Chumbawamba "Tubthumping"

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    Abstract

    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.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationOne-Hit Wonders: An Oblique History of Popular Music
    EditorsSarah Hill
    Place of PublicationNew York
    PublisherBloomsbury Academic
    Pages221-232
    Number of pages12
    ISBN (Print)9781501368417
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 24 Feb 2022

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