [Danbert Nobacon], Lou [Watts], Mave [Mavis Dillon], Harry [Hamer], Boff, and Dunst [Dunstan Bruce]. Also credited, though not listed as band members, are [Simon] Commonknowledge and MC Fusion [Matty Hanson].
Paul Greco joined the band in late 1992[14,124]-at an April, 1993, gig he told one fan, "this is my first big tour" with the band. Paul Greco makes his first liner notes appearance in 1994, on Anarchy, along with Harry [Hamer], Danbert Nobacon, Louise Mary Watts [Lou Watts], Dunst [Dunstan Bruce], Boff, Alice Nutter, and Mavis Dillon. Also credited on this release are Neil Ferguson, Fusion [Matty Hanson], Jimmy Echo (Harry Hamer's father), and [Simon] Commonknowledge. This same Chumbawamba lineup is also given in the Showbusiness! liner notes in 1995, along with another appearance by Jimmy Echo. Harry [Hamer] becomes Harry Hamer (previously spelled Hammer) on the 1995 release of Swingin' With Raymond, and the same lineup is again given. Simon Commonknowledge is also credited in the Swingin' With Raymond liner notes. Swingin' With Raymond is also the last Chumbawamba release crediting Mavis Dillon. Jude Abbott joined the band in early 1996, just after Mavis Dillon left the band in late 1995.
The 1997 release Tubthumper lists the band lineup that was to become internationally famous, namely Lou Watts, Danbert Nobacon, Paul Greco, Boff, Jude Abbott, Alice Nutter, Dunstan Bruce, and Harry Hamer. Neil Ferguson is also credited on this release. Also in 1997, a remixed version of Chumbawamba's song Amnesia features Jimmy Echo on vocals.
In late 1999 Paul Greco left the band for other musical projects, and was replaced on bass by Neil Ferguson.
In summary, the band has consisted of these members or affiliated musicians (given in the
approximate order that they joined the band, with current members listed first):
Boff (AKA Boffo), 1982 - present
Danbert Nobacon (AKA Dan, Dan Chumba, Bert Bacon, Dogmarky), 1982 - present
Lou Watts (AKA Loo), 1982 - present
Alice Nutter (AKA Mad Anne, Anne), 1983 - present
Harry Hamer (AKA Legal Aid, Artmi/Daz, Artmi, Artmi Ringpiece, Harry Hammer), 1984 - present
Dunstan Bruce (AKA Dunst), 1985 (perhaps as early as 1982) - present
Jude Abbot, 1996 - present
Neil Ferguson, 1986 - present
Previous Members/Affiliated Musicians
Midge, 1982 - 1985 (perhaps earlier)
Mavis Dillon (AKA Optical Illusion, Dave Passion Killer, Mave, Dave Lentil, Mavis Dillan), 1984 - 1995
Man Afraid (probably Mavis Dillon), 1985
Simon Commonknowledge, 1985 - 1995
Cobie Laan (AKA Cobie, Coby), 1988 - 1991
Matty Hanson (AKA MC Fusion, Fusion), 1992 - 1994
Jimmy Echo, 1994 - 1997
Paul Greco (AKA PJ), 1992 - present
The first lineup of Chumbawamba began assembling in 1982, and was pretty well completed in 1986 when the first LP was released. This lineup continued to the 1993-1995 period when Paul Greco joined the band and Simon Commonknowledge and Mavis Dillon left the band. This was also approximately the time when Chumbawamba and Credit To The Nation stopped collaborating. This period resulted in the Swingin' With Raymond LP, the Showbusiness! live LP, and the i - portraits of anarchists EP. Subsequent to this, Jude Abbott joined the band, and Chumbawamba became a platinum-selling band with the Tubthumper LP, and, most recently, Paul Greco left the band in 1999, and Neil Ferguson joined in early 2000.
Today the instruments played by the various band members are fairly consistent. This has not always been the case, though. In the early days the band felt it important to rotate personnel's instrument assignments, so Alice Nutter is noted as playing trumpet on an early demo tape, Dunstan Bruce plays bass on the first single, etc. Lou Watts pretty consistently played guitar through the end of the 1980s (Boff says, "By the end of 1988...Lou ditched her guitar and got a keyboard instead"). This idea of rotating instrument assignments, while egalitarian, seems to have fallen out of favor through the mid 1980s, so by the time the band started routinely releasing vinyl their musical roles had become more or less established. Today's lineup is generally given as Lou Watts, vocals/keyboard; Danbert Nobacon, vocals/keyboard; Boff, guitar/vocals; Dunstan Bruce, vocals/percussion; Harry Hamer, drums/programming; Alice Nutter, vocals/percussion; Neil Ferguson, bass; Jude Abbott, trumpet/vocals.
[1B] Part B - Biographical Information
Jude Abbott, born Judith Jesperito Abbot, February 4th, in "the south [of England]", is a newer member of the band; she joined c. 1996 after Mavis Dillon left. She plays the trumpet and sings. Jude said, "You bring up anarchism and people always want to know who's going to pick up their garbage." Jude enjoys the music of John Coltrane.
Dunstan Bruce, probably born in Billingham, Middlesbrough, 31 December c. 1961. Before Chumbawamba, Dunstan sang in a band named Men In A Suitcase. Dunstan was once offered a job by EMI (he refused, at least in 1984). Dunstan, in particular, has vocally defended Chumbawamba's 1997 decision to sign to EMI. Dunstan frequently gives interviews and makes press statements regarding the band, but generally keeps his private life private. AKA Dunst.
Boff, born Allan Whalley[24,128] in Burnley, Lancashire, 1 January[126,127] c. 1962. Boff (supposedly short for Boffin, but not likely) was brought up in a strict Mormon household, and has two sisters who play piano and sing in church. When Boff became interested in punk, he bought an electric guitar (no amp) and began teaching himself to play. Boff has noted the c. 1969 film Kes portrays situations common in both theme and locale to many of the band members' upbringing. According to Danbert Nobacon, Boff was always successful with "the girls". Boff attended Burnley Grammar School, an all-boys school, with Danbert, and, later, Lowerhouse County Primary School in Burnley. Boff's favorite band when he was a youngster was The Beatles. Before Chumbawamba, Boff was in a band named Chimp Eats Banana, with Danbert Nobacon (Boff says, "...Dan were like, 'Well, I can't play anything, I can't do any of that,' so I said 'I'll play guitar and you can sing' and that's how he became a singer"). At one time Boff and Lou Watts "had a relationship for a few years." Boff is an outspoken atheist and anarchist and also supports Alice's position on shoplifting ("I've stolen records from record shops. That's what I did when I had no money.") Boff doesn't smoke and, for many years, didn't drink. In c. early 1995 Boff married Casey Orr, an American photographer whose work appears with several Chumbawamba releases. Boff, along with Harry Hamer, does most of the serious production and studio work for the band. Boff's first guitar was "a cheap copy of a generic one pick-up guitar, 60 quid from JSG in Bingley, now called Spectre Sounds, just down the road from Bradford and Bingly Building Society, main office". That guitar lasted until 13-MAY-93 when the neck broke, and Boff switched to a used Gibson SG, "as used by Fugazi, AC/DC, and Spinal Tap's David St. Hubbins". A few years later he picked up another SG, so now there are two--one black and one claret, "they're light and don't have loads of buttons and don't go out of tune easily. That's all I need". Boff uses whatever strings are available, and "a Marshall anniversary series something-or-other, some numbers and letters which I can't remember" (the Marshall logo has been removed). Boff enjoys the poetry of Berthold Brecht, and is an avid (and winning) fell runner and footie fan. AKA Boffo.
Simon Commonknowledge. Simon and Harry Hamer were friends "since 1976 or something." From the very early days of the band, Simon was associated with Chumbawamba, either receiving liner credits as being in the band or helping on the release. However, Simon was apparently not generally considered a band member proper--in 1995 Harry Hamer said, "He used to put on punk gigs in Lancashire. It's like he's always been on the scene anyway [...] he does music workshops for kids and stuff at youth clubs." Simon originally introduced Matty Hanson (MC Fusion) to Chumbawamba, and this introduction sparked their numerous collaborative efforts. In 1995 Simon worked with Matty Hanson (MC Fusion) on Credit To The Nation's second album. Simon currently organizes shows in the Burnley area, and stays in touch with the band.
Mavis Dillon, probably born in Barnsley. Mavis and Cobie Laan have at least one daughter, Sally, together. Before Chumbawamba, Mavis was in a band named Passion Killers, along with Harry Hamer (and before that, they were also both in a band named The Threat). Mavis left Chumbawamba in 1995 in a friendly split ("He had a second baby daughter and it immediately became impractical for him to tour, to play concerts out of the UK."125), but stays in touch with the band. Mavis' last name is spelled Dillon or Dillan, apparently interchangeably, and over the years Mavis has gone by a lengthy list of monikers. AKA Optical Illusion, Dave Passion Killer, Mave, and Dave Lentil.
Paul Greco, born 22 April. Before joining Chumbawamba in 1992, Paul was a fan of the band. During 1996-1997 Paul says he worked "washing up, waitering, and finally cheffing at a café" while Tubthumper was being recorded. Paul also contributed photographs to the Leed's area fanzine Ablaze! Paul espouses anarchy. As of early 1998, Paul still lived in Leeds, but moved to Koln, Germany, by the end of 1998. In addition to playing bass, Paul answered fan mail and was also responsible for acquiring much of the band's equipment. He generally used Fender Jazz basses stringed with Elites, and used a Trace Elliot V-Type amp with Trace Elliot 1x15 cabinet. He occasionally used 1 mm or .77 mm picks, but said "I'd prefer to play fingerstyle but for the harder, more emphatic parts, four strokes down with the plectrum is a lot more immediate." Paul strongly feels that real instruments are necessary to a good live show--he said "Real instruments have a quality to them--that human touch--no sampled sound will ever capture." Tubthumper, however, featured, mostly studio synthesized bass playing (that's why the live shows sound so much better!). Paul left the band in late 1999 in a friendly split, after becomding involved in outside musical projects ("So, no big arguments, no legal wranglings, no musical differences, no time in rehab and no exposes in the Sunday papers. Just a man on a mission to make his own music."). AKA PJ Greco.
Harry Hamer, born Darren Hamer[24,128] in Barnsley, 5 March [5,126] c. 1964. Harry's dad, Jimmy Echo, is a club singer and, before that, was a plumber-Harry apparently had some early drumming experience working the clubs with his father. Before Chumbawamba, Harry was in a band named Passion Killers, along with Mavis Dillon (and before that, they were also both in a band named The Threat). From c. 1995 Harry and Lou Watts have been "a couple", and on 10-APR-99 they had a daughter, Ivy Watts. Harry says, "Well, when we play live I play drums, but when we did the record and the writing of the songs, I do all the loops and programming and all that sort of stuff, y'know, sampling", and he uses a 'Mac' computer (a Performa 630, in 1998) to do it. Harry is indifferent to all the bad press Chumbawamba has garnered over the years--he said, "...we don't care what the press say about us, because they've been saying horrible things about us for years. It's just hardened us to it, really. Character building." Harry dislikes the police ("...hopefully the cops get a bit of a beating as well, sort of try and even things up a bit"). Harry's last name was spelled Hammer on several early releases. AKA Legal Aid, Artmi/Daz, Artmi Ringpiece, and Artmi.
Cobie Laan, born in Holland. She and Mavis Dillon have at least one daughter, Sally, together. Cobie was both "in the band" and performed as the band's live sound engineer for at least a few tours, including one USA tour, but left the band at c. the end of 1991. Cobie was also an early member of The Ex, acting as that band's live sound engineer from August 1979 through January 1988, later moving to Leeds and joining Chumbawamba during the two bands' collaborative years. AKA Coby.
Danbert Nobacon, born Nigel Hunter[41,128], in Burnley, Lancashire, 16 January c. 1962. Danbert has two brothers, and says he was very shy around girls while growing up (he reports he lost his virginity at age twenty-three). He attended Burnley Grammar School, an all-boys school, with Boff, and later read English at the University in Leeds. Before Chumbawamba, Danbert was in a band named Chimp Eats Banana, with Boff. Danbert is heterosexual, and, boys and girls, he's the transvestite of the group ("cos I like wearing skirts..."). Danbert has used very few drugs, and seems to have had an earlier-than-usual obsession with masturbation, followed by an obsession with excrement ("shit") during his twenties. And if you think this information embarrassing or too personal, you should read what he's got to say about himself--"However, always The Exhibitionist, embarrassing myself in public is my forte. I'm still angry and I am still a freak so why stop now? I'm only just getting going." Danbert is an atheist and an anarchist, and very outspoken about his political beliefs. Danbert is probably vegetarian and was vegan through at least the early to mid 1980s. He is generally known for theatrics and singing, and has been bald for a long time. Danbert has worked as a plasterer, was arrested in Italy for wearing a skirt during the 1997 Tubthumper tour, and got a lot of press (good and bad) for dumping ice water on John Prescott during the 1998 Brit Awards (the "Daily Mirror" later dumped ice water on Danbert). As of early 1998, Danbert still lived in Leeds with his wife, Laura. On 16-JAN-00 Danbert and Laura celebrated his birthday by becoming the parents of twins, Carson and Stella. AKA Dan, Dan Chumba, Bert Bacon, and Dogmarky.
Alice "It's Me Trousers!" Nutter, probably born in Burnley, Lancashire, 10 July c. 1962. Alice was named Anne at birth--she legally changed her name to Alice Nutter c. 1984, "mainly because i'd been named after princess anne" (the name "Alice Nutter" may have been taken from a 17th century Yorkshire witch[45,84]). Alice grew up in Burnley, and before Chumbawamba, Alice apparently played drums in a band named Ow My Hair's On Fire. The police broke Alice's leg in 1986 during an anti-NATO demonstration. During a 20-JAN-98 appearance on a USA talk show, Alice stated her opinion that stealing from mega-corporations was not wrong; a statement that engendered a fair amount of media and corporate criticism. Subsequently, Alice has stated she has shoplifted many times. During the 1998 European tour Alice sustained serious facial injuries in an accident, and became the focus of media attention when the band announced the injuries had been caused by Italian police, during a demonstration march turned riot[51,52]. Alice is an atheist, an anarchist[34,73] (she has defined anarchy as "class struggle") and (in a mostly non-academic sense) a feminist[53,85]--Rolling Stone called her "one of three skirts in Chumbawamba" (guess they didn't count Danbert?). Alice was a member of the now-defunct Class War, writing the "gossip column" of that organization's circular under the pen-name Sally Skull (some of Ms. Skull's writing was misquoted on the unexpurgated Tubthumper liner notes). She was also the "sex therapist" columnist for Northern Star (she encouraged anal sex, masturbation, etc., and her favorite vibrator is the "Super Satisfaction Hermit"). Alice is a vegetarian (vegan from c. 1988 to c. 1990), smokes, has an amazing capacity for drink (rumor has it the nun's whiskey bottle is the real stuff), and she says, "I need three cups of coffee before I can even speak!" Alice has always had an attraction to reading, and credits such works as Marilyn French's Women's Room and Rita Mae Brown's Ruby Fruit Jungle as informing her own early feminist thought. Alice said in c. 1993 "I have a relationship with Keir [Milburn]", and on 20-JAN-00 they had a baby daughter, Mae Rose, together.. AKA Mad Anne, Anne, Sally Skull, Snoop.
Lou Watts, probably born in Burnley, Lancashire, 4 June c. 1962. Before Chumbawamba, Lou worked as a computer operator at the Burnley Building Society. When Lou was young she took singing lessons for awhile, but her instructor "said I might as well forget it." Boff would eventually convince her she had the voice of an angel. Lou's favorite singer when she was a youngster was David Bowie. At one time Lou and Boff "had a relationship for a few years", and from c. 1995, Lou and Harry Hamer have been "a couple", and on 10-APR-99 they had a daughter, Ivy Watts. Lou was one of the first band members to move into the communal house, and was also the first to leave the house, a move which made her "quite happy". Lou doesn't give many interviews ("guitarist, singer, and someone who doesn't care for tedious interviews"), and appears to be one of the most private members of the band; conversely, she is never afraid to state her opinion. Lou is apparently mechanically inclined, and may have done work as an auto-mechanic. AKA Loo.
Neil Ferguson has acted as Chumbawamba's sound engineer from 1985 onwards. Before becoming a band member proper, he frequently toured with the band and also appears in the musician and other credits on many pre-2000 Chumbawamba LPs. While out running in 1995 he was attacked by a dog, but thanks to Alice Nutter's louder bark, he was saved. During the 1998 USA tour he played bass on the acoustic set. In early 2000 he replaced Paul Greco on bass.
[1C] Part C - Band History
Boff and Danbert Nobacon became friends while both of them were attending the all-boys school Burnley Grammar School, and started thinking about being in a band. Harry Hamer had also made the acquaintance of Simon Commonknowledge by 1978-probably as early as 1976.
Alice Nutter started going to Burnley punk rock gigs in 1979, where she met Danbert Nobacon, Boff, and Lou Watts, who Alice Nutter found attractive ("I thought Lou [Watts] was good looking"). During this time period, Lou Watts apparently drank a lot, and Danbert Nobacon, Boff, and Lou Watts appeared to Alice Nutter, at age 17, as experienced punks. Over the next year or two Alice Nutter and Lou Watts became friends and moved in together in a house in Burnley. Danbert Nobacon and Boff were friends from their days attending an all-boys school, and probably started a band. Alice Nutter recalls being in several public fistfights during this period, including one with her boyfriend.
Most future Chumbawamba band members were most likely living in Burnley, Lancashire, in 1981, including Danbert Nobacon, Boff, Dunstan Bruce, Alice Nutter, and Lou Watts. Boff states that Burnley had a fairly sizeable peace punk scene for about six months during 1981. During that time he and Danbert Nobacon apparently became seriously interested in performing political music and together started a highly theatrical band, Chimp Eats Banana, along with another musician named Tomi (the band may have been formed as early as 1979, however, at least in concept). Boff describes some early Burnley shows where the audience, mostly close acquaintances, were disturbed and angered by the performance ("...a lot of people hated me after that."), due to its irreverent content. Probably drawn by the larger Leeds peace punk scene, or pushed there by the collapse of the Burnley scene and lack of appreciative fans, Danbert Nobacon and Boff appear to have spent some time hanging about Leeds in 1981, where they became acquainted with The Mirror Boys, a band living in a fairly nice house in Leeds. By late 1981 or early 1982, Danbert Nobacon, Boff, and Dunstan Bruce probably moved to Leeds. It's possible that Danbert Nobacon was reading English at University in Leeds at this time. Other members of Chumbawamba were also meeting at this time, and forming friendships-Alice Nutter and Lou Watts were friends-they hitch-hiked their way to Paris together-though they remained living in Burnley during 1981; Harry Hamer and Mavis Dillon were in a band together, The Threat, and were living with their families in Barnsley.
Chumbawamba's earliest roots are in 1982, and the band subsequently formed over the
course of approximately four years, primarily out of the communally living Leeds peace punk
scene. Danbert Nobacon says that Chumbawamba was originally composed of himself and
Boff. Boff, however, says "there was also a bloke called
Mitch" (this is an error in transcription, though, and this third person's
name was Midge). It's unclear at exactly what point Chimp Eats Banana
actually became Chumbawamba. Danbert Nobacon seems to view everything 1981 and earlier
as Chimp Eats Banana and everything 1982 and later as Chumbawamba. Danbert
Nobacon's "Gig List" for the 1982 period lists twenty
gigs, including shows in England, the USA, Belgium, and France. Chumbawamba's first
gig was 08-JAN-82 at the Hendly Hotel in Colne, and this was also Lou Watts'
first performance as a member of Chumbawamba. Alice Nutter apparently
considering joining the band with Lou Watts, both encouraged by Boff, but Alice Nutter didn't
think she had any musical talents, and so held off for a little while longer. In May of 1982,
Chumbawamba (Danbert Nobacon, Boff, and Midge) and The Mirror Boys went on a joint
busking trip through Europe (The Mirror Boys left their nice house in the trust of a good
friend). They played four shows in three days at the Gent Festival in Belgium, and then
apparently headed to Paris ("Chumbawamba is the trio in the corner busking Clash and
Gene Vincent songs[...]hanging about in Paris[...]") for a few months.
On 11-NOV-82 Chumbawamba again played the Hendly Hotel in Colne-noteworthy since the
supporting band was Ow My Hair's On Fire (Alice Nutter's band before she joined
Chumbawamba). While busking in Paris, The Mirror Boys' trusted house-sitter
apparently went a little bonkers, and moved out of the house and into an abandoned automobile in
the back yard where he remained as the house was robbed and severely vandalized.
Sometime in late 1982 (probably November) Chumbawamba and The Mirror Boys returned
to Leeds to find the house a total wreck. The Mirror Boys abandoned the house as a loss,
but Chumbawamba had other ideas about it. Lou Watts and Alice Nutter helped Danbert
Nobacon, Boff, Dunstan Bruce, and "another guy" (probably Midge) move
into (i.e., "squat") the trashed house (oddly enough, the postman for the house ended
up playing strings on the WYWIWYG LP). Lou Watts found the abandoned house
grotty, and she and Alice Nutter were themselves living together in a nicer place in
Burnley, so they did not immediately move into what was to become Chumbawamba HQ,
though they frequently stayed over on the weekends. The Leeds house was in particularly bad
shape-cooking fires were lit in the middle of the kitchen, there was no water, electricity,
the house had been damaged by an earlier fire, etc., and eventually the whole house was
painted black. Also during 1982 the members of Chumbawamba formed a spoof Oi band
called Skin Disease. They recorded a four-track Oi demo tape (now lost), fabricated
a press kit, and sent it all off to Garry Bushell at Sounds. Bushell was suitably impressed,
and invited Skin Disease to appear on the forthcoming V/A compilation Back On The
Streets. The undercover Chumbawamba oiks traveled to London to oblige, thus releasing
their first ever, and less than inspiring, track on vinyl, I'm Thick, and simultaneously
launching their career as jokers. Also in 1982 Crass Label's Bullshit Detector 2 double
V/A compilation was released, featuring, among others, Chumbawamba,
Passion Killers, and a Boffo [Boff] solo cover. This was the first time the
band Chumbawamba released material under its own name, and remained their only vinyl
release until 1985's Revolution single. During the early 1980s the band's personnel were not
"assigned" to a particular instrument-in other words, from gig to gig (or even during any
given gig) instruments would be swapped around amongst musicians. This habit gradually faded
out. Additionally, the band's booking and other organizational functions were handled in a
similarly egalitarian way-whoever took the telephone call and accepted the gig was thereafter
responsible for all facets of organization, etc., for that particular show. This
self-booking angle continued well into the 1990s.
Discography 1982: Bullshit Detector 2 (V/A LP), Three Years Later; (Skin Disease) Back on the Streets (V/A EP)
After a short period of time, Lou Watts and Alice Nutter did move into the Leeds house. A little later "two young schoolkids", Artmi/Daz [Harry Hamer] and Dave Passion Killer [Mavis Dillon], moved in as well. Dave Passion Killer and Artmi/Daz were in a band, Passion Killers, together, and they had met Chumbawamba through the local punk scene, and had become friends because they were both featured on the Crass LP. Throughout these early years everything the house members had was shared communally, including money (which was stored in a jar and utilized as needed), and chores such as cooking. Most band members, including Boff, Lou Watts, and Alice Nutter, remember this time period and life style as very difficult, but rewarding. It was not without incidents, however--Boff says, "a couple of things happened around 1983-84 with the people living in the house-not the ones living in it now. There were conflicts..." This apparently resulted in several of the house squatters leaving, or being asked to leave--including at least one member of Chumbawamba, Diane (Lou Watts says, "We had to ask Diane to leave."), though she possibly remained through part of 1984. Throughout this time period Chumbawamba was performing as a band and also releasing material on "demo" tapes-interested parties could send a blank tape and a couple quid and the band would duplicate the tape with various songs, many from live shows, and return the tape. The first-ever Chumbawamba "demo" was Be Happy Despite It All. Some of these demo tapes would also include material by other bands, in particular Passion Killers. The 3-APR-83 show was plagued by early bass amplifier problems, solved after several minutes of fiddling by simply turning up the volume--subsequently the show became a very positive experience for Chumbawamba. Danbert recalls making a banner and performing other organizational tasks for the 18-MAY-83 show, notable as it was the first joint appearance of Chumbawamba and Passion Killers (though the band members of both bands were already friends). Boff stood in on bass for the Passion Killers set (a function he would routinely perform). Their 25-OCT-83 performance was recorded and, combined with a Chumbawamba track called "The First Seven Years" and four songs by Simon (possibly Simon Commonknowledge), was widely distributed under the name Raising Heck With Chumbawamba. Both Chumbawamba and Passion Killers also had tracks that appeared on a compilation cassette circulating in 1983 called The Animal's Packet. Lou Watts states that at this time the band was somewhat isolated; "Originally [...] we didn't know anyone in Leeds [...] and we didn't go out [...] That was a really insular time. We weren't really involved in the punk scene at all." However it appears that several people came and went through the communal house during this period, and several of them may have participated in various Chumbawamba gigs or other activities. The band participated in several squat gigs, and even helped organize the first Leeds squat gig. From time to time various band members would secure temporary employment, and most band members had projects outside of Chumbawamba. The band played twenty-nine gigs in 1983, including several shows with Passion Killers. Other bands they played with during this time include Amebix, Disorder, Lunatic Fringe, Chaos UK, Flux of Pink Indians, Conflict, The Ex, and the Poison Girls. At the Leeds YMCA they were miss-billed as "Chumbawunba." Throughout 1983 Chumbawamba espoused the standard peace punk aesthetic (largely borrowed from Crass), and were known as vegan, anti-vivisection, non-violent, anarcho-punks. Some band members were arrested and spent a day in detention for freeing dogs, mice, and files from an animal research laboratory, and the communal house was twice raided by drug squad officers. There were a couple dogs and a cat living at the house; one of the dogs, Derek, performed vocals on then-future Chumbawamba releases, as well as being the subject of one of the songs on Slap!
Chumbawamba continued touring throughout 1984, performing a total of thirty-five shows with Passion Killers, Dan, Karma Sutra, Flux of Pink Indians, Kukl, and Blyth Power. Many of the 1984 gigs were striking miners' benefit shows, a cause which Chumbawamba would continue to champion for several years. Other shows were hunt saboteur benefits, a Greenpeace benefit, and a benefit for Irish anarchist prisoners, and on 25-JUN-84 they played the "Passion Killers Farewell Gig"--presumably followed by the (more or less final) merging of the two bands. Dave Passion Killer [Mavis Dillon] left the communal house shortly thereafter, to go live with his girlfriend and start a new band, but this appears to have been a short-lived venture. On 11-AUG-84 Chumbawamba played a gig at the peace camp at Menwith Hill, a USA military intelligence installation, and Danbert Nobacon also had a solo performance that evening. Pieces of the 11-AUG-84 gig were recorded and subsequently released on "demo" tapes (the band had sold several hundred of these demo tapes by this time), with the first lyric of Menwith Hill fittingly changed from "Have you heard of Menwith Hill?" to "Here we are at Menwith Hill!" Common titles (possibly not the original titles) of demo tapes from this period are History Luddite, Another Year of the Same Old Shit, Pictures, and Common Ground. Several live performances from this period were recorded and became widely available, including the 19-AUG-84 (the "To Thine Own Self Be True" tape of the Conway Hall show of Flux Of Pink Indians and Chumbawamba--the tape says the show was 20-AUG-84) and 17-NOV-84 shows. The band's on-stage presence included theatricals and mini-speeches, including pro-anarchy, anti-state, anti-police, and anti-religion statements. Shows were also accompanied by various handouts, most of which were produced on the band's own printer. Sometime in 1984 Chumbawamba held label discussions with Spiderleg Records, and for a short time there were plans to release material with that label, but these plans were never realized--the band instead started their own label, Agit-Prop. Two events of 1984 changed the political stance of Chumbawamba--the Brighton Bomb convinced them that political violence could effect change, and the great miners' strike (people living through the strike seldom refer to it as 'great') forced them from their isolated and insulated lifestyleism. The band spent as much time on the picket lines as they did on the stage, and some members even toured around at Christmastime as a free children's theatre troupe. The band also recorded and sold a three-track cassette for the Miner's Hardship Fund. Many supporters, now faced with a Chumbawamba devoid of pacifist polemics, declared the band sell outs, confronted them at gigs, etc. This was the first time that Chumbawamba remade itself, and headed off on a different tack; a tactic the band repeated several times over the coming years. Many band members remember 1984 as a difficult time--there were disagreements about house rules, arguments over television, profanity, and gender roles, etc. These were thrashed out amongst the communally living band, and eventually worked out. Several house members probably left during this period of time.
In 1985 band personnel stabilized considerably, and during this period the band started to
routinely release material, including singles and LPs. At any rate, following the unhappy
time period of 1984, the communal house and Chumbawamba remained fairly stable for
several years. The band played thirty-two gigs in 1985, many of which were miners' strike
benefits. They played on 16-FEB-85 with Ow My Hair's On Fire, and played other gigs
with Subhumans, Karma Sutra, Poison Girls, Blyth Power, and Conflict. In 1985 they
self-released their first 7" vinyl single--Revolution, which quickly sold out. This
single was released on the band's own label, Agit-Prop, which fit well with the band's DIY
("do it yourself") ethic. They spent hours hand-writing the lengthy booklet inserts for the
single, and were later greatly relieved to have the second batch printed up. Once again the
band was criticized by their fans for selling out by moving to vinyl. Alice Nutter recalls,
"People used to send us letters saying tapes were good because you could get more on them.
Oh, and they could rub over them when they didn't like you anymore! I mean, thanks a fucking
bundle!" The single track listing was confusing, and depending upon how you read the liner
notes you end up with different track titles-even Maximum Rock N Roll commented on this, while
urging their readers to have a listen-"Hard to tell what's what on both sides, but it doesn't
really matter as this bugger is excellent [...] Get it." The house was again raided, and
extensive damage was done when the police used sledgehammers to look for explosives. The
entire band was hauled in, questioned, and held for twenty-three hours. They returned home
to discover diaries, books, pamphlets, posters, and song lyrics confiscated. The band
pulled off a masterful April fool's joke by fabricating another make believe band, The Middle,
and recording a three-track demo (probably lost) which was sent off to a liberal party
representative, who promptly invited the band to play at an upcoming liberal gathering. For
some reason, Chumbawamba didn't show up. At some point in the early 1980s the band got
tired of being pulled over by the police while on their way to or from gigs, so they got a van
with "Young Christian Cyclists" painted on the side-and were never pulled over again.
They also had two studio tracks appear on the miners' benefit V/A vinyl compilation Dig This:
A Tribute To The Great Strike, and Danbert Nobacon released a full-length solo LP, The Unfairy
Tale (the liner notes to The Unfairy Tale suggest the following persons/animals as having lived
in the communal house--Lou [Watts], Boff, Anne [Alice Nutter], Dunst [Dunstan Bruce], Daz
[Harry Hamer], Di [Diane], Midge, Simon [Commonknowledge], Julian, Dave [Mavis Dillon],
Derek [probably the dog], Vivian, Frickley, Ian). The band spent time watching "Live Aid" on
television, and decided that they could do better--and they started work on their first LP.
On 01-JUN-85 Danbert Nobacon armed himself with a paint-gun, and splattered The Clash while
they were onstage at Leeds University; he then made a daring escape. Chumbawamba also
spent a good portion of the year in picket lines, stealing and burning scab-produced
newspapers, and exchanging fists with the picket-busting police.
Discography 1985: Revolution (7"); Dig This: A Tribute To The Great Strike (V/A LP); (Danbert Nobacon) The Unfairy Tale (LP)
Chumbawamba released a single, an LP (Pictures of Starving Children), and several
tracks in 1986. The rest of the band finally got Harry Hamer to sing on Rich Popstars Make
Good Socialists, but they didn't convince him again until a 1989 release. The track appeared
on a flexidisc that was given away with The Catalogue, an independent music magazine. The band
collaborated with a San Francisco based band to produce the "joint single" We Are The World?,
with two tracks from each band. The band also became friends with the Dutch band The Ex
(they had previously gigged together in 1983), and this friendship began a musical
collaboration which would last for several years. Chumbawamba played twenty-four gigs
in 1986, four of them with The Ex, though they don't start gigging until July. Other gigs
found Chumbawamba playing with Culture Shock, Karma Sutra, Conflict, Oi Polloi,
Conflict, and Thatcher On Acid. At an Animal Liberation Front benefit gig in Leicester
the band was miss-billed as "Jumba Wumba." The 15-JUL-86 and 12-NOV-86 gigs were taped and
widely distributed. Danbert Nobacon played an excellent solo show at Leeds University on
09-MAY-86 (possibly 05-SEP-86), which was recorded and widely distributed. While touring
Holland with The Ex, Chumbawamba participated in an anti-NATO mass demonstration.
As the riot police went into the crowd, Alice Nutter was caught in the thick of it (where
else would she be?) and ended up with a broken leg. She completed the tour in a cast.
Members of Chumbawamba and The Ex got together for a joint studio project, and released
an anti-racism 7" under the band name Antidote--noise terrorism at its best. Copies of
Chumbawamba's first LP were distributed around the world, and showed up in various
punk music shops in the USA, and one copy somehow ended up in Utah. Chumbawamba
took their first big musical turn around this time period; their live shows were totally
rearranged around the new LP, and most of their old "demo" period songs were dropped.
Discography 1986: We Are The World? (V/A 7"); Pictures of Starving Children Sell Records (LP); Rich Pop Stars Make Good Socialists (Flexi); (Antidote) Destroy Fascism! (7")
This year saw another full-length LP, Never Mind The Ballots, several tracks on compilations,
and another Danbert Nobacon solo project (the Bigger Than Jesus 7", which featured a
photograph of Danbert Nobacon's penis, making the release an instant favorite with many fans).
The telephone number listed in the opening track of Never Mind The Ballots, namely
0532 779 463, actually belonged to friends of Chumbawamba; members of the
short-lived band Two Minutes Of Hate (they quickly changed their number).
Members of Chumbawamba formed another fictional band, Scab Aid, and released
an anti-scab/anti-newspaper single entitled The Scum. It attacked The Sun newspaper and its
ruthless treatment of workers and biased news coverage. The flip side track was narrated by
Simon Lanzon (later of Credit To The Nation), and the single became New Musical Express'
"single of the week" before anyone realized it was Chumbawamba in disguise. The
band played an amazing fifty-nine gigs during the year (twelve with The Ex), mostly
benefits, with Karma Sutra, Mekons, The Ex, Dan, Blyth Power, Poison Girls, Thatcher
On Acid, and Joyce McKinney Experience. At one gig in Amsterdam the band was miss-billed
as "Shum Bawanba". Some members of Chumbawamba took a trip to Belfast, and were
distressed by the relentless war on the Irish[4, 121] (in 1989 Danbert Nobacon would release the
7" Why Are We Still In Ireland, which included liner notes attacking the British occupation).
Most of the live shows from this period contained a mix of songs from the first two LPs, and
continued the on-stage theatricals that the band was and is famous for. With their two LPs
and a full touring schedule, the band's popularity in the anarcho-punk scene in the UK and
USA grew. People in the USA had heard of them, and had bootleg shows, LPs, and singles, and
Chumbawamba was widely considered one of the best anarcho-punk bands around.
Discography 1987: Mindless Slaughter (V/A LP); Never Mind the Ballots (LP); (Scab Aid) Let It Be (7"); A Vile Peace (V/A LP); (Danbert Nobacon) Bigger Than Jesus (7")
Lou Watts, tired of the lack of privacy in the communal house, moved partly out into another
house around the corner. She would spend time at both houses, and other band members would
as well. This other house was, sometimes, occupied by visitors and friends. Some members of
the band played fifteen gigs during the year, all but one part of "The Antidote Tour", and all
but one in Europe with The Ex. While crossing the Switzerland/France border in a
broken down van and a "converted fire engine" at Pougny on 19-JAN-88 the bands were
stopped, held for seven hours, strip searched, and questioned. Eventually they were refused
entry and returned to Switzerland where some anarchist literature ("Attack" newspaper) was
confiscated. The next day both bands entered France without incident at a larger border
crossing (they returned to Switzerland c. 27-JAN-88 for three more gigs); the Swiss
documentation apparently names the band as "Zhuma Vamba". They returned to England to play
the 1 In 12 Club on 23-DEC-88, in the "A Night Of Punk Nostalgia" show, sans The Ex,
and Chumbawamba played only punk covers. Also during 1988 the band released one
track and one single (recorded on two days in March--the Smash Clause 28!/Fight The Alton Bill
single, clearly showing influence from The Ex). They also released the 10" English
Rebel Songs, a cappella songs from England's history of revolution, but Alice Nutter and
Dunstan Bruce sat this recording session out. Yet again, Chumbawamba fans attacked the
band for selling out by singing without nasty guitars and pounding drums, but the recording
would eventually become a hallmark of Chumbawamba's ability to adapt and change
musically. Many of the band members temporarily lost some interest in the band, and looked
elsewhere for inspiration. This resulted in many of them getting "crap jobs" and more band
members partly moved out of the communal house (eventually Alice Nutter would start
actually paying rent on the house, and only she and Danbert Nobacon remained in 1995).
Symptomatic of the ennui of the band through the later part of 1988, they released a double
album under another band name, Sportchestra. The LP was largely written by a few members of
Chumbawamba, and was performed by members of Chumbawamba and other bands
(forty-one musicians in all). The LP didn't sell well, quickly became obscure, and was not
well received. The year 1988 can be viewed as the end of Chumbawamba as an anarcho-punk
band. They would never again release standard punk music, though they retained the punk
ethic; Smash Clause 28!/Fight The Alton Bill was the last of the "noisy" Chumbawamba
releases, and the band spent the year more or less temporarily separated. In addition, their
distribution company went bankrupt, and their new emerging style of pop and politics was
unappreciated by their fans, who again labeled them sell outs ("People reacted in very strange
ways when we started playing more dance and pop. Some were offended[...]but mostly people just
said we'd sold out"). By this time there was a television in the communal house, and all
of "the men" in the band, except Danbert, were watching football and sports, which upset some
of "the women". This is probably the largest source of inspiration for the Sportchestra LP,
101 Songs About Sport. Cobie Laan joined the band during 1988, and began acting as their live sound engineer, as well as answering fan mail.
Discography 1988: Smash Clause 28!/Fight the Alton Bill (7"); The A.L.F. is Watching (V/A LP); English Rebel Songs (10"); (Sportchestra) 101 Songs About Sport (Double LP)
The first decade of Chumbawamba closed with the seeming near demise of the band. They
hadn't released a full-length LP in two years, and released only a few strange tracks on an
anti-poll tax benefit compilation LP in 1989. Band member's interests, musically and
otherwise, were divided (for example, Alice Nutter started to write a series of articles on
alternative sex, which appeared in Leeds Other Paper). Danbert Nobacon released some solo
material, and the band didn't have any gigs in the first half of the year. It was a bleak
time, and the band was only spurred to action by the announced poll tax in Scotland. They
spent some time demonstrating against the poll tax ("a sweeping poverty tax which last failed
in 1381"), and then, oddly, ended up doing four gigs in Japan during August, performing
lots of a cappella songs from the English Rebel Songs EP. They returned to England and sat
out another two months, and finally got going again with the November/December "Reunion Tour",
playing eight gigs in two months, with Fugazi, Thatcher On Acid, Wat Tyler, Shrug, and
Shelley's Children. Their reception was lukewarm, and nobody seemed interested in their
newly emerging pop and politics style of music. Perhaps most telling was the near total lack
of Chumbawamba reviews in the media through 1989. However, big changes require
reorganization, and Chumbawamba was shortly to re-launch themselves with a new image,
and Slap! was to become the cornerstone of their newly constructed sound. In the USA,
however, it seemed as though Chumbawamba had dropped off the face of the earth; they
still sometimes answered letters, but there was no new music, and no mention of them in
the 'zines. "Years on, and Chumbawamba still awkwardly hanging around, balancing on
that knife-edge between the boredom of everyday life and the ignorance of pop." Also
probably during 1989, Mavis Dillon and Cobie Laan had a baby girl, Sally. Many band members
were then working at regular jobs, and the communal money situation was beginning to
blur--everyone still put money in the communal money jar, but most band members started
retaining and spending their own money. Band members were still taking turns cleaning house
and cooking meals (Lou Watts stated "everyone's a really good cook"), including those who
were no longer full-time residents. Even though the band may have been dragging musically,
their friendships weren't. It was the calm before the storm of the 1990s.
Discography 1989: The Liberator (V/A LP); Pox Upon the Poll Tax (V/A LP); (Danbert Nobacon) Why Are We Still in Ireland? (7"); (Danbert Nobacon) Knee Deep In Shit (V/A LP)
The band released a few tracks on V/A compilations, including one track on the famous
"Fuck EMI" V/A compilation (Danbert Nobacon also had a solo track on that compilation),
in addition to Slap! Their shift from punk to pop in 1990 was probably the band's most
radical musical departure to date-"But the biggest change was in 1989 and Slap! when we moved
into dance music[...]". The radical musico-political shift the band moved through in the
late-80/early-90 period are summed up in Alice Nutter's "official" 1997 biography: "Dance
beats and illegal warehouse parties were changing the face of British youth culture;
Chumbawamba's love of a good time and hatred of authority fitted perfectly with dance
music's DIY mentality. Chumbawamba also realized that a new decade required a different
political approach. The band were bored with the politics of victimization, the 'big brother
is gonna get you' line. Working on the premise that optimism breeds optimism, Slap!
Celebrated victories. Its three-minute pop songs were packed with tales of the underdog
biting back."[74,75] Once again, the change in music and politics drew critical fire from
fans, who accused the band of selling out-other fans just didn't know what to do with this
new type of music. The communal house was still home to several band members, but "love and
lust" had caused others to move elsewhere. Alice Nutter said this living situation
transition strengthened the friendships of the band members. On 31-MAR-90 the band, complete
with banner, participated wholeheartedly in the massive anti-Poll Tax riots in Trafalgar
("Chumbawamba's raison d'etre: verse, chorus, verse, chorus, middle 8, revolution...
repeat chorus"). The band played twenty-eight gigs this year, with The Ex and
Shrug, including a twelve-show tour of the west coast of the USA, most USA shows with Eve
Libertine and Nemo, others with Firehose, Nip Drivers, Offspring, and Jello Biafra.
During the USA tour all band members participated in a series of interviews which appeared
in a 1991 issue of Maximum Rock N Roll-probably the best overall source of information
about early band history printed to date. The 12-SEP-90 gig at Klub Komotion in San Francisco
was digitally recorded, and one song (then entitled either Testament or Never Gave Up) was
released on a V/A cassette tape, and later re-issued on a V/A CD. In addition, the band
recorded one song in Berkeley, California, with Jello Biafra on vocals, Homeless Hotel
(released on a V/A EP). The band was miss-billed in Portland as "Chumbawunga", and
in San Franciso as the preferred alternative "Chumbawumba".
Apparently, the 1990 USA tour started out as a generally good but chaotic time for most, but
quickly deteriorated into a depressing experience, including a botched attempt at a film,
a lot of driving, a Texaco credit card with a fake name, and a lot of lost money--such is the
life of international rock stars, huh?
Discography 1990: Wild and Crazy Noise Merchants (V/A LP); Slap! (LP / CD); Fuck EMI (V/A LP); (Danbert Nobacon) Fuck EMI (V/A LP)
Chumbawamba released a few tracks on V/A compilations in 1991. In protest of the Gulf
War, Mavis Dillon, Harry Hamer, and Boff also released an EP under the name Passion
Killers, featuring four anti-war cover songs. Cobie Laan probably became less associated
with the band during this period-her name does not appear on any Chumbawamba releases
after 1988, and there is no mention of her acting as sound engineer after the 1991 tours
completed. Although 1991 was a quiet year, with many band members working regular jobs (some
full-time) things were about to change. This was the last year that Chumbawamba was a
"part-time" band-from 1992 onwards the band would commence full-time touring, complete with
nearly annual album releases, etc. The band played thirty-three gigs in 1991, including fourteen
shows in Europe with Dog Faced Hermans and eight shows on the "Fuck Me Jesus" tour with
Credit To The Nation; other gigs found the band playing with Babes In Toyland and
Shelley's Children. The band was miss-billed in Ingolstadt as "Tschamba Wamba".
Discography 1991: A Tribute to Phil Collins (V/A LP); (Passion Killers) Whoopee! We're All Going To Die! (7"); Where Are They Now File (V/A EP); Greatest Hits (V/A EP)
Chumbawamba re-worked some songs from Slap!, and released the I Never Gave Up single.
Additionally, the band recorded and attempted to release Jesus H. Christ. However, the music
would instead be re-worked, re-arranged, and actually released as Shhh, the last LP released
on their own label (the liner notes in Shhh include reproductions of some of the letters
denying sample use-which killed the Jesus H. Christ LP). The hype surrounding the non-release
of Jesus H. Christ was substantial, and eventually vinyl-only copies of the LP would show up
(mysteriously bootlegged) in dodgy shops (Dunstan Bruce said, "Unfortunately its more
than my life is worth to send you a copy of Jesus H. Christ. It's hot property for sure-but
still unavailable I'm afraid. Maybe one day though"). The end of the Shhh song "Look!
No Strings!" ends with the cryptic "susej em kcuf ho" lyric (play it backwards), repeated
several times-reminiscent of the "Fuck Me Jesus" tour of 1991, and the abandoned Jesus H.
Christ LP. The Mick of the lyric "Hey Mick are you dancing? I never stopped!" was the guitar
player of the short-lived band Two Minutes Of Hate, a long-time friend of the band.
Shhh made it onto USA college charts (it was released on Southern Records as an import
in the USA), and enjoyed a resurgence throughout the USA after the success of 1997's
Tubthumper (it was "the only other" Chumbawamba album available in the mass-market
channels in the USA from 1997-1998). Shhh was Chumbawamba's first LP released as a
Compact Disc, a move decried by many "DIY" punk fans. This year also saw the release of
Behave, many fans' favorite EP, featuring five tracks (one "hidden"). Chumbawamba
appeared on a Radio 5 show, playing live versions of five songs, and also recorded a "Peel
Session" of four songs (neither project was officially released, though both have been
bootlegged). The band also played a media prank, making a statement that they had released
a single ("Never Say 'Di'", backed by "For The Love Of A Princess") to support the
princess in her time of trouble; material was never actually recorded for the single.
Chumbawamba's first two LPs-Pictures Of Starving Children and Never Mind The
Ballots-were also repackaged and re-released on a single CD entitled "First Two". The year
1992 was pivotal for Chumbawamba-the year they gave up their crap jobs of "working in
the café, running a removals firm, serving in the shop, working as a garage mechanic, working
cleaning toilets in old folk's home"-and became Chumbawamba, Inc., a professional,
touring, full-time band. Paul Greco joined the band in late 1992. During a show in Dublin,
Alice Nutter, playing the nun, distributed thousands of illegal condoms to the audience-later
she discovered, personally, they were a defective lot. In Memphis, Tennessee, the band was
confronted by members of the anti-abortion Vegan Reich; Harry Hamer played a gentle
swing while the rest of the band "down tools and climb off the stage": Chumbawamba
1; Vegan Reich 0. Later they toured Graceland, Danbert Nobacon, in full Elvis costume with
black fur-fabriv wig taped to his head, demanded to see the toilet where Elvis gave up the
ghost. The guides denied his polite request, and he fled the mansion, chased by guards.
The band also produced and distributed hundreds of "Jason Donovan - Queer As Fuck" T-shirts.
Chumbawamba played an amazing one hundred and five gigs in 1992, including the
Shhh tour through England and Europe, a twenty-gig tour through the USA, the Behave/Misbehave
tour through England, and six "Christmas" gigs. They appeared with, among others, Credit
To The Nation, Fugazi, Deus Ex Machina, Papa Brittle, and Levellers.
Discography 1992: I Never Gave Up (12"); Jesus H. Christ (LP); Shhh (LP); First Two (CD); Behave (12")
The band released an "official live tape"-Chumbawamba Live In Armley-dated March 1993
(Danbert Nobacon's gig list doesn't show an Armley show in March of 1993, however). The
show, available on cassette only, was sold briefly through mail order, and then vanished
(bootleg copies are still widely available, however). More than a straight-up live show, the
tape also included various sound-scapes, typical of many Chumbawamba theme albums.
Chumbawamba's own label, Agit-Prop, was finally abandoned in 1993-the band found they
couldn't be a full-time band and simultaneously run a label, so the band signed to One Little
Indian, run by Derek Birkett, the former bass player of Flux. The move again drew criticism
from fans, who considered the act of signing to a label-any label-"selling out". However,
the band decided that running a label took too much time away from being a band-they "had no
intentions of becoming 'businessmen'". One Little Indian is sometimes promoted as "The
Ethical Indie" label, but things didn't play out that way for Chumbawamba, and by
the end of 1996, disillusioned with the label's business practices, the band and label would
split in a less-than-pleasant atmosphere of mutual distrust. Chumbawamba released two
singles in 1993-Enough Is Enough, and Timebomb, both on the One Little Indian label. The band
also hooked up with Credit To The Nation in a major way-they toured together
extensively, and released several joint projects (Enough Is Enough, Anarchy, etc.). Both
bands adopted an in-your-face anti-Nazi stance, and shops that stocked Chumbawamba
records became targets for violence and intimidation, and Chumbawamba shows were
frequently menaced by Nazis. Both bands gained media attention from the other's popularity,
and Enough Is Enough was John Peel's "#1" choice for Festive Fifty, and also made several
other "#1" rankings in the independent music scene. On 13-MAY-93, the night before a gig in Berlin, Boff's guitar's neck snapped--he sussed a used Gibson SG for 200 quid, an astronomical amount of money for the band at that time, and the show went on. Chumbawamba played a record
one hundred and fifteen gigs in 1993, with Credit To The Nation, Papa Brittle, The
Ex, Dog Faced Hermans, Monie Love, The Flaming Lips, Levellers, Fun-Da-Mental, and Sidi
Bou Said, including the Enough Is Enough tour and the Timebomb tour. To date, they have
never performed as many gigs in any one-year period, including the whirlwind 1997-1998
Discography 1993: Enough Is Enough (12"); Timebomb (12")
By 1994, Chumbawamba had been inadvertently signed to Virgin in Europe (courtesy of
One Little Indian), a move that the band didn't appreciate but could not prevent. The band
released several tracks on V/A compilations, two singles (one an EP of remixes by DIY), and
the LP Anarchy. The cover of Anarchy featured a baby being born, which
caused the album to be banned, stocked behind the counter, or stocked in an over-wrap, in many
stores-however, the album would become most fans' favorite LP and would also become
Chumbawamba's best-selling release, until Tubthumper. During this time period the
band members received a salary of eighty pounds each week, sometimes supplemented by
additional funds garnered from gigs. Alice said, "When anybody comes to work with us we
give them a choice. They can take the same pay as us and we'll treat them as part of the
'organization' and have a certain amount of loyalty to them, or they can take the music
industry 'going rate', which is much more than we earn, and we won't include them in
decisions. Almost everybody takes the going rate. The end result is that most, but not all,
of our crew earn more than us. Nobody earns less." It was rumored that Alice Nutter
appeared in a 1994 porn-esque video made by some (female) Leeds DJs connected to "Vague".
Chumbawamba played ninety-one gigs in 1994, including shows with Credit To The
Nation, Oasis, Boo Radleys, Elastica, Blur, Levellers, Björk, Rage Against The Machine,
Crash Test Dummies, Mambo Taxi, Blyth Power, The Stranglers, Biohazard, Bad Religion, Machine
Head, Pogues, Consolidated, and Oi Polloi, and sixteen gigs with Gunshot and Attilla The
Discography 1994: Homophobia (12"); Criminal Injustice (12"); Gay Pride (V/A 7"); Anarchy (LP); By Any Means Necessary (V/A LP); Delete The Elite (V/A CD)
The band released two LPs this year--the studio LP Swingin' With Raymond, and the live LP
Showbusiness!--in addition to one single (Homophobia, featuring the Sisters Of Perpetual
Indulgence) and several tracks on V/A compilations. Additionally, One Little Indian re-released
Chumbawamba's back-catalog on CD, including the first 3 LPs and the first EP. After only
one pressing of 10,000 units and less than one month after the initial release, One Little
Indian surprisingly deleted Showbusiness! from the catalog. The Swingin' With
Raymond LP features studio recorded live drums and bass, Paul Greco said, "[T]o try to make
it more live-sounding. It was fun, but I think that grungy sound has had its
day." Chumbawamba recorded and cut the Homophobia release before One
Little Indian reviewed the track, and "they were a bit peeved really, that they didn't get
to hear it..."-symptomatic of the label troubles that lay ahead. The
Swingin' With Raymond LP, divided into two parts--the "Love Songs" introduction and the
"Hate Songs" finale--is frequently held to be Chumbawamba's weakest album,
particularly by some band members. In a 1995 interview with Nine and Anjou,
Alice Nutter, describing the band's early history, said "No, it was just an accident...if
you could bang some spoons together you could be in Chumbawamba."
At this time the communal house was shared (rented, actually) by Danbert Nobacon and Alice
Nutter, the other band members having moved out on their own, and Mavis Dillon
left the band. Serious work on the Tubthumper album began in 1995. The band's touring schedule
was less busy in 1995, with sixty-nine gigs, and one mini-tour of Greece ending
disastrously when a caseful of money was nicked by the tour promoter (that's why they call it
Showbusiness!). Chumbawamba played gigs along with New Model Army,
Oysterband, The Fall, Velvet Crush, Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, Suede, Credit To The Nation,
Stiltskin, and eighteen shows on the Tourin' With Raymond tour with Cardiacs and Boasti.
Discography 1995: Ugh! Your Ugly Houses (7"); Disagreement of the People (V/A CD); Showbusiness! (live LP); Swingin' With Raymond (LP)
The band released two versions of the Just Look At Me Now limited single (supposedly sold
only at gigs, though persistent (read annoying) USA fans got copies via mail order), a few tracks on V/A
compilations, and an EP which accompanied a photobook-i - portraits of anarchists-featuring
six tracks. In December of 1996, the band left the One Little Indian label in a somewhat
acrimonious split over artistic license-One Little Indian insisted the band re-work
the sound of the emerging Tubthumper LP to conform more closely to "punk" formulas. The band
liked the way Tubthumper sounded, and the disagreement led to an eventual parting of ways
(just a few weeks after Chumbawamba left One Little Indian, the label dropped nearly
all their other bands in the midst of severe financial problems). Jude Abbot joined the
band in 1996. Chumbawamba played sixty-two gigs in 1996, appearing with, among others,
Levellers, Blameless, Done Lying Down, Smashing Pumpkins, Sonic Youth, Garbage, Afghan Whigs,
Filter, Marion, Iggy Pop, Shane McGowan, Cardiac, Right Said Fred, and The Men They Couldn't
Hang. The festival gig with Smashing Pumpkins was being recorded for German
television-Danbert Nobacon wrote the word "punk" on his chest, stripped naked, and walked
across the stage during the Smashing Pumpkins' set. Chumbawamba was banned from German
television for life-a ban that was conveniently forgotten several months later when the band
appeared on German television as the headline act, singing their international hit,
Tubthumping. The band was scheduled to play at the Essential Music Festival, but, as the
08-JUN-96 issue of Melody Maker put it, "Chumbawamba were cancelled to enormous cheers."
Also in 1996 and in reaction to anti-drug advertising which used a photograph of a dead
teenager, Chumbawamba launched their own poster campaign which replaced the word
'Sorted' with 'Distorted.'
Discography 1996: Just Look At Me Now (7"); Just Look at Me Now (CD); Better Read Than Dead (V/A CD); No Compromize (V/A CD); i - Portraits of Anarchists (CD)
Chumbawamba's year in the international spotlight came in 1997. The band released the
self-produced LP Tubthumper (total production cost, US$40,000)--the title track
inspired by a drunken lad singing out-of-key in front of Fforde Grene--which
was followed up with literally dozens of singles, most containing an assortment of Tubthumping
and Amnesia remixes
or live performances, many with multi-media CD-ROM extensions and additional tracks. For most
of the year it was impossible to leave a record store without seeing dozens of
Chumbawamba CDs prominently displayed. The Showbusiness! live album was also
repackaged and released in the USA as For a Free Humanity: For Anarchy, part of a 2-CD set
featuring Noam Chomsky on the second CD (however, The Excellent liner notes of the original
release were not included). The band released the Japan Only Mini Disc, featuring country
and western re-mixes of several songs. Most of Danbert Nobacon's solo material was repackaged
and re-released on a compilation CD. The band also remixed some Oysterband songs, which
appeared on various Oysterband releases. Also, in response to a Prodigy song,
Chumbawamba announced the release of a new single entitled "Smack My Keith Up";
the announcement was a media prank, and the song was never recorded. On the home-front,
the original communal house was now occupied only by Alice Nutter, while most band members
continued to live separately in Leeds. The Tubthumper LP itself received mixed reviews, and
the usual media recycling mill churned out story after story about the poor quality of the
band's past music ("clunky parodies [...] or strident rants") or simply attacking the
band members themselves ("these U.K. guttersnipes"). As sales mounted and airplay
increased, the reviews generally became more favorable ("This romance is starting to feel
like love.") and less informed ("if Chumbawamba were a breakfast cereal, they
would be: No-frills no-brand cornflakes"). Rolling Stone gave the album three stars,
and in a later article said "the members of Chumbawamba look less like a militant
organization than like a group of philosophy grad students." The 17-AUG-97 issue of
News Of The World, however, quoted Alice Nutter as saying, "We like it when cops get killed.
Nothing can change the fact that we like it when cops get killed. We mean that. You choose
sides, don't you?" Tubthumper contained numerous samples, the most commonly recognized being
the beginning and ending spoken pieces ("Truth is, I thought it mattered..." and "They can
knock out a bloody good tune..."), taken from the film "Brassed Off", and the "What about
free speech?" dialogue, taken from the UK sit-com "Rising Damp". The baby on the cover of
Tubthumper is, according to Dunstan Bruce, a metaphor of the Anarchy cover baby "[...] a
stage further [...] a year older [...] This is what he looks like now."
One of the more controversial events of 1997 was the signing to the EMI Germany label of
EMI Electrola-Chumbawamba had fingered EMI, years before, as the quintessential
corporate bad-guys. Many fans felt that Chumbawamba had sold them out[96,97], and
the "indie" music scene largely agreed-for example, an "Anti-Chumbawamba EP" was released in 1998,
attacking the band's signing decision. Chumbawamba vigorously defended their decision
to sign to a major label, both in print and on the airwaves. Subsequent to the EMI Germany
deal, the band signed with Republic and United in the USA, and then EMI U.K. in England.
The enormous success of the LP came as a shock to the band, and by the end of 1997, facing
ever-mounting sales figures, Dunstan Bruce would exclaim "I'm just wondering who's still
buying that fuckin' record!" The band performed eighty-three gigs in 1997, appearing
along with Babes In Toyland, Social Distortion, Ice-T, Ism, Pablo & Lawrie, Blyth Power,
The Specials, 311, L7, The Cardigans, Primus, Bad Religion, Levellers, Celine Dion, Fiona
Apple, Hanson, Savage Garden, Aerosmith, Wallflowers, Michael Bolton, Meredith Brooks, Sarah
McLaughlan, Duran Duran, and The Cure. Chumbawamba also appeared on numerous
television and radio shows, individual band members appeared on many other programs,
and Chumbawamba's music was featured in movies, and television and radio advertisements
Discography 1997: Tubthumping (Single CD); Tubthumper (LP); Amnesia (CD); Amnesia CD1 (CD); Amnesia CD2 (CD); For a Free Humanity: For Anarchy (CD); Japan Only Mini Album - Amnesia (CD); One Green Hill/Jam Tomorrow (12")
The spin-off releases of various Tubthumping and Amnesia singles continued throughout 1998,
though not at the pace set in 1997. The LP Tubthumper was also re-released in several
countries, generally in a "value-added" format featuring from one to five additional tracks.
Chumbawamba also released the Top Of The World single in various formats, the Drip,
Drip, Drip single (promotional only), and a few tracks on V/A compilations and movie
soundtracks. The record companies continued to play on Chumbawamba's negative
media image to sell records ("Chumbawamba has been gently terrorizing locals...").
The end of the year saw the release of Uneasy Listening-a compilation of past
Chumbawamba tracks (in 1998 this was only available packaged with the Tubthumper LP).
The song Tubthumping continued to receive considerable airplay, and was featured in several
spin-off products, most notably a dancing and singing children's gorilla doll. The song
Tubthumping was also featured on a USA politician's website, used without
permission-Chumbawamba responded by crashing the website on a regular basis, and
eventually the sample was removed. The song Tubthumping had become such an integral
part of popular culture that magazines such as Sports Illustrated would refer to the band and
its music without explanation-"That Chumbawamba attitude pervades these Olympics."
Alice Nutter was quoted as saying "We're now in this position we call Satan's cock. We keep being
offered Satan's cock, and it's up to us to bite it rather than suck it.
Chumbawamba played seventy-three gigs in 1998, including shows with A3 (Alabama 3),
LL Cool J, Savage Garden, Ray Charles, Faith No More, Run DMC, Beck, Squeeze, Sinead O'Connor,
Oysterband, Iggy Pop, Bjørk, Billy Bragg, Nanci Griffith, Los Lobos, Tracey Chapman, Shane
McGowan, The Jesus And Mary Chain, Green Day, Marion, The Verve, Nina Hagen, and New Model
Army. Danbert Nobacon played a few live shows, also, including at least one summer festival
which was bootlegged.
Discography 1998: Top Of The World (Single CD); Milkshake-A CD To Benefit The Harvey Milk Institute (V/A CD); Uneasy Listening (CD)
Towards the end of 1998 Paul Greco moved to Koln, Germany, and became involved in several
musical projects and collaborations there. By the end of 1999 he decided to leave
Chumbawamba and pursue his own musical goals; the split was friendly--in
early 2000 Neil Ferguson would join Chumbawamba as the new bass player. On April 10,
1999, Lou Watts and Harry Hamer became the parents of a daughter, Ivy Watts--the first of
several children born to band members over the next few years. During the year, work started
in earnest on the next LP, tentatively entitled WYSIWYG, and a joint single, Chumbawamba
as interpreted by Negativland, was released. Just in time for Christmas, 1999, the
not-for-sale CD Single Tony Blair was sent, free of charge, to fans on the UK mailing list.
The single's lyrics generated a fair amount of controversy because many saw the band continuing
along a non-political trend. Alice Nutter regularly appeared on political radio shows during
the year, and Chumbawamba sponsored the Wetherby Athletic Under 14's
footie team (anarchy, football, and Rock & Roll)--unfortunately, after
a brilliant start, the Wetherby Athletic Under 14's didn't have a stellar season. Finally,
the band became active in the Free Mumia Abu Jamal! movement, and held some gigs, rallies,
Discography 1999: The ABCs of Anarchism (Single CD; with Negativland); Tony Blair (CD Single)
Several weeks before it was released, the tracks from WYSIWYG were converted to .MP3 and anonymously uploaded to
USENET (Boff suspects Universal was trying to get some advance publicity). The track
Passenger List of Doomed Flight #1721 generated a fair amount of publicity, but was not included on the
final LP lineup, instead being released on singles. Also during the year, several alternate
versions of the track Pass It Along were recorded, in anticipation of another single release. The single was
never released, so the tracks were posted to www.chumba.com
for free download. Additionally, a few hard-to-find tracks from previous years were also made available for
free download, including one anti-Chumbawamba song by Oi Polloi. One of the
Pass It Along mixes, the so-called "MP3 Mix", made with the assistance of Negativland, included liberal samples from Madonna, Eminem, Dr. Dre, and
Metallica. Metallica's Lars Ulrich, trying to eke another nickle out of his public, loudly
complained about Internet piracy and file sharing in general, thus earning Metallica's spot of dishonor in the
controversial mix. The band continued to tour throughout 2000, though not as frequently as in years past.
Also, various band members were not present at various gigs, as they stayed at home being parents to their
infants (it's nice to see at least one band with their priorities straight). Finally, some copies of the obscure
1986 Antidote single, One Does Not Sell The Earth Upon Which The People Walk, became available through
various channels, and .MP3s, etc., were made and widely distributed.
Discography 2000: She's Got All The Friends That Money Can Buy (Single CD); WYSIWYG (CD); Enough Is Enough (Kick It Over) (CD)
Section 2 - Information About Chumbawamba
Part 2A - What Does "Chumbawamba" Mean?
The band has fairly consistently answered this question in one of two ways: 1) It means
nothing--it's gibberish; or 2) Danbert Nobacon dreamed he was trying to use a public restroom,
only instead of "Women" and "Men" the two rooms were labeled "Chumba" and "Wamba" and he
didn't know what to do. These two responses are not incompatible, and Danbert Nobacon is
generally credited with inventing the name. Various other (probably incorrect) speculations
include the following:
- It's a perversion of Danbert Nobacon's and Boff's first band's name, Chimp Eats Banana.
- It's Swahili for "Piss Off" (or some other word or phrase in some other language).
- It's a name meant to mimic the internal rhyme of other famous bands, like Oi Polloi, Scritti Politti, Bananarama, etc. It does have a certain rhythm that is fun to say, which certainly hasn't hurt the band's popularity. Time magazine estimated that the band's name alone should ensure at least 1.8 hits.
- It was generated from "endless toying with the primal children's computer game 'Speak and Spell'."
- The band "once heard someone singing it and [they] thought it was weird and strange", so they adopted the name.
- Boff said, "It's the chimpanzee hitting the typewriter keys and trying to write Shakespeare."
- In the early days, Boff blindfolded Danbert Nobacon and put him in front of a typewriter. Danbert banged away for a minute and out came C-H-U-M-B-A-W-A-M-B-A.
Part 2B - Which Chumbawamba album is the best?
This obviously will depend upon musical tastes--with that in mind:
* Their best-selling album is certainly 1997's Tubthumper, distantly followed by WYSIWYG and Anarchy.
* A 1997 straw poll conducted on the Chumbawamba mailing list (email@example.com) gave these results to the question "what's your favorite Chumbawamba album?" (60 votes were counted) 37% - Anarchy; 27% - Shhh; 17% - Pictures of Starving Children. Tubthumper scored about 6% of the votes, tying with Jesus H. Christ and Showbusiness!
* The Virgin Encyclopedia of Indie & New Wave rates them like this: Pictures of Starving Children Sell Records ****; Never Mind The Ballots ****; English Rebel Songs ***; Slap! ***; Showbusiness! **; Swingin' With Raymond ***; Tubthumper ****.
* For a quick introduction to the entire range of Chumbawamba styles the best bets are Uneasy Listening and Showbusiness!
* Pictures of Starving Children Sell Records - Starvation, Charity, and Rock & Roll, Lies and Traditions, released in 1986, was Chumbawamba's first LP. It was a concept album-an attack on the then-current "live aid" spectacle-featuring loud guitars, beautiful melodies, shouting, and modified folk songs. The album had been previously worked and nearly finished when the "live aid" situation came into the international spotlight. Chumbawamba hastily reworked the lyrics and some music to attack the capitalized spectacle of rock 'n' roll charity for starving children. The album features the magnificent track More Whitewashing, which moves along on a bouncy bass/drum and is the culmination of what Chumbawamba were loved for in the middle 80s.
* Never Mind The Ballots, Here's To The Rest Of Your Life, released in 1987, was
Chumbawamba's second "concept" album, and found the band focusing on the
pointlessness of voting and participation in the established political processes.
* English Rebel Songs 1381 - 1914, released in 1988, was a stark musical departure for punkish Chumbawamba. Musically very minimal, the album is almost entirely a cappella, with a few tracks featuring a timekeeping drumbeat or the repetitive background noise of the factory floor. The songs are actual folk rebel songs from English history. Somehow, most of the punk scene was able to accept this offbeat offering and until the advent of Slap!, Chumbawamba continued to be viewed as a punk band. Band members have sometimes commented that the songs should have been done better, but nevertheless it remains one of the most interesting chapters in the band's long and varied musical history. The tracks The Diggers Song, Poverty Knock, Idris Strike Song, and Hanging On The Old Barbed Wire are particularly strong, and Danbert Nobacon offers a great rendition of World Turned Upside Down.
* Slap!, released in 1990, forever changed the way that Chumbawamba would be perceived as a band. Maximum Rock N Roll refused to review the album, saying that Chumbawamba had gone disco, and numerous punk fans declared the band "sell-outs" and tuned out forever. Not everyone agreed-the German music press hailed Slap! as "album of the year", and said it had all-trumpets, funky bass lines, and the groove. In retrospect it is clear that this album, more than any other, was to redefine the entire future sound of the band. Many of the songs featured on Slap! sound particularly good when performed live-hence Ulrike, I Never Gave Up, and That's How Grateful We Are (originally known as Hungary) have always been live favorites. The track I Never Gave Up would be re-worked in 1993 and re-released in a few mixes on a 12" single. Generally not very well known, even by many Chumbawamba fans, the LP sounds somewhat dated today, but still finds frequent play on "old-time" fans' machines.
* Jesus H. Christ, never officially released, was completed in c. 1991, and eventually showed up as a vinyl-only offering for a brief period of time. Highly sought after by fans, tape and even CD-R copies have become rather widespread while vinyl copies retain the reputation as the Holy Grail of Chumbawamba collecting. The album sounds like a rough Shhh, which is not surprising. It has minimal packaging-a glossy black on white single-wrap sleeve with newsprintesque art, and no inner sleeve or notes, catalog number Tragic Flop 001.
* Shhh is the reborn remains of the aborted Jesus H. Christ LP; as such, most of the material was worked over twice and the entire LP is incredibly smooth and well-put-together. The track snip snip snip was inspired by a group of 18th century coin clippers and 20th century forgers; while look! no strings! was inspired by a visit to an American Christian Book Super Store, featuring, among others, Meta Battle's photograph of cloud formations, apparently resembling Jesus Christ; the Harry Roberts of the LP is, historically, a well known cop killer. The liner notes include reproductions of a few letters refusing rights for sample use-the reason Jesus H. Christ was ultimately cancelled. The LP ends with stitch that!-an instant and enduring favorite song, which is particularly strong when played live. Shhh, after Tubthumper, has probably received the most publicity from the record label company (released on Southern in the USA), and during the hoopla surrounding Tubthumper was often the only "other" Chumbawamba release available in large chain stores.
* Anarchy, released in 1994, produced the band's first hit singles-Enough Is Enough and Timebomb. Anarchy is very pop oriented, and includes several tracks featuring MC Fusion (Matty Hanson of Credit To The Nation) on vocals. It remains many fans' favorite Chumbawamba LP, and certainly contains many of the band's strongest pop songs; even five years and more after its release the album is strong, current, and effective. The track Enough Is Enough has been included on a few anthologies (mostly "best of rap" anthologies), and, after Tubthumper and Amnesia, is probably the band's most widely circulated song.
* Showbusiness!, released in 1995, is their second live release (the first on vinyl), and features a good selection of the band's standard live catalog, interspersed with snippets of then-current media events and audience sounds ("When was the very first time you saw Chumbawamba?" "In my dreams!"). The "show" was actually recorded over two nights and then touched up with some studio work. Fans who like live albums love Showbusiness! and fans who don't like live albums still like Showbusiness! Chumbawamba is undeniably a great live band, and all of their pre-Tubthumper energy and attitude shines through on this LP. The show was released in two formats-a single disc entitled Showbusiness! which was accompanied by extensive and excellent liner notes covering the band's history, and as a double disc set entitled For A Free Humanity: For Anarchy (the second disc featured talks by Noam Chomsky), featuring a different set of less-extensive liner notes. Rumor has it that two of the kids on the cover of Showbusiness! are Mavis Dillon and Harry Hamer. From the opening Never Do through the raunchy Dog to the closing Slag Aid, the performance never lags. For a short while, this album was available from www.Amazon.COM for 18 cents, instead of 18 dollars. Needless to say, they went quick and were not restocked at the bargain price! Thanks Amazon!
* Swingin' With Raymond, released in 1995, was divided into two parts, Love It and Hate It, and was presumably meant to finally separate two distinct musical influences into their constituent parts. Considered by many fans to be the band's weakest album, it has also been vituperated by band members and music critics alike. However, the drums and bass were live studio recording, and the entire album has a gritty, energetic quality that was notably lacking on the slickly produced Tubthumper. Musically difficult to address because of its dual nature it is not uncommon to find fans that only listen to "half the album", which in one sense can be seen as a success. It features the most "punky" Chumbawamba album songs since 1987's Never Mind The Ballots, as well as the strong tracks This Girl, Just Look At Me Now, This Dress Kills, and Ugh! Your Ugly Houses! The album also features the somewhat controversial anti-police track Oxymoron. The track All Mixed Up opens with a 'backmasked' sample. The album also suffered from a marked lack of enthusiasm surrounding the marketing and promotion phase, due to difficulties with the One Little Indian label, and will probably always remain Chumbawamba's least played and most consistently under-rated LP. The album was named after Raymond Mills, Mavis Dillon's father, "because it was split into love and hate sides and Raymond happened to have love and hate tattooed on his knuckles."
* i - portraits of anarchists, released in 1996, is an EP only available bundled with a book of the same name, featuring photographs of anarchists by Casey Orr. This limited pressing was somewhat hard to find, available for a short period of time, and fairly pricey due to the bundled book. As a result many fans are unfamiliar with the six tracks on this EP which are reminiscent of the Love It tracks on 1995's Swingin' With Raymond; all slow vocals (Lou) over piano and "nice" music. The EP starts with perhaps the most interesting of all Chumbawamba introductions-the sound of a reel-to-reel tape recorder being switched on, and the wind-up-to-speed of the music starting.
* Tubthumper, released in Europe by EMI in 1997, is Chumbawamba's best-selling and most-reviewed LP. This album was released in various formats around the world, with most original releases containing the standard twelve tracks, and many of the re-issues containing one to five bonus tracks. The album tracks Tubthumping and Amnesia were later included on scores of "best-of" and "dance hits" compilation albums, in addition to being released in dozens of re-mixed versions on several Chumbawamba singles. In the USA, the album was released by Universal/Republic, and was censored (expletives bleeped out, and liner notes extensively edited) with the band's approval. This allowed the album to be carried by nationwide "family" stores, such as Wal-Mart, but engendered a fair amount of criticism by long-time fans. Those interested could send away a request for the complete liner notes, which was delivered via USPS on printed yellow 5.5" x 8.5" paper. Many fans felt the album's politics were too watered-down, but the general public went on a Chumbawamba feeding frenzy, snatching up over three million copies of the album. In a way, this was Chumbawamba's most and least controversial release-their first release on a major label and their first platinum album (Tubthumper was released in the USA on 23-SEP-97, certified Gold on 24-OCT-97, Platinum on 11-NOV-97, Double Platinum on 16-DEC-97, and Triple Platinum of 23-FEB-98), the release launched the band onto the international rock-star stage and exposed their music and politics to millions. However, many long-time "do-it-yourself" fans and "indie" shops couldn't stomach the EMI signing, and dropped Chumbawamba like a hot potato, then extensively lambasted the band in the 'zines and on-line.
* Japan Only Mini Album - Amnesia, released in 1997, is an EP featuring several acoustic versions and several "Country & Western" versions of previously released Chumbawamba material. Highly entertaining the first several times through, it eventually loses its listenability as the novelty wears off. As the release's title indicates, this EP was released only in Japan, and the hefty price tag kept most fans outside of Japan from picking up a copy of this somewhat uncommon release.
* Uneasy Listening, released at the end of 1998, is a compilation album featuring nineteen "old" Chumbawamba tracks and one previously unreleased track. The track Smash Clause 29!, previously released as Smash Clause 28!, was actually taken from an existing 7" vinyl copy, as the master tapes were lost (the track was taken from vinyl, then aurally excited and compressed, "hopefully enhancing your listening pleasure"). The previously unreleased track We Don't Go To God's House Anymore was inspired by Alabama 3's (A3) We Don't Dance To Techno Anymore. Chumbawamba and Alabama 3 toured the USA together in 1997, and the bands got along well-the song was re-written "with an anti-Mormon slant" by Boff and Alabama 3's Larry Love in a bar in Minneapolis on St. Patrick's night. The graphic on the Uneasy Listening CD itself shows a CD being thrown from a window-this is from the last cell in a cartoon strip called "Zits", in which a parent and child find they both like "the same music" (i.e., Chumbawamba's Tubthumping), and forthwith throw the CD out of the window.
Part 2C - What other sources of information are there about Chumbawamba?
Most Chumbawamba albums and many Chumbawamba singles included extensive liner
notes that contained huge amounts of information, though much of it is difficult to extract
and correlate (most liner notes are available on-line at
http://members.xoom.com/Chumbawamba/main.html). The best liner-notes for information about
the band are unquestionably the notes accompanying the Showbusiness! live CD (the single disc
release--the double CD joint release with Noam Chomsky also has valuable information, but it's
not nearly as extensive).
Probably the over-all best interview (to date) with the band was conducted by Martin Sprouse and was printed in Maximum Rock 'N' Roll's February 1991 issue (the interview has been extensively reproduced, in whole or in part, in various 'zines). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Indie & New Wave has an article on the band. A good but critical and fairly in-depth discussion of the controversy surrounding the band's decision to sign to EMI Electrola is, "Dialectical immaterialism; Have Chumbawamba sold out or bought in?", by Douglas Wolk, which appears on-line. For another way of interpreting the situation, check out "Will Success Spoil Chumbawamba?", by Peter Werbe, which also appears on-line.
Online resources include the band's own home page (http://www.chumba.com), particularly interesting are Danbert Nobacon's reviews of past Chumbawamba concerts; the Showbusiness! The Chumbawamba Fan Page (http://www.koeln-bonn.net/chumba/); and the Chumbawamba mailing list (firstname.lastname@example.org). The band also occasionally participates in on-line chats (which, generally, are catalogued and placed in on-line archives). The Chumbawamba Webring (start at http://www.oocities.com/TheTropics/Cabana/7272/cwebring.html) contains several sites devoted (at least in part) to Chumbawamba. The lyrics to most Chumbawamba songs can be found online at http://www.oocities.com/SunsetStrip/Basement/8448/index.html.
Mark Swatek's excellent discussion and retrospective of the whirlwind 1997 year can be found at Showbusiness! The Chumbawamba Fan Page (http://www.koeln-bonn.net/chumba/1997.html).
After the huge commercial success of Tubthumper, the band's various labels (EMI, Republic/United) released numerous press releases that were widely reproduced on-line. While making nice sound bites and containing more or less accurate information, these press releases shouldn't be considered the final word on issues of accuracy for events before mid-1997. Finally, Chumbawamba and its members very much enjoy telling tall tales to the media and some of what you read or hear about the band is best taken with a grain of salt.
Part 2D - What's this about a vegetarian dog?
In the 1980s the band's communal house was also home to several cats and dogs. The longest-term animal companion was probably a dog, named Derek (AKA Derek Dog, Derek Dogg, or Derek the dog). Derek was rumored to have been (force?) fed on steamed carrots and other vegetables, and VH1's "Pop-up Video" version of Tubthumping said that Derek vomited a lot of tofu. The vegetarian diet, while not recommended for dogs, apparently didn't hurt Derek's great singing voice, and he is credited on a couple Chumbawamba releases, notably performing "Bark, Muzzle and Chain" on Pictures Of Starving Children, and performing "Woof" on Slap! Legend has it that Derek is an ex-police dog-in fact, the dog that bit the coppers and became the subject for Chase PCs Flee Attack By Own Dog on Slap! (it's probably just a legend). Other dogs performing with Chumbawamba include Brandy, featured on the sleeve of Swingin' With Raymond, Anarchy's Bad Dog, the poodle on the sleeve of She's Got All The Friends That Money Can Buy, and the dogs on the sleeve of WYSIWYG.
Part 2E - Who is...?
- Alabama 3 - A "techno-country" band which toured the USA with Chumbawamba during 1997. The bands apparently got along together very well, and band members from one band would frequently appear on-stage with the other band during the tour. This association resulted in the Chumbawamba track We Don't Go To God's House Any More, on Uneasy Listening, which is a partial re-write of the Alabama 3 song We Don't Dance To Techno Any More. AKA A3.
- Antidote - A band composed of various members of Chumbawamba and The Ex for the 1986 release of the Destroy Facism 7". A "bootleg" Antidote 7" is also rumored to exist.
- Baader Meinhof - Frequently listed on the 'sleeve design' credits, Baader Meinhof is a sort of pseudonym for band members (probably including Boff)-the names are taken from Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof, two well known West German political activists.
- Bacon, Bert - Danbert Nobacon was listed as 'Bert Bacon' on the 1992 release Shhh.
- Bruce, Lenny - American comedian who found favor with Chumbawamba but was considered to be "foul mouthed" by polite society, Lenny is the subject of the Chumbawamba track Big Mouth Strikes Again.
- Carson - Danbert Nobacon's and Laura's son, born 16-JAN-00.
- Chomsky, Noam - A well known and generally respected academic who writes and speaks on various aspects of socialism (some consider him an anarchist, though he doesn't call himself one), Chomsky released a set of public speaking recordings as part of a double CD including a Chumbawamba live performance.
- Commonknowledge, Simon - a member of the band Chumbawamba from 1985 - 1995.
- Credit To The Nation - An English pop/dance band. Credit To The Nation were frequent collaborators with Chumbawamba, and the two bands have toured together extensively. In the period in which the two bands were associated Credit To The Nation consisted of, apparently, only Matty Hanson (better known to Chumbawamba fans as MC Fusion). The two bands released one joint single, Enough Is Enough, and Matty Hanson performs vocals on several other Chumbawamba releases. The musical influence Credit To The Nation had on Chumbawamba was substantial, and most evident on Chumbawamba's Enough Is Enough era material.
- Derek Dog - Chumbawamba's pet dog through the 1980s (see section 2D).
- Diane - an early member of the band Chumbawamba, Diane left the band c. 1984.
- Dillon, Mavis - a member of the band Chumbawamba from 1984 - 1995, Dillon generally played trumpet and while a band member was known by a dizzying number of names.
- Dr. Quantize - the team responsible for digitally remastering/remixing some Chumbawamba material, probably composed of Harry Hamer and Boff, possibly with Lou Watts. AKA The Dr. Quantize Clinic.
- Echo, Jimmy - Harry Hamer's father, Echo has appeared on various Chumbawamba releases from 1994 onwards.
- Greco, Paul - a member of the band Chumbawamba from 1992 - 1999.
- Hanson, Matty (AKA Matthew David Hanson, MC Fusion, Fusion) - Vocalist in the band Credit To The Nation, Hanson appears as guest vocalist on several Chumbawamba releases.
- Heseltine, Michael - A conservative political figure who has held several high governmental positions and was the subject of the Chumbawamba song Mr. Heseltine, which appeared on Never Mind The Ballots.
- Jarman, Derek - English film directory who died of AIDS, also promoted AIDS awareness and gave his name to the title of one Chumbawamba track, Song for Derek Jarman.
- Laan, Cobie - a member of the band Chumbawamba from 1988 - 1991. Laan acted as the band's sound engineer on at least one tour (probably her usual role), and was also a member of the band The Ex from August 1979 through January 1988, when she was known as Coby.
- Lanzon, Simon - narrated one of the Let It Be tracks (released under the band name Scab Aid), and later was a member of Credit To The Nation.
- Mae Rose - Alice Nutter's and Keir Milburn's daughter, born 20-JAN-00.
- Meinhof, Ulrike - well-known 'left-wing' writer and political activist, Meinhof is the subject of the Chumbawamba songs Ulrike and Meinhof, which appeared on Slap!, and donated a name to the design team of Baader Meinhof.
- Midge - a founding member of the band Chumbawamba, Midge left the band c. 1985.
- Milburn, Keir - Alice Nutter's significant other from c. 1993 onwards, Milburn is also a frequent spokesperson for Chumbawamba, replies to mail and e-mail sent to the band, provides some band interviews, handles mail orders, etc. An all-around good guy.
- Mills, Raymond - Mavis Dillon's father, he donated his name to the Swingin' With Raymond LP.
- Negativland - a USA band whose primary source of music is re-mixing so-called "found sound" to produce original work. Negativland has used several Chumbawamba samples, and the two bands collaborated for the 1999 release The ABCs of Anarchism.
- Orr, Casey - Boff's wife since c. 1995, Orr is a professional photographer whose work is widespread and has appeared on the covers of a few Chumbawamba albums and in some band press releases. Her work is probably most familiar to Chumbawamba fans through the book/CD release "i - portraits of anarchists".
- Passion Killers - Mavis Dillon and Harry Hamer's band before they joined Chumbawamba. Eventually the two bands merged (c. 1984) through continued collaboration and association. Passion Killers was briefly reunited for the 1991 release of the Whoopee! We're All Going To Die 7".
- Roberts, Harry - A well-known cop killer who donated his name for use on the Shhh track Happiness Is Just A Chant Away.
- Sally - Mavis Dillon's and Cobie Laan's daughter, Sally was brought up for several years in Chumbawamba's communal house.
- Scab Aid - A Chumbawamba pseudonym used for the 1982 release of the Let It Be single, which turned into a well publicized media prank.
- Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence - The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Inc., have advocated for social change through good-spirited political action and community education. Although founded in 1979 as an Order of gay male nuns, the Sisters today are gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered men and women. Members of The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence appeared on Chumbawamba's Homophobia single.
- Skin Disease - A Chumbawamba pseudonym used for a 1982 release of I'm Thick, a track poking fun at Oi music.
- Skull, Sally - Pen name of Alice Nutter.
- Sportchestra - A Chumbawamba pseudonym used for the 1988 release of the double LP 101 Songs About Sport.
- Stella - Danbert Nobacon's and Laura's daughter, born 16-JAN-00.
- The Ex - A dutch anarcho-collective band, active in what has changed from 'punk' to 'free jazz'. The Ex were frequent early collaborators with Chumbawamba, and the two bands toured together extensively. In the period in which the two bands were associated The Ex consisted of Luc, Kat, Terrie, G.W. Sok, John, Dolf, and Coby. Dolf probably organized several Chumbawamba European tours, and Coby is Cobie Laan, later of Chumbawamba. Members of Chumbawamba and The Ex released one 7" under the band name Antidote. The musical influence The Ex had on Chumbawamba was extensive, and probably most evident on Chumbawamba's Smash Clause 28!/Fight The Alton Bill single.
- The Middle - A Chumbawamba pseudonym used for a 1985 media prank.
- Watts, Ivy - Lou Watts' and Harry Hamer's daughter, born 10-APR-99.
Part 2F - Discography (brief)
1986 Pictures of Starving Children Sell Records
1987 Never Mind the Ballots
1995 Showbusiness! (live)
1995 Swingin' With Raymond
1998 Uneasy Listening (compilation)
1988 English Rebel Songs
1996 i - Portraits of Anarchists (bundled with photobook)
1997 Japan Only Mini Album - Amnesia
1986 Rich Pop Stars Make Good Socialists (flexi)
1988 Smash Clause 28!/Fight the Alton Bill
1992 I Never Gave Up
1993 Enough Is Enough
1994 Criminal Injustice
1995 Ugh! Your Ugly Houses
1996 Just Look at Me Now
1997 Tubthumping (various formats)
1997 Amnesia (various formats)
1997 Amnesia CD1
1997 Amnesia CD2
1998 Top of the World (various formats)
1999 The ABCs of Anarchism (with Negativland)
1999 Tony Blair
2000 She's Got All The Friends That Money Can Buy
2000 Enough Is Enough (Kick It Over)
Chumbawamba was also had original tracks appear on the following V/A compilations (duplicate tracks, re-mixed tracks, or anthology compilations are not included):
1982 Bullshit Detector 2 (V/A LP)
1985 Dig This: A Tribute To The Great Strike (V/A LP)
1986 We Are The World? (V/A 7")
1987 A Vile Peace (V/A LP)
1988 The A.L.F. is Watching (V/A LP)
1989 Pox Upon the Poll Tax (V/A LP)
1990 Wild and Crazy Noise Merchants (V/A LP)
1990 Fuck EMI (V/A LP)
1991 A Tribute to Phil Collins (V/A LP)
1991 Where Are They Now File (V/A EP)
1991 Greatest Hits (V/A EP)
1994 Gay Pride (V/A 7")
1996 No Compromize (V/A CD)
1998 Milkshake-A CD To Benefit The Harvey Milk Institute (V/A CD)
Chumbawamba or members of the band have also released material under different band names, including:
1982 Back on the Streets (V/A EP) (as Skin Disease)
1986 Destroy Facism! (7") (as Antidote)
1987 Let It Be (7") (as Scab Aid)
1988 101 Songs About Sport (Double LP) (as Sportchestra)
1991 Whoopee! We're All Going To Die! (7") (as Passion Killers)
1997 One Green Hill/Jam Tomorrow (12") (Oysterband remixed by members of Chumbawamba)
Danbert Nobacon has released these solo projects, some featuring musical assistance by other members of Chumbawamba:
1985 The Unfairy Tale (LP)
1987 Bigger Than Jesus (7")
1989 Why Are We Still In Ireland? (7")
1989 Knee Deep In Shit (V/A LP)
1990 Fuck EMI (V/A LP)
Finally, although never officially released, the Jesus H. Christ LP did eventually show up on vinyl in some dodgy shops for a few months in 1992. Also in 1992, Chumbawamba performed a live broadcast on Radio 5, which was widely bootlegged, and recorded a John Peel session (four unreleased tracks) which has also been circulated. In 1997 - 1998, Chumbawamba performed a wide number of live shows which were broadcast on television or radio, and many of these have been widely bootlegged.
Harry and Lou have one daughter, Ivy Watts, born 10-APR-99.
Danbert is married to Laura an American, and they have twins; one daughter, Stella, and one son, Carson, born 16-JAN-00 (on Danbert's birthday).
Boff is married to Casey Orr, an American.
Alice and Keir Milburn are in a long-term relationship, and they have one daughter, Mae Rose, born 20-JAN-00.
Other band members (Jude, and Dunstan) are also in long-term relationships.
Mavis Dillon and Cobie Laan have at least two daughters, and one, Sally, was born while they were members of Chumbawamba.
Milburn wrote, "Their lives in Leeds are pretty ordinary, there's nothing much to tell. The only difference between their lives now compared to before 'Tubthumping' is that some people are buying homes, whereas they used to live in rented houses".
Section 3 - FAQ Information
Part 3A - FAQ Contributors
Part 3B - Meta-FAQ
The Chumbawamba FAQ is a fan's assessment of the music and history of the band
Chumbawamba. The archival FAQ is written and maintained by Clark B. Timmins;
please send corrections, comments, or suggestions to email@example.com; no part of this
FAQ may be used for any commercial or governmental purpose.
This FAQ is N© 1999, 2000 by Clark B. Timmins.
* Initial pass
* Revised/corrected to reflect suggestions by members of firstname.lastname@example.org
* Revised/Additions through 08-FEB-99
* Additions (minor) through 17-FEB-99
* Additions through 03-MAR-99
* Converted to HTML for publication on the World Wide Web, 13-APR-99
* Published to the World Wide Web, 19-APR-99
* Additions (minor) through 20-APR-99
* Additions (minor) through 12-MAY-99
* Corrected typos and punctuation 22-DEC-99
* Additions through 30-MAR-00
* Additions (minor) through 21-APR-00, conversion to style sheet, HTML fixups
* Changed to black on white and bumped point size of type so old farts like Luther would stop complaining
 Sprouse, Martin. "Chumbawamba Interview" Maximum Rock N Roll 01-FEB-91: 66-77.
 Nutter, Alice. "I Didn't Mean to End Up Shouting for a Living/These Things Happen/I Don't Know Why." Showbusiness! The Chumbawamba Fan Page. http://www.koeln-bonn.net/chumba/start.html (13-SEP-98).
 Bullshit Detector 2. Phonodisc. Crass Records, 221984, 1984.
 Showbusiness! Phonodisc. One Little Indian, TPLP56, 1995.
 "Chumbawamba." Flip Side Mar. 1985 (date uncertain-issue #45): 36-37.
 Revolution. Phonodisc. Agit-Prop, AGIT 1, 1985.
 We Are The World? Phonodisc. Agit-Matter Records, AGIT 2, 1986.
 Pictures of Starving Children Sell Records. Phonodisc. Agit-Prop, PROP 1, 1986.
 Never Mind the Ballots. Phonodisc. Agit-Prop, PROP 2, 1987.
 Smash Clause 28!/Fight the Alton Bill. Phonodisc. Agit-Prop, AGIT 3, 1988.
 English Rebel Songs. Phonodisc. Agit-Prop, PROP 3, 1988.
 Slap! Phonodisc. Agit-Prop, PROP 7, 1990.
 Shhh. Phonodisc. Agit-Prop, PROP 11, 1992.
 Leigh, Bill. "Bass Gets Knocked Down (But It Gets Up Again)." Bass Player Online 01-MAR-98 http://www.bassplayer.com/9803/chumba.htm (08-FEB-99).
 Kleinert, Michael. "Re: [CW] Just who is this Chumbawamba?", email@example.com (30-OCT-98).
 Anarchy. Phonodisc. One Little Indian, TPLP45, 1994.
 Swingin' With Raymond. Phonodisc. One Little Indian, TPLP66, 1995.
 Tubthumper. Phonodisc. EMI, 7243 8 59455 2 6, 1997.
 Amnesia. Phonodisc. EMI, 7243 8 84801 2 3, 1997.
 Nutter, Alice. "Re: Inquiry re: 'the facts' (ha!)." Personal e-mail (10-NOV-98).
 Nobacon, Danbert. "Excerpts From The Archives: Gig Number 26." 27-NOV-98 http://www.chumba.com/_stuff.htm (02-DEC-98).
 Another Year of the Same Old Shit. Sky & Trees, demo, 1984.
 Crisafulli, Chuck. "wanna buy a revolution? the strange success of everyday anarchists Chumbawamba." Option 01-APR-98 p56(4).
 Jenny ("Comp FA") "Re: [CW] Biographies -- Need Help!" Personal E-Mail, 03-FEB-99.
 "Tubthumpers: Pop's Chumbawamba Goes From Rags To Riches." People Weekly 16-MAR-98: 85.
 Rowsell, Martin. "The Rough Guide To Rock: Chumbawamba." 01-AUG-96 http://www-2.roughguides.com/rock/entries/entries-c/Chumbawamba.html (21-SEP-98).
 "NO SOH 1984 Interview." Showbusiness! The Chumbawamba Fan page. http://www.koeln-bonn.net/chumba/int12.html (13-SEP-98).
 Forman, Bill. "Situationist Comedy." 01-NOV-97 Showbusiness! The Chumbawamba Fan page. http://www.koeln-bonn.net/chumba/pulse_article.html (13-SEP-98).
 "Tubthumpers: pop's Chumbawamba goes from rage to riches." People Weekly 16-MAR-98 v49 n10 p85(1).
 Boff. "boff Chumbawamba." Personal e-mail (20-AUG-98).
 Ewing, Jon. "Chumbawamba." 01-JUN-95 http://www.vigilante.co.uk/ep/features/chumba.htm (14-SEP-98).
 "Durruti, Buenaventura." (mark) "Re: Re: [CW] movies." firstname.lastname@example.org 12-JAN-99.
 The Unfairy Tale. Phonodisc. Rugger Bugger Discs, SEEP016CD, 1997.
 "Feature Of The Week." MTV News Gallery. http://www.mtv.com/news/gallery/c/chumbafeature1.html (19-SEP-98).
 Boff. "Chumbawamba lyrics." Personal e-mail (20-AUG-98).
 "Chumbawamba Transcript." backCHAT. 29-JAN-98. http://www.chat.beeb.com/chat/transcripts/980129_chumba/t980129_chumba.html (03-DEC-98).
 Jenny (comp fa) "Alice 'n' Sex." Personal e-mail,10-FEB-99.
 "Chumbawamba Transcript." backCHAT. 29-JAN-98. http://www.chat.beeb.com/chat/transcripts/980129_chumba/t980129_chumba2.html (03-DEC-98).
 "Harry Hamer - Chumbawamba - Interview." 22-MAR-98 http://www.electronicmusic.com/features/interview/harryhamer.html (14-SEP-98).
 Sismey, Tim. "Retroactive Babbage Interview" Showbusiness! The Chumbawamba Fan page. http://www.koeln-bonn.net/chumba/int5.html (13-SEP-98).
 "Agitpop is back at the brits." BBC News Online: UK. 10-FEB-98. http://news.bbc.co.uk/low/english/uk/newsid_55000/55279.stm (10-NOV-98).
 "Chumbawamba Singer's Skirt Lands Him In Jail." MTV News Gallery. 02-DEC-97 http://www.mtv.com/news/gallery/c/Chumbawamba971202.html (19-SEP-98).
 "The Verve, All Saints Hit The Brits, Chumbawamba All Wet." MTV News Gallery. 10-FEB-98 http://www.mtv.com/news/gallery/c/Chumbawamba980210.html (19-SEP-98).
 "Chumbawamba Gets Wet Wet Wet." MTV News Gallery. 11-FEB-98 http://www.mtv.com/news/gallery/c/Chumbawamba980211.html (19-SEP-98).
 Tilton, Ian. "Pedigree Chumb." Melody Maker 11-SEP-93 p35(2).
 Mediaclast, Shawn. "Never Do What You Are Told: An Interview with Chumbawamba's Alice Nutter." http://www.efn.org/~eleg_sci/alicenutter.html (08-FEB-99).
 "Chumbawamba's Nutter Says She Doesn't Care If You Steal." MTV News Gallery. 26-JAN-98 http://www.mtv.com/news/gallery/c/Chumbawamba980126.html (19-SEP-98).
 "Virgin Pulls 'Tubthumping' After Nutter Urges: Steal This Album." MTV News Gallery. 23-JAN-98 http://www.mtv.com/news/gallery/c/Chumbawamba980123.html (19-SEP-98).
 "And they get held up again." Time 02-FEB-98 v151 n4 p79(1).
 Nutter, Alice. "[CW] her eye popped out and an alien leapt out the socket", email@example.com (30-JUL-98).
 "Chumbawamba's Nutter Gets Roughed Up On Tour." MTV News Gallery. 29-JUL-98 http://www.mtv.com/news/gallery/c/Chumbawamba980729.html (19-SEP-98).
 Brunner, Rob. "Hear And Now This Week on the music beat." Entertainment Weekly 14-AUG-98 n33 p79(1).
 Millington, Peter. "Alice Nutter of Chumbawamba." The Progressive 01-JUN-98 v62 n6 p32(2).
 Nutter, Alice. "Girl Power? What a shower!" http://flag.blackened.net/revolt/ws/ws51_spice.html (14-SEP-98).
 Nutter, Alice. "on top of sex." Northern Star. 19-MAR-92: 17(1).
 Nutter, Alice. "on top of sex." Northern Star. 30-JAN-92: 21(1).
 Swatek, Mark. "Re: [CW] Biographies - Need Help!", firstname.lastname@example.org (01-FEB-99).
 Burkill, Sean. "No More Preachers." Northern Star. 25-JUL-92: 9(1).
 "SonicNet Chat Transcript." 22-OCT-97 http://egsmith.hypermart.net/cw/cw-chat.html (08-FEB-99).
 Nutter, Alice. "I DIDN'T MEAN TO END UP SHOUTING FOR A LIVING/THESE THINGS HAPPEN/I DON'T KNOW WHY." Showbusiness! The Chumbawamba Fan Page. http://www.koeln-bonn.net/chumba/start.html (13-SEP-98).
 Nobacon, Danbert. "Gigs 1982-1988". Showbusiness! The Chumbawamba Fan Page. http://www.koeln-bonn.net/chumba/gig1.html (13-SEP-98).
 Nine and Anjou. "Chumbawamba." http://www.ed.ac.uk/~nine/chumba.htm (13-SEP-98).
 Taylor, Chuck. "U.K.'s Chumbawamba distills its social commentary, becoming toast of radio." Billboard 25-OCT-97, v109 n43 p86(1).
 Goodacre, Martyn. "New Pedigree Chumba" New Musical Express 14-MAY-94: 16(2).
 "Chumbawamba - 'Revolution'." Maximum Rock N Roll #30, 01-NOV-85.
 Walsh, Nick Paton. "Me and My Motor - Alice Nutter of Chumbawamba." 19-FEB-98 http://www.koeln-bonn.net/chumba/motor.html (13-SEP-98).
 Nobacon, Danbert. "SEARCH AND DESTROY" The First Church Of Chumbawamba 12-JAN-99 http://www.chumba.com/_stuff.htm (25-JAN-99).
 Chumbawamba. "Two years is a long time in showbiz." Semi-official band newsletter, 24-OCT-89.
 For A Free Humanity: For Anarchy. Phonodisc. Mutual Aid Recordings, MAR001CD, 1997.
 Jenny (comp fa) "80s chumba history." Personal e-mail (10-NOV-98).
 Nobacon, Danbert. "Gigs 1989-1992". Showbusiness! The Chumbawamba Fan Page. http://www.koeln-bonn.net/chumba/gig2.html (13-SEP-98).
 Tara (of Agit Prop). Personal correspondence 24-OCT-89.
 "Freebase Interview." 01-SEP-97 http://www.koeln-bonn.net/chumba/int2.html (13-SEP-98).
 Nutter, Alice. "Chumbawamba Biography." 01-JUN-97 Showbusiness! The Chumbawamba Fan Page. http://www.koeln-bonn.net/chumba/bio.html (13-SEP-98).
 Nutter, Alice. "Chumbawamba." Universal Records press release 15-MAY-98.
 Bruce, Dunstan. 12-AUG-92 Personal correspondence.
 "Chumbawamba Biography". http://www.rollingstone.com/sections/artist.../webx.dll... (dynamically generated link) (11-SEP-98).
 Milburn, Keir. "Re: Interview Questions" Personal e-mail (13-JUL-98).
 Larkin, Colin. The Virgin Encyclopedia Of Indie & New Wave. London: Virgin Publishing, Ltd. 1998
 Nobacon, Danbert. "Gigs 1993-1994". Showbusiness! The Chumbawamba Fan Page. http://www.koeln-bonn.net/chumba/gig3.html (13-SEP-98).
 DeLong, Donna. "Chumbawamba - Fighters not Writers" 01-SEP-97 Showbusiness! The Chumbawamba Fan page. http://www.koeln-bonn.net/chumba/int6.html (13-SEP-98).
 Nobacon, Danbert. "Gigs 1995-1996". Showbusiness! The Chumbawamba Fan Page. http://www.koeln-bonn.net/chumba/gig4.html (13-SEP-98).
 Rogers, Ray. "Chumbawamba." Interview 01-JAN-98 v28 n1 p22(2).
 Madden, Hayley. "Well It's A Wamba For The Money..." New Musical Express 30-AUG-97 p26(2).
 Whymark, Richard. "10-JUN-97 KVRX Interview." Showbusiness! The Chumbawamba Fan page. http://www.koeln-bonn.net/chumba/int4.html (13-SEP-98).
 Swatek, Mark. "1997 - A Look Back." Showbusiness! The Chumbawamba Fan page. http://www.koeln-bonn.net/chumba/1997.html (13-SEP-98).
 "Chumbawamba, Prodigy Add To The Brit Snit Tradition". MTV News Gallery. 23-OCT-97 http://www.mtv.com/news/gallery/c/Chumbawamba971023.html (19-SEP-98).
 "Chumbawamba Transcript." backCHAT. 29-JAN-98. http://www.chat.beeb.com/chat/transcripts/980129_chumba/t980129_chumba3.html (03-DEC-98).
 Arnold, Gina. "Sharps And Flats: Chumbawamba." Salon Magazine 26-NOV-97 http://www.salonmagazine.com/music/sharps/1997/12/01sharps.html (19-SEP-98).
 Milano, Brett. "Chumbawamba Tubthumper." Stereo Review Feb 1998 v63 n2 p125(1).
 "Pop insurgents Chumbawamba take the charts." Newsweek 24-NOV-97, v130 n21 p72(1).
 "'Thumping' happened." Entertainment Weekly 07-NOV-97, n404 p85(1).
 Vincentelli, Elisabeth. "Tubthumper." Rolling Stone 27-NOV-97 n774 p111(1).
 Mundy, Chris. "The World's Only Million-Selling Anarchists." Rolling Stone 05-FEB-98 n779 p48(3).
 John, Richard. "Chumbawamba keeps on thumping." 07-OCT-97 http://www.acmi.canoe.ca/JamMusicArtistsC/Chumbawamba.html (14-SEP-98).
 Wolk, Douglas. "Dialectical immaterialism; have Chumbawamba sold out or bought in?" 05-DEC-97 http://www.worcesterphoenix.com/archive/music/97/12/05/Chumbawamba.html (14-SEP-98).
 Gabriel. "Chumbawamba: do starving children sell records or will being on EMI do the trick? Chumbawamba: selling anarchy to the 'alternative' generation (and their parents)?" Rats In The Hallway c. 18-APR-98 n8 p20(2).
 Becker, Mike, Mulburn, Keir, and Nutter, Alice. "Chu mba wam ba ?" Rats In The Hallway c. 01-AUG-98 n9 p16(4).
 "Chumbawamba's winding path to charts." Billboard 01-NOV-97, v109 n44 p9(3).
 Nobacon, Danbert. "Gigs 1997-1998". Showbusiness! The Chumbawamba Fan Page. http://www.koeln-bonn.net/chumba/gig5.html (06-JAN-99).
 Chumbawamba. "Chumbawamba newsround 1", email@example.com (27-MAY-98).
 "Chumbawamba Not For Sale." MTV News Gallery. 12-JAN-98 http://www.mtv.com/news/gallery/c/Chumbawamba980112.html (19-SEP-98).
 "ANARCHIST COLLECTIVE AT IT AGAIN: Chumbawamba RELEASE 3RD SINGLE FROM 3X PLATINUM CD TUBTHUMPER "DRIP DRIP DRIP" TO RADIO AIRWAVES 5/29" EZG Media press release 15-MAY-98.
 Walters, Barry. "Welcome to Woop Woop." The Advocate 14-APR-98 n757 p71(1).
 NON-IRISH CHUMBAWAMBA EQUALIZE APPEARANCE AT FLEADH FESTIVALS BY ANNOUNCING ENTIRELY NON-PARTISAN MIDWESTERN FESTIVAL DATES LAST CHANCE TO CATCH THE BAND IN U.S. UNTIL FALL." EZG Media press release 15-MAY-98.
 "Chumbawamba Gives Stamp Of Disapproval To 'Tubthumping' Politician." MTV News Gallery 17-JUN-98 http://www.mtv.com/news/gallery/c/Chumbawamba980617.html (19-SEP-98).
 Rushin, Steve. "Best Foot Forward." Sports Illustrated 16-FEB-98, pp. 44+.
 "They'll get up again." Time 08-DEC-97 v150 n24 p112(1).
 Baranja, Kristina, et al. "Kids talk with music group Chumbawamba." 16-MAR-98 Hoosier Times http://www.hoosiertimes.com/stories/1998/03/16/lifestyle.new.889712162.sto (14-SEP-98).
 "S.C.A.B. Interview." 05-DEC-97 Showbusiness! The Chumbawamba Fan page. http://www.koeln-bonn.net/chumba/int3.html (13-SEP-98).
 Feroglia, Ardith (Chumba0008). "Re: [CW] Derek says "Rrrumbarrrumba!" firstname.lastname@example.org (16-FEB-99).
 "GOLD AND PLATINUM DATABASE SEARCH RESULTS." RIAA Gold & Platinum Database. http://220.127.116.11/cgi-bin/rbox/hwspro2 (via http://www.riaa.com) (02-MAR-99).
 Dr. Quantize Clinic, "Re: question about Uneasy Listening". Personal e-mail, 21-FEB-99.
 Scott, Jerry and Borgman, Jim. Zits. http://www.koeln-bonn.net/chumba/pics/comic.gif (13-SEP-98).
 Werbe, Peter. "Will Success Spoil Chumbawamba? How Does an Anarchist Band from Leeds Deal With Being a Famous Pop Band?" 19-MAR-98 The Peter Werbe Article Database http://www.goodfelloweb.com/werbe/succumba.htm (14-SEP-98).
 Milburn, Keir. "Re: [CW] love? hate?" email@example.com (13-APR-99).
 Chumbawamba. "[CW] Chumbawamba, addition" firstname.lastname@example.org (14-APR-99).
 Milburn, Keir. "Re: [CW] chumba.com [...] (D-Kline)" email@example.com (20-APR-99).
 Nobacon, Danbert. "Squat Not Rot" 25-MAR-99 Excerpts From The Archives http://www.chumba.com/_stuff.htm (2-APR-99).
 Boff. "keir" Personal e-mail, 04-MAR-99.
 Spence, Paul. "Chumbawamba In Northern Ireland." Maximum Rock N Roll 01-MAY-88: 58-61.
 Bunyan, Nigel. "How polite Nigel turned into Danbert the anarchist." Daily Telegraph, 11-FEB-98.
 Jos/The Ex. "Re: Coby info" Personal e-mail, 12-MAY-99.
 "This Is The News!" 30-JAN-00 http://www.chumba.com/_news_i.htm (2-FEB-00).
 Nutter, Alice and Boff. "FAQ YOU!" 30-JAN-00 http://www.chumba.com/_faq.html (02-FEB-00).
 "Artist Information.com: Chumbawamba" 12-MAY-99 http://www.artistinformation.com/chumbawamba.html (12-MAY-99).
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 Boff. "Re: [CW] Names", firstname.lastname@example.org (11-JAN-00).
 Milburn, Keir. "[CW] Chumbawamba - The next generation.", email@example.com (24-JAN-00).
 Nobacon, Danbert. "Veganism And The Struggle For Life", 1985 pamphlet.
 Boff. "nothing" Personal e-mail (13-MAY-99).
 Nobacon, Danbert. "The First American Tour 1990 Part One - The Road To Las Vegas" 15-JUN-99 Excerpts From The Archives http://www.chumba.com/_stuff.htm (18-JUN-99).
 "Born To Run!" 13-JUL-99 http://18.104.22.168/archive/let/07/blackburn.10.07.99/OTHER0.html (13-JUL-99).
 Nutter, Alice. "discovering books." The Opening Line http://www.openingline.co.uk/books/articles/alicenutter.htm (19-OCT-99).
 Nobacon, Danbert. "Ben Stiller - Danbert Nobacon" Personal e-mail (13-OCT-99).
 Nobacon, Danbert. "The First American Tour 1990 Part Two - San Francisco" 24-AUG-99 Excerpts From The Archives http://www.chumba.com/_stuff.htm (30-AUG-99).
 Milburn, Keir. "[CW] spot 15-1", firstname.lastname@example.org (21-OCT-99).
 Nobacon, Danbert. "The First American Tour 1990 Part Three - Portland And Seattle: The Pacific North West" 01-OCT-99 Excerpts From The Archives http://www.chumba.com/_stuff.htm (01-OCT-99).
 Boff. "The Making Of An Untitled Album" 01-OCT-99 This Is The News! http://www.chumba.com/_news_i.htm (01-OCT-99).
 "The Footie Page." 01-OCT-99 http://www.chumba.com/_footie.htm (01-NOV-99).
 Nobacon, Danbert. "Free Mumia!" 01-OCT-99 http://www.chumba.com/_concert.htm (01-NOV-99).
 Nobacon, Danbert. "Gig Number 621 Club Mad, Athens, Greece" 01-JAN-00 Excerpts From The Archives http://www.chumba.com/_stuff.htm (27-JAN-00).
 "10/20/97 - Chumbawamba." 29-OCT-99 MTV Networks Interview.
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 VanHorn, Teri. "Chumbawamba To Bono, Love, Ally McBeal: Drop Dead." Today's Music News http://www.sonicnet.com
 Boff. "Gig Number 1 The First Ever Chumbawamba Concert". 01-MAR-00 Excerpts From The Archives http://www.chumba.com/_stuff.htm (13-MAR-00).
 "This Is The News!" 01-MAR-00 http://www.chumba.com/_news_i.htm (13-MAR-00).
 "Pass It Along" 01-OCT-00 http://www.chumba.com/_passitalong.htm (13-NOV-00).
 "Real Audio And MP3" 01-AUG-00 http://www.chumba.com/_download.htm (13-NOV-00).
 "Chumbawamba's MP3 Blast." 25-OCT-00 BBC News Online http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/entertainment/newsid_990000/990207.stm (15-NOV-00).
 Nobacon, Danbert. "Blast From The Past - The First Trip To Japan 1989 - Part One." 10-OCT-00 Excerpts From The Archives http://www.chumba.com/_stuff.htm (10-OCT-00).
 Nobacon, Danbert. "Blast From The Past - Japanese Tour 1989 - Part Two." 01-NOV-00 Excerpts From The Archives http://www.chumba.com/_stuff.htm (04-DEC-00).