Chumbawamba: Anarchy Makes Music

September 16 [14:00 EDT] -- An anarchist's idea of a perfect society excludes any government of any kind, for (they believe) all governments oppress. Anarchy is alive and well in Chumbawamba.

For fifteen years this band comprised of eight individuals (3 women, 5 men, all mildly androgynous) have made music as a balanced community. Chumbawamba is a musical microcosm of what they wish the macrocosm to be. For instance, there is no single front person who represents the collective.

Chumbawamba (the name is gibberish) currently have the number one single in the UK, the pomp and brass hit, "Tubthumping" [800k QuickTime], but so far they are virtually unknown stateside. Their album, Tubthumper, is a seamless arc of songs, with gobs of borrowed samples (both musical and verbal) inserted mercilessly throughout the melange of dance pop and choral bop.

A typical song is about a dockworkers strike in Liverpool, underscored by

a horn section and an upbeat chorus. One would be hard pressed to accuse Chumbawamba of not making their staunch platform fun.

Chumbawamba's seventh album is just another link in their evolution, for no two of their albums have ever been alike. They have been everywhere from a capella folk to angry punk in their musical past. The message: just when you think you know Chumbawamba...they change!

A "tubthumper" in Britain is an orator, ranter, or someone who spreads subversive information.

That about sums Chumbawamba up.