Stereogum, “‘Tubthumping’ Turns 20”

In 1982, in the British town of Burnley, a bunch of former members of a band called Chimp Eats Banana formed an anarchist collective named Chumbawamba. They lived together in a squat in Leeds, and they molded themselves on the example of Crass, the beloved British institution who pretty much defined crust-punk tactics and aesthetics. One of Chumbawamba’s first songs was a riotously dumb oi! parody called “I’m Thick” — literally just the phrase “I’m thick!” chanted over and over — which was still convincing enough that it made its way onto an oi! compilation. Their first album was called Pictures Of Starving Children Sell Records. And 15 years after they formed, Chumbawamba topped charts worldwide with a huge, honking, obvious drinking song, a song that sounded like a roomful of British soccer fans had stormed their way into a Sugar Ray band practice and taken over. That was the ’90s. The ’90s were weird.

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