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Danbert Nobacon

Hometown: Washington State via Leeds

Over the past two decades, Danbert Nobacon has established himself as a fiercely politicized voice, overtly using popular music as a forum for his subversive and revolutionary messages. Beginning in 1982 as a founding member, vocalist and keyboardist in the anarchist collective Chumbawamba, Nobacon and the group spent the ‘80s and early ‘90s touring incessantly, squatting in protest of exorbitant housing costs, and recording musical manifestos such as 1986’s Pictures Of Starving Children Sell Records.

Chumbawamba broke through to unexpected mass success in 1997 with the worldwide hit "Tubthumper." The success of the single allowed them to use their newfound fame to advance their causes and directly engage multinational corporations in acts of dissent. This led to a string of high-profile acts of civil disobedience—the group calling for the release of Mumia Abu Jamal during an appearance on the Late Show With David Letterman, for example. When the band sold their song for usage in a General Motors commercial campaign, they publicly donated $70,000 of the money to anti-GM activist causes. Perhaps most infamously, at the 1998 BRIT Awards Nobacon dumped a bucket of ice water on UK then-Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, an act reported in news publications around the world.

Specifically concerned with anarchist and environmental causes, Nobacon has continued in this vein even after Chumbawamba went into hibernation in 2004 (the group continues to appear on rare occasions, most recently in February '07, celebrating its 25th year.) In 2005 he led a series of protest concerts against the G8 Summit in defiance of the Live 8 concert series. Inspired in part by an appearance at Jon Langford and Sally Timms’ nautical-themed seasonal spectacular Here Be Monsters in late 2005, Nobacon began work on what would become Library Book of the World, tapping Langford and his Pine Valley Cosmonauts to join him at recording sessions in Chicago in summer 2006.

"The bulk of people have the complete wrong idea about Chumbawamba in the first place. The band wasn't just a one hit wonder that disappeared as quickly as they appeared. The band formed in the early 1980s as part of England's Anarcho-punk rock scene led by bands like The Crass." —brokendial.com

"Danbert Nobacon is one of those crazy genius musicians. His earthy, impassioned voice casts a charming line, baiting and hooking willing ears to his message. Whether or not the message is understood isn't the point—just that it's heard." —Albuquerque Alibi

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