were part of the UK music scene for 30 years prior to them calling it a day in November 2012.  In that time they released a whole bundle of singles and albums that raised awareness for all sorts of just causes and campaigns as well as getting across their viewpoint about a burning issue of the day, as was highlighted in the recent posting looking that 1992 single behave!

Some folk got awfully annoyed by Chumbawamba on the basis that they took life far too seriously, but any band that is prepared to tackle issues as diverse as domestic violence, religion, racism, fascism, war, homophobia and the decline of working class rights within short and catchy pop songs is all right by me.

It was really bizarre to seem them gain their 15 minutes of real fame in 1997 when the very catchy and anthemic Tubthumping went to #2 in the UK singles chart and I’m sure the band were bemused to see how it was adopted by the lager-swilling lad culture who regarded the concept of getting pissed and falling over only to pick yourself up and start all over again as something to boast and sing about at the top of your voice. Anyways, the song so was so ubiquitous at the time that just I quickly got sick of it and even almost 20 years on don’t enjoy listening to it.

Having wound up their own Agit-Pop label on the back of being frustrated at the failure of behave! to get into the charts they signed to One Little Indian with the first release in September 1993 being a joint single with Credit To The Nation, an act which was in fact a teenage UK hip-hop singer called Matty Hanson aka DJ Fusion with two backing dancers who had come to the fore earlier in the year thanks to the chart success of Call It What You Want, a single which sampled Smells Like Teen Spirit….a piece of music which got many of those in the press who worshipped Nirvana all hot and bothered under the collar.

This anti-fascism single, released at a time when right-wing politicians were rearing their ugly heads all over Europe, reached the Top 75 despite a lack of support from radio stations:-

mp3 : Chumbawamba & Credit To The Nation – Enough Is Enough
mp3 : Chumbawamba & Credit To The Nation – Hear No Bullshit (On Fire Mix)
mp3 : Chumbawamba & Credit To The Nation – The Day The Nazi Died (1993 mix)

Different versions of the b-sides can be found elsewhere

mp3 : Credit To The Nation – Hear No Bullshit. See No Bullsit, Say No Bullshit
mp3 : Chumbawamba – The Day The Nazi Died




Back in the days when we had a number of music weeklies in the UK, it was something of an accolade for a band if their latest recording was nominated as ‘Single Of The Week’ in either Melody Maker, NME or Sounds. Indeed, it wasn’t uncommon for some of the major labels to subsequently take out adverts in the general press boasting of such an achievement.

And such was the interest in records awarded the status, that for a short while, one major record label, RCA, thought it worthwhile to take out a license and produce an end of the year compilation entitled NME Singles of the Week. And plucked from the shelf for inspection under the T(n)VV microscope is the offering from 1993.

I reckon this particular effort is a pretty fair reflection of the year, containing 18 songs across different musical genres, and not just a collection of indie-guitar bands that were and continue to be the staple fayre of the paper for many years.

Arrested Development : Tennessee
Belly : Gepetto (remix)
Senser : The Key
Madder Rose : Madder Rose
One Dove : White Love
Tindersticks : Marbles
Credit To The Nation : Call It What You Want
Utah Saints : Believe In Me
Swervedriver : Duel
Bjork : Venus As A Boy (edit)
Elastica : Stutter
Spiritualized : Good Times
Smashing Pumpkins : Cherub Rock
Apache Indian : Movin’ On Special
PJ Harvey : 50ft Queenie
Sugar : Tilted
Grant Lee Buffalo : America Snoring
Leftfield/Lydon : Open Up (vocal edit)

This is actually a compilation CD that even after all these years, I’m more than happy to put on and listen to all the way through. I remember when I bought this in early 1994. I was 30 years of age, and thinking to myself that my days of trying to keep up with the changing scenes in music were drawing to an end, and before long I would be drifting off to Radio 2 and live concerts where I would be insisting on a seat throughout. No more sweaty nights at the Barrowlands, no more mosh-pits, no more seeking out bands before they were famous….and no more vinyl records. Wrong, wrong, wrong and wrong again.

The changes in how we all consume music over the past twenty years has quite a lot to do with it. The fact that I can sit at a PC and get tickets for gigs in demand rather than queue up in the cold, the growth of the internet, mp3s and downloading, the amount of video music channels on satellite TV and, above all else, the i-pod, means I have easy access to music more than ever before. Oh, and it helps that for whatever reason, I’ve a gene in my system that will not let me sit back and say ‘new music is crap and not as good as in my day’ . In other words, I’m refusing to turn into my dad……

Returning back to NME Singles of The Week 1993, I think there’s something for everyone in the compilation. The one thing I will be eternally grateful for is that it was my introduction to Tindersticks, a band that I have been slavishly devoted to ever since, and one of the few that I have specifically gone down to London for a gig…..twice in fact.

And there’s a few other long-term favourites in there as well.

I’m almost tempted to make the whole CD available for downloads, but I need to try and be sensible about things. So on the basis that a normal LP plays at 33 1/3 rpm, I’ll go for 6 songs as one-third of the CD:-

mp3 : Senser – The Key
mp3 : One Dove – White Love
mp3 : Tindersticks – Marbles
mp3 : Credit To The Nation – Call It What You Want
mp3 : Grant Lee Buffalo – America Snoring
mp3 : Leftfield/Lydon – Open Up