Chumbawamba: Where Are They Now?

Chumbawamba: Where Are They Now?


Boff Whalleyvocals, guitar, ukulele and clarinet. Forming the anarchist pop act Chumbawamba from his former band Chimp Eats Banana, Whalley went on to marry an American photographer and has been prominent in “fell running” (i.e., white people in fancy cross-trainers running across mountains), proving quite literally that a man can get back up again even after a period of sustained dormancy on the Billboard Hot 100.

Lou Wattsvocals, guitar, percussion and keyboards. No Wikipedia page, but, a moody sketch artist named Louis Watts does have a website where he hawks his minimalist sketches of Arizona geologic formations. Probably not the same person.

Alice Nuttervocals and percussion. Her theatre work includes the provocative Foxes (2006) and the timely Where’s Vietnam? (2008) for the Red Ladder Theatre Company in West Yorkshire.

Dunstan Brucevocals, bass, sax, turntables and percussion. A YouTube clip of a guerrilla interviewer approaching a tall, pepper-bearded Mr. Bruce in a straw fedora at a tent city asking him if he’d prefer a “whiskey drink” or a “lager drink” and producing respective bottles of both.

Danbert Nobaconvocals and keyboards. The philosophical “dark horse” of the working-class ensemble, Nobacon released a string of solo acoustic records in the 1980s meditating on anarchism, ecology, and scatology, including his “eco-concept” work, 1985’s The Unfairy Tale. He also remains notorious in certain circles of late-1980s U.K. avant-garde for his single “Bigger Than Jesus,” which explored male sexuality and featured as album cover a close up photograph of his own penis. Nobacon currently lives in Twisp, Washington with his family and his heroic cock.

Harry “Daz” Hamervocals, drums, programming and percussion. We can’t find Daz. But, some kid from Kent, U.K. has a Facebook page with that name and appears to be a flight attendant.

Jude Abbottvocals, recorder, flute and trumpet. After playing the trumpet on “Tubthumper,” Abbott has fallen to giving small-press interviews and maintains a Twitter profile in which she refers to herself as an “enthusiastic crocheter.”

Neil Fergusonvocals, guitar, and bass. Shares a name with an outspoken Harvard historian who engaged in a public spat with New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, who probably found Chumbawamba’s labor politics-meets-Euro-disco “vital.”

Davis “Mavis” Dillonvocals, trumpet, French horn and bass. Apparently dead and buried, in Dayton, Ohio. Also 85 years old.

Phil Moodyaccordion and vocals. Described by Jude Abbott as “doing all the funny bits,” such as comedy one-liners and reciting poetry during shows. Moody joined the band for 2008 Glastonbury Festival and appears on the band’s LP of the same year, The Boy Bands Have Won.

Paul Grecobass. According to a fansite from the early 2000s still floating around in URL limbo, Greco played a Fender and left in 1999 in a “friendly split.” On leaving Britain’s most popular labor-union-supporting pop sensation, Chumbawamba: he says, “[N]o big arguments, no legal wranglings, no musical differences, no time in rehab and no expose in the Sunday papers. Just a man on a mission to make his own music.” Of course, we haven’t heard from him since.

Chumbawamba remained a viable, non-ironic quad-syllabic word to say long into the 2Ks. While the band split in 2012, they did release a LP flagellating former PM Margaret Thatcher upon her death—which they recorded back in 2005.

Dunstan McGill