It’s official. The 90s are over. And not just because they happened two decades ago—this time, Chumbawamba is breaking up. And yes, they were still together.
The band, whose lineup has reshuffled several times over its 30-year existence, released a long statement on its website explaining why they decided to call it quits after decades of “ideas and melodies, endless meetings and European tours, press releases, singalong choruses and Dada sound poetry.”
It’s hard to believe that it’s been fifteen years since Chumbawamba first got knocked down (but got up again) in their greatest hit, “Tubthumping“. But while the single — a bubbly anthem to whiskey drinks, vodka drinks and songs that remind us of the good times — was unabashedly poppy, the rest of their music was known for its agit-prop political subversion.
The point of the group had mostly been about that fight to push the political envelope and change British politics; about the “musical fingerpointing” that they hoped would inspire others to “switch off the telly and do something useful.” That, the group said, would be their measure of success.
In their letter the band offered few reasons as to why they’ve finally decided to end it other than that their personal lives had begun to keep them from doing “what Chumbawanba set out to do.”
They also said that, “there have been squabbles and arguments along the way.” But that there has also been a huge deal of “good humour and love.”
“What a riot it’s been, frankly,” they said, “And now it’s time to clear up the mess and move on.”