All round entertainers from Harlow, Essex, England, Collapsed Lung utilise an unconventional hip-hop derived musical format, but also intersperse rowdy electric guitar and mid-song comedy banter. They formed in February 1992, and after their debut performance were invited to play an all-day festival in Harlow at which guitarist Steve Harcourt (formerly of heavy metal band Gethsemane and by day a toy shop assistant) first met the bespectacled Nihal Arhanayake, a rapper of Sri Lankan descent who opted out of a legal career to join the band. He was consequently invited to record some of his material over the existing trio’s tracks. Nihal’s co-rapper was Anthony Chapman, with the line-up completed by bass player Johnny Dawe. Members traced their roots back to several earlier Harlow bands including Pregnant Neck, Bombers and indie band Death By Milkfloat. The first Collapsed Lung single, ‘Thundersley Invacar’, eulogising the famous UK invalid car, brought comparisons to Cornershop. The follow-up, ‘Chainsaw Wedgie’, was about a particularly painful playground torture involving the victim’s underwear being hoisted from behind. However, Arhanayake left the band in 1994, subsequently guesting on Fun-Da-Mental’s debut album and joining the Maddie Funksters. Collapsed Lung replaced him with rapper Jim Burke and drummer Chris, while Chapman also bolstered his reputation with DJing work at a variety of London venues. He was also keen to reinstate Collapsed Lung’s rap credentials, stating ‘at the end of the day it’s just hip-hop’ while promoting the release of 1995’s Jackpot Goalie. ‘London Tonight’/‘Eat My Goal’ was a sizeable UK hit in 1996.
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