aka The Vinyl Villain incorporating Sexy Loser

#013– Chumbawamba – ‚This Girl’ (One Little Indian Records, ’95)


Hello friends,

my anarchistic career solely consists of listening to ‘The Feeding Of The 5.000’ by Crass. I should admit I didn’t listen to it when it came out in 1979, I only listened to it some five years later. But I listened to it very closely indeed (if I exerted myself, I would still be able to recite most of ‘So What’, I reckon), which probably doesn’t turn me into being the next Federico Garcia Lorca, but hey, I experienced more anarchy than most of you lot ever did, right?!

And because I was so hardcore and in the thick of the scene, I never cared a great deal for the only other anarchistic band on the planet: Chumbawamba. They started out in 1983 and always pretended to be the most anarchistic thing on earth. At least much more anarchistic than Crass ever were … so they said. They had their own little label, Agit Prop, until the early 90’s. Then they switched to One Little Indian Records, home of The Sugarcubes, and probably this move made them a little better known. This and Peel playing a few tunes from their 1992 ‘Shhh’ – LP, which I bought myself because I thought what I heard (‘Behave!’ and ‘Look! No Strings!’) was ace. But the album disappointed me, if I remember correctly, and I sold it pretty quickly to some poor soul.

Two years later, in 1994, Chumbawamba, still being as anarchistic as possible, teamed up with hip-hop labelmates Credit To The Nation. There was ‘Enough Is Enough’ (which was good throughout) and perhaps some other song, I forgot about the details. Then, one year later, they released their album ‘Swingin’ With Raymond’. I would never have known about its existence, hadn’t a young lady (Petra) I was briefly together with at that time, made up a tape for me which included two songs from this album. First ‘Not The Girl I Used To Be’ (absolutely fantastic, should you never have heard it) and, secondly, today’s choice:



mp3:  Chumbawamba – This Girl

And, as you can tell, if you look at the sleeve above, it only was the B-Side of another song from the album. Quite why they didn’t release this the other way round will always remain a mystery to me. Then again, who cares … I got it as a 7”, that’s all that counts!

The rest is, as they say, history: after ‘Swingin’ With Raymond’ Chumbawamba hid under the wings of EMI Records (not necessarily the most anarchistic move on earth, it must be said), where they released ‘Tubthumping’ in 1997. And at this point even younger readers of these pages (if such creatures exist at all), at least if they’re male and go to the football grounds every once in a while, should realize who Chumbawamba are: “I get knocked down, but I get up again /You are never gonna keep me down” … oh come on, I’m sure you know it by heart, don’t you?!

And this tune, ‘Tubthumping’, after nearly 15 years of anarchy, chaos and destruction (to quote The Damned), finally made Chumbawamba a one hit wonder – band. You can argue for hours about whether this success is deserved or not and/or whether having a multi-million dollar hit complies with the international rules of anarchy.

My personal position is very clear: a combo which issues a tune as awesome as ‘This Girl’ deserves everyone’s love, applause and homage …

Take good care,



  1. Well, they didn’t MEAN to have a huge smash hit, so they still get to be anarchists.

  2. I was rather taken with Anarchy! The album for roughly one weekend in the 90’s. In hindsight it might have been the girl with the dreadlocks at the indie disco I was taken with for a weekend but I remember the album. Now I’m married to a different girl (no dreadlocks) her sister is a reformed Chumbawumba mega fan. We have to all get our boots and coats and get on our way when an evenings dinner then drinks devolves to her copy of Pictures Of Starving Children Sell Records being dug out of the cupboard. Clears the room every time.

  3. As a kid growing up in California, watching the sheer havoc wreaked on the state due to the insanity of the real estate market, “ugh your ugly houses” touches me deeply.

    I saw them around this time and the A-side was one of the top moments of the show. A huge ripper of a good time. That might have had something to do with the decision.

    @steveforthedeaf I’m dying laughing. I’ve been there. I see you.

  4. Nice to see Chumbawamba getting some love. They certainly knew how to get their message across wrapped in a decent pop tune. I saw them several times in the 1980s/90s and they were always great value. Good call on ‘Not The Girl I Used To Be’ too – a fine song.

  5. I saw them once at Tolepuddle many years ago; a coach trip organised by the Isle of Wight Labour Party with my old mum.
    As the bus pulled into the field I was busting for a slash so I sprinted through the field on a beautiful sunny Sunday lunchtime only to hear in the background Bankrobber accapella style by Chumbawumba.
    A fucking awesome start to a great day

  6. You may (or may not) have read about my Chumba exploits during the 90s. Thumbs up for pretty much anything you write about them, though I get the feeling you’re not really much of a fan… 😉

  7. I’ve always been a fan and there’s a delightfully diverse and charming catalog beyond their ubiquitous stadium anthem. Unknown to many, perhaps, lead guitarist Boff Whalley has a second vocation as one of the more celebrated and known “fell runner” in the UK. His book “Louder Faster” is a real gem.

  8. I’ve always been a fan and there’s a delightfully diverse and charming catalog beyond their ubiquitous stadium anthem. Unknown to many, perhaps, lead guitarist Boff Whalley has a second vocation as one of the more celebrated and known “fell runner” in the UK. His book “Louder Faster” is a real gem.

  9. Chumbawamba were always a favorite band or mine in these days and not only because of their upright leftwing attitude. This Girl is an outstanding song – still. Thank you Dirk

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