Chumbawamba are calling it a day after thirty years of spitting, punky, political tunes (and that strange period where they were briefly the most popular band in the world thanks to Tubthumping.) There's a full and funny explanation of why on their website, and here's a taste:
Chumbawamba was our vehicle for pointing at the naked Emperors, for telling our version of the truth; it gave us more than the joy and love of playing live, writing songs and singing together – it gave us a chance to be part of a broad coalition of activists and hectors, optimists and questioners. But eventually the rest of our lives got in the way and we couldn’t commit the time and enthusiasm that the band demanded. Couldn’t keep up with whatever responsibilities came with a band like this.There's to be some farewell dates, but then, like something foretold in a Mayan prophecy, they'll be over.
If there were ever a Chumbawamba manifesto, it would read in the inconsistent, contradictory language of the Dadaists – part strident belligerence and part foolishness. This ending is no different; it comes almost as much of a surprise to us as it may do to you. Always more clown than politician, the band trips over its outsize feet and performs its final tumble.
There have been squabbles and arguments along the way. A deal of griping, frustration, moaning, exasperation – but always alongside a huge amount of goodwill and generosity, good humour and love. What a riot it’s been, frankly. And now it’s time to clear up the mess and move on.
That’s the simple version, anyway.
Let's remember the good times. In fact, let's remember the high-water mark, when they took on simultaneously the attempt to make "promotion" of homosexuality a thought crime and one alleged Liberal's attempts to severely reduce abortion rights (God, wouldn't Alton have loved sitting in a Cameron cabinet?):