Chumbawamba – Readymades (2002)

HELL NO! IT’S TIME TO TALK BACK NOW! HISTORY SAYS IT’S TIME!
Langston Hughes

FROM NOW ON WE MEAN TO SHIT IN ASSORTED COLOURS AND BEDECK THE ARTISTIC ZOO WITH THE FLAGS OF EVERY CONSULATE. WE ARE CIRCUS DIRECTORS WHISTLING AMID THE WINDS OF CARNIVALS CONVENTS BAWDY HOUSES THEATRES REALITIES SENTIMENTS RESTAURANTS HOHIHOHO BANG!
Tristan Tzara

WHAT AFTER ALL IS A HALO? IT’S ONLY ONE MORE THING TO KEEP CLEAN.
Christopher Fry

LAUGHTER IS A REACTION AGAINST RIGIDITY.
Hans Richter

DISINTERESTED AS WE WERE IN THE SLAUGHTERHOUSES OF THE WORLD WAR, WE GAVE OURSELVES TO THE FINE ARTS. WHILE THE CANNON RUMBLED IN THE DISTANCE, WE PASTED, RECITED, VERSIFIED, WE SANG WITH ALL OUR SOUL. WE SOUGHT AN ELEMENTARY ART WHICH, WE THOUGHT, WOULD SAVE MEN FROM THE CURIOUS MADNESS OF THESE TIMES. WE ASPRIRED TO A NEW ORDER WHICH MIGHT RESTORE THE BALANCE BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL.
Jean Arp

EVERY TOOL IS A WEAPON IF YOU HOLD IT RIGHT.
Ani DiFranco

ALL MUSIC IS FOLK MUSIC. I AIN’T NEVER HEARD NO HORSE SING A SONG.
Louis Armstrong

IF THERE IS NO STRUGGLE, THERE IS NO PROGRESS. THOSE WHO PROFESS TO FAVOUR FREEDOM AND YET DEPRECIATE AGITATION, WANT CROPS WITHOUT PLOUGHING UP THE GROUND, THEY WANT RAIN WITHOUT THUNDER AND LIGHTNING. THEY WANT THE OCEAN WITHOUT THE AWFUL ROAR OF THE WATERS.
Frederick Douglass

GO TO WHERE THE SILENCE IS AND SAY SOMETHING.
Amy Goodman

I QUOTE OTHERS ONLY THE BETTER TO EXPRESS MYSELF.
Michael de Montaigne

Readymades was recorded in spurts throughout 2001 and completed in January 2002 at Shabby Road Studios, Bradford, above Bongo’s printshop. It was written, arranged and produced by Chumbawamba except where stated below, and mastered by Geoff Pesche at The Townhouse. Photographs by Casey Orr. Sleeve design by Baader-Meinhof.

Chumbawamba on this recording are:

Jude Abbott: Trumpet, Vocals
Dunstan Bruce: Keyboards, British sound collages
Lou Watts: Vocals, Keyboards
Boff: Guitar, Merz
Neil Ferguson: Bass, Mouse
Alice Nutter: Vocals, Propaganda
Harry Hammer: Drums, Programming
Danbert Nobacon: Vocals, Ukelele
with
Simon Pugsley: Trombone
Toby Greenwood: Saxophone
Rrose Selavy: Acoustic guitar
James Reiss: Scratching
Michelle Plumb: Vocal on ‘Sewing Up Crap’
Richard Mutt: Tea-chest, bass
Abi Riozzi: Vocal after ‘Sewing Up Crap’
Sally Riozzi: Vocal on ‘When I’m Bad’
Janet Russell: Vocal on ‘All In Vain’ and ‘Without Reason or Rhyme’

Many thanks to the artists who give us permission to use their music. We recommend in particular listening to anything by Dick Gaughan, Coope Boyes & Simpson, Kate Rusby and the late Lal Waterson.

1. Salt Fare, North Sea Vocal sample performed by Lal Waterson & Oily Knight, courtesy of Topic Records. 2. Jacob’s Ladder Vocal sample from the track ‘The Pretty Ploughboy’ from the album ‘A Century of Song’, performed by Harry Cox, courtesy of the English Folk Dance & Song Society. 5. If It Is To Be, It Is Up To Me Vocal sample performed by Coope Boyes & Simpson, courtesy of No Masters Co-operative Ltd. Sampled lyrics from the poem ‘Bound for Van Diemen’s Island’ written by Jock Purdon by kind permission of Mrs Mary Purdon. 7. Song for Len Shackleton Vocal sample performed by Belle Stewart, courtesy of Topic Records. 8. Without Reason or Rhyme Vocal sample performed by Joe Heany, courtesy of Topic Records. 9. Don’t Pass Go Vocal sample performed by Coope Boyes & Simpson, courtesy of No Masters Co-operative Ltd. 10. One Way or the Other Vocal sample performed by Dick Gaughan, courtesy of Wundertute Music Prod. GMBH. 11. When I’m Bad Vocal sample performed by Coope Boyes & Simpson, courtesy of No Masters Co-operative Ltd. Sampled lyrics from the poem ‘Bound for Van Diemen’s Island’ written by Jock Purdon by kind permission of Mrs Mary Purdon. 13. After Shelley Vocal sample performed by Kate Rusby, courtesy of Pure Records.

All songs written and composed by Chumbawamba, EMI Music Publishing Germany GMBH with the exception of 2. Jacob’s Ladder, composed by Chumbawamba & Davy Graham, published by EMI Music Publishing Germany GMBH and Robbins Music Corp Ltd. 13. After Shelley, composed by Chumbawamba & Kate Rusby, published by EMI Music Published Germany GMBH and Kate Rusby MCPS.

SALT FARE, NORTH SEA The British Navy, guardian of the sea-bound British establishment, almost became its destroyer when sailors demanded rights in the mutinies at Spithead and the Nore in 1797. Sailors were always the archetypal enemy within; the word strike comes from militant sailors’ tendency to strike the sails when warring with the Admiralty.

JACOB’S LADDER Political expediency versus class; Winston Churchill let 1591 ordinary sailors drown after their ships were sunk off the coast of Norway in WW2 by German battle cruisers. Churchill thought a rescue attempt might have alerted the Germans to the evacuation of the Norwegian royal family, so ordered ships in the area to abandon the drowning men. Today’s footnote would be the sinking of the Russian Kursk submarine; sailors drowned as President Putin put national pride before the need to call in foreign rescue teams.

ALL IN VAIN Celebrity culture meets institutionalised racism. TV presenter Jill Dando’s death in 1999 was fetishised; in comparison, Ricky Reel’s racially-motivated murder two years earlier was ignored.

HOME WITH ME Measuring the world in moments, not miles. The memories of us old blues singers.

IF IT IS TO BE, IT IS UP TO ME There we were, hanging over a bridge watching the King escaping from the mob by rowing his boat down the Thames during The Peasants Revolt, 1381. Three days that turned the world upside down, almost upending the status quo and tipping royalty off its throne. Almost, almost.

DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME The global anti-capitalist movement reaches back to the late eighteenth century. In the back alleys of history, insurrection, like the common cold, spread quickly, inspired by the French and American revolutions: as the Sans Culottes garroted, British conspirators plotted.

SONG FOR LEN SHACKLETON The Clown Prince of English football in a time when the England team selectors refused to pick someone so downright uppity to represent his country. When asked why Len was consistently left out of the team, one selector replied, “Because we play at Wembley Stadium, not London Palladium.”

WITHOUT RHYME OR REASON (THE KILLING OF HARRY STANLEY) On September 22 1999, an unarmed Harry Stanley was walking home when he was shot dead by an armed police response unit. Someone had rung the cops claiming that “a man with an Irish accent” – Harry was Scottish – was carrying “a sawn-off shotgun in a plastic bag” – the bag contained a table leg which needed mending. Harry’s family are still pursuing the case.

DON’T PASS GO In 1986 Satpal Ram defended himself against a racist attack and his attacker died. Although he’s served longer than his original sentence he’s still locked up, still refusing the role of repentant convict, still maintaining that self-defence is a legitimate response to racism.

ONE WAY OR THE OTHER A hymn for The Quebec St Unemployed Club of the ’20s and ’30s; a self-help group in Bradford who stole and borrowed… but never begged.

WHEN I’M BAD Your duty isn’t ‘to serve’. Your duty is, as Mae West would put it, to enjoy yourself.

SEWING UP CRAP The Factory Act of 1892 outlawed child labour. Behind the modern glass and chrome shopfronts of present-day capitalism are invisible sweatshops stitch-stitch-stitching the profits together; sweatshops employing child labour.

AFTER SHELLEY During the Irish potato famine of 1845, London’s Parliament decided who would eat and who would not; as over a million people starved to death, Irish crops were being exported to England. And now? Over twelve million children will die of poverty-related illness in 2002. Words based on a poem by Shelley.

JACOB’S LADDER (NOT IN MY NAME) Recorded in response to the threat of a Bush/Blair war on Iraq – a war about oil, fear, revenge and capital – and using Harry Cox’s powerful sampled ‘and they sent him to the way to be slain’ in a context in which it surely belongs.

Full lyrics and texts for all songs are available on our website at http://www.chumba.com

Chumbawamba can be contacted at PO Box TR 666, Armley, Leeds LS12 3XJ, UK

Our website has up-to-date news, opinions, T-shirts, upcoming concerts, downloadable music and fetching pictures of the band. It can be found at http://www.chumba.com

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