From now until eternity, Chumbawamba will always be best known for “Tubthumping,” their gigantic, infernally catchy 1997 fluke hit. But the band actually had a career that spanned more than three decades and went through a lot of bizarre changes. They started out, implausibly enough, as an anarcho-punk collective, paragons of the same scene that Crass helped to birth. They’d been around for years, experimenting with different sounds and ideas before signing a deal with EMI and stumbling into fleeting international fame with “Tubthumping.” They kept soldiering on after that song became a kitsch relic, too, and they’re only now announcing that they’re disbanding.

As Punknews points out, the band recently posted a breakup announcement on their website. Here’s a piece of what they wrote:

We felt we’d got to a point where what we did as a band – and specifically the writing, recording, touring cycle – wasn’t doing justice to what Chumbawamba set out to do in the first place. We were always as much about ideas as music, and that meant doing more than writing, recording and touring songs. It meant trying to be relevant and active and up-to-date, while trying to avoid the dreaded rut of routine or repetition. being up-to-date meant giving plenty of time and energy to the band, constantly, for those thirty years; a constancy we plainly couldn’t keep up with in the end.

This is the rare case where a band can claim that they’ve done everything they could do as a band and be absolutely truthful about it. Read the full statement here.

Comments (23)
  1. I guess this means that they’re not getting back up again.

  2. they were still together!?! hahaha

  3. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  4. i think the bigger news here is that they were still together

  5. Chumbawamba challenge after work, anyone? You pick the bar.

  6. Sad. Their evolution was really interesting. WYSIWYG and The Boy Bands Have Won were both wonderful, eclectic, weird records. And Tubthumper had some great songs too besides “that I Get Knocked Down song”.

  7. Let us all take a moment to thump our tubs in honor of our fallen homies.

  8. Cake now has the market cornered on trumpet solos

  9. Everyone with an obvious, no-effort, sub-I-Love-the-90s level comment, please do an image search for “Chumbawamba Anarchy”. Give the Anarchist a Cigarette,

  10. As long as I can still karaoke to it I’m fine.

  11. They have just broken up ten years ago and they would have been one of the most anticipated acts at this year’s Coachella.

  12. Favian Garcia  |   Posted on Jul 9th, 2012 +3

    There is a Cracked article called “5 One-Hit Wonders Who Deserve Your Respect”. Chumpawamba is #1 for completely valid reasons. Changed my view on them completely. (Google the article)

  13. All that this has done is sparked a bit of curiosity within me. Today I learned they’ve been making music and albums for years. I had no idea. None. I hadn’t heard of them since like 1,000 years ago.

  14. Fuck.

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