Chumbawamba

Showbusiness!

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AllMusic Review by

Reservations about this album do not concern Chumbawamba's status as an excellent live prospect, especially in their formative days. But to truly appreciate the group's carnival of anti-authoritarian bonhomie, you require the visual aids. In their early shows this was achieved via a series of sketches, including the ritual burning of tabloid newspapers. Later, Danbert Nobacon's propensity for cross-dressing and Alice Nutter's devil-may-care dancing provided panoramic stimulus for the eye. Showbusiness, taken from a show at Leeds' Duchess of York Club in 1994, remains a well-packaged collection of live songs with decent sound - the sleevenotes provide an exhaustive (and funny) history of the group, and the performance itself features Harry's father Jimmy Echo providing karaoke backing vocals. But there are better starting points for those wishing to explore the band beyond "Tubthumping." The album was issued in America as the For A Free Humanity: For Anarchy double CD -- a coupling of Showbusiness alongside Noam Chomsky's Capital Rules.

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