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Chumbawumba confirmed for Hillside


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Read up on them and listen to them before you slag them, if you have the time and want to actually know. If all you think they are is 'that Tubthumping band' you've got some listening to do.

Band history

Early years

Chumbawamba were formed in 1982 from two other bands based in Yorkshire, The Passion Killers and Chimp Eats Banana. Inspired musically by The Fall and the radical political stances of Crass, Chumbawamba's activities in the early years were based around a communal house in Armley, Leeds. Stalwarts of the cassette culture scene, the band was featured on many compilations. Chumbawamba were at the forefront of the 1980s anarcho-punk movement, frequently playing benefit gigs in squats and small halls for causes such as animal rights, the anti-war movement, and community groups. The band shared all touring revenue equally between every member of the band as well as the crew that helps them perform each night, a practice that they still adhere to. The band's collective political views are often described as anarchist.

Sky and Trees and Agit-Prop Records

By the mid-1980s Chumbawamba had begun to release material using the vinyl format on their own Agit-Prop record label, which had evolved from an earlier project, Sky and Trees Records. The first LP, Pictures of Starving Children Sell Records (1986) was a critique of the then current Live Aid concert organised by Bob Geldof, which the band argued was primarily a cosmetic spectacle designed to draw attention away from the real political causes of world hunger.

One Little Indian Records

By the late 1980s and early 1990s, Chumbawamba had begun to absorb influences from techno music and dance culture. The band moved away from their original anarcho-punk roots and evolving a pop sensibility with releases such as Slap! (1990) and the sample-heavy Shhh (1992) (originally intended to be released as Jesus H Christ!, this album had to be withdrawn and re-recorded because of copyright problems).

After signing to the independent One Little Indian record label, Anarchy (1994) lyrically remained as politically uncompromising as ever, continuing to address issues such as homophobia (see song "Homophobia", the music video of which features the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence), the Criminal Justice Act and the rise of fascism in the UK following the election of a British National Party candidate in south-east London in 1993.

EMI controversy

Chumbawamba drew criticism from the band's original following in 1997 when the members signed to the major label EMI in Europe, particularly as much of their earlier output had explicitly attacked this corporation; they had even been involved with a compilation LP called Fuck EMI in 1989. However, the band argued that EMI had severed the controversial link with weapons manufacturer Thorn a few years previously, and that experience had taught them that, in a capitalist environment, almost every record company operates on capitalist principles; "Our previous record label One Little Indian didn't have the evil symbolic significance of EMI BUT they were completely motivated by profit." They added that this move brought with it the opportunity to make the band financially viable (all members were up until then working in other jobs to make a living) as well as to communicate their message to a wider audience.

Chumbawamba's biggest chart hit, "Tubthumping", features what, without the context of the accompanying liner notes (removed from the US release of the Tubthumper album for copyright reasons), appears to be one of the most apolitical of any of the band's lyrics. It was also during this period that Chumbawamba gained some notoriety when male vocalist Danbert Nobacon poured a jug of water over the UK Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott at the 1998 Brit Awards.

Chumbawamba released the album WYSIWYG on EMI in 2000, and parted from the label in 2001.

MUTT Records

In 2002, Chumbawamba formed their own record label, MUTT, for UK releases.

Under MUTT, Chumbawamba released their eleventh official album, Readymades, as well as Sic - Adventures in Anti-Capitalism, a paperback book of political and musical writings by friends and acquaintances of the band.

General Motors paid Chumbawamba $100,000 to use the song "Pass It Along" for a Pontiac Vibe television advertisement in 2002. Chumbawamba gave the money to the anti-corporate activist groups Indymedia and CorpWatch.

In 2004, the band released an album of 'world music' influenced songs entitled Un, which addressed such current concerns as the looting of the museums in Iraq (On eBay) and Buy Nothing Day.

In 2005 Chumbawamba opted to take a hiatus from full-scale touring and recording projects, but a trimmed-down acoustic line-up of Boff Whalley, Lou Watts, Jude Abbot and Neil Ferguson continued to tour the UK and Europe throughout 2005 and 2006. It was this line-up that recorded the album A Singsong and a Scrap, released late in 2005. The hiatus looks set to continue indefinitely, with the band announcing on their web site in 2006 that there are no plans to perform or record as a full band again.

In 2007, Chumbawamba were confirmed to be playing at the Glastonbury Festival.

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i drink a whiskey drink,

i drink a vodka drink,

and when i have to pee

i use the kitchen sink.

~Homer

thank you schwa for the much needed laugh :P

and fwiw, these guys are political and funny. they showed a bit of one of their toronto shows on the new music, the lead singer woman came on stage in a nun's outfit and said "i've just come from having sex with mike harris. he was horrible."

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Next up will be Monster Magnet...SPACE LORD MUTHA MUTHA!
I was at a Monster Magnet concert the other day, and the singer yelled into the mic, "How many of you feel like human beings tonight!". Then he yelled, "How many of you feel like animals tonight!", and everyone went crazy screaming. But you see I yelled after the human beings part. Cause I did not know there was a second part to the question.
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Ive been stuffed in your pocket for the last hundred days

When I dont get my bath I take it out on the slaves

So grease up your baby for the ball on the hill

Polish them rockets now, and swallow those pills

And sing... space lord mother

Huh! uh huh

Theres a car in the field now in a column of flame

With two doors to choose but only one bears your name

Youve been drinking my blood well Ive been licking your wounds

Ill shave off the pitch now in the scope of your tune

Youll sing... space lord mother

I left my throne a million miles away

I drink from your tit

I sing your blues every day

Now give me the strength

To split the world in two yeah

I ate all the rest and now Ive gotta eat you

Well I sing

Built in my nightmares and using my name

Youre stroking my cortex and you know Im insane

Im squeezed out in hump drive and drownin in love

Encompass them all to a position above

Well I sing... space lord mother

I left my throne a million miles away

I drink from your tit

I sing your blues every day

Now give me the strength

To split the world in two yeah

I ate all the rest and now Ive gotta eat you

Well I sing... space lord mother

I lost my soul when I fell to earth

My planets called me to the void of my birth

The time has come for me to kill this game

Now open wide and say my name

Space lord mother

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