Chumbawamba "Tubthumping"

Grimes, Matt R. (2022) Chumbawamba "Tubthumping". In: One-Hit Wonders: An Oblique History of Popular Music. Bloomsbury Academic, New York, pp. 221-232. ISBN 9781501368417

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It’s May 1997 and Tony Blair’s Labour government has secured a landslide victory in the UK general election. The youngest prime minister since 1812, Blair has already shown his hip credentials by soundtracking his election campaign with D:Ream’s anthemic song “Things Can Only Get Better.” This is the era of Britpop. Oasis and Blur are locked in a battle over who is the greatest and coolest band in the world, no doubt helped along by some great public relations strategizing, and Oasis’s Noel Gallagher has symbolized the Cool Britannia brand by sporting a Union Jack guitar. Even the Spice Girls have got on board with Geri Halliwell (aka Ginger Spice), wearing a Union Jack-style sequined dress at the 1997 Brit Awards,2 and on any and every photo opportunity thereafter. It seems that “Brand Britain” is on the upturn and, reminiscent of the Swinging Sixties, is starting to find its global appeal again. Blair, no doubt egged on by his overzealous spin doctors, decides to have a house party. Dubbed the “Cool Britannia” party, it reads like a who’s who of the British media, cultural and sporting establishment, including global music superstars Sting, Elton John, Bono, David Bowie, Bob Geldof, and Mick Hucknall. However, Blair’s real coup de grace that night is being filmed drinking champagne with Oasis’ Noel Gallagher, a moment not lost on Chumbawamba, and further cementing his “cool” credentials in the eyes of the British youth, already high on seeing the back of a repressive Conservative government.

Item Type: Book Section
24 February 2022Published
Subjects: CAH15 - social sciences > CAH15-01 - sociology, social policy and anthropology > CAH15-01-06 - cultural studies
CAH24 - media, journalism and communications > CAH24-01 - media, journalism and communications > CAH24-01-05 - media studies
CAH25 - design, and creative and performing arts > CAH25-02 - performing arts > CAH25-02-02 - music
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Design and Media > Birmingham Institute of Media and English > Birmingham School of Media
Depositing User: Matt Grimes
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2022 14:51
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2022 14:51

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