This Is What It Was Like Living In Chumbawamba's Punk Squat In The Late 1980s

chumbawambaChumbawamba: from the video for ‘Tubthumping.’

Photo: Chumbawamba/YouTube

Chumbawamba, the British anarchist punk band best-known for its 1997 hit “Tubthumping”—a parody of a party song that most people think is an actual party song—called it quits this week after 30 years.Which made me remember that back in the dawn of time, sometime between 1987 and 1989, my sister and I published an interview with the Chumbas in our hardcore punk fanzine, “Terminal,” (which we published using a typewriter, Letraset, and a photocopier, circ: 1,000).

More significantly, my sister Hilary Tailor spent about a week living with the band — Lou Watts, Danbert “The Cat” Nobacon, Boff, Paul Greco, Alice Nutter, Dunstan Bruce, and Harry Hamer — in their collective squat in Leeds.

I emailed Tailor — now a thoroughly boojwah mother of two and owner of the design consultancy HST — to ask her what it was like. Here’s what she said:

… the only thing I remember about staying in their squat was that they all took turns to cook for each other and they had a well organised washing up rota. And after the meal (sitting down together round a big table of course) they all thanked the cook. Very well mannered. That’s all.

So English!


  • Chumbawamba Announce Break Up After A 30-Year Music Career

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