Danbert Nobacon
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Danbert Nobacon

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"The Library Book of the World -allmusic.com"

Review by Chris Nickson

Former Chumbawamba member (and now Washington state resident) Danbert Nobacon won't win many prizes for either subtlety or singing in tune with this album. But that doesn't matter, since it's a great, politically-charged piece of rock & roll powered by Mekon Jon Langford and the Pine Valley Cosmonauts, who give a wonderfully ramshackle, spontaneous feel to it all. Nobacon covers rock & roll and its oft-inflated place in the world ("Rock 'N' Roll Holy Wars") in a voice that recalls Tom Waits in its amount of gravel, American politics, global money and trade, equates "Christopher Marlowe" and art with the modern pop song, and goes to many places lyrically. It's an album with a lot of depth, even if the musical framework of the songs is quite simple. There's plenty of humor, as you'd expect from someone with his background, but that's a good way of getting his message across. It might only be roughly sewn together at the seams, but this is a very enjoyable disc, left of center (could it be anything else?) and a perfect combination of forces between like-minded musicians. - allmusic.com


"Danbert Nobacon live in New York"

This Week in New York

A QUIET EVENING IN WITH THE MEKONS:
A THIRTIETH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION

Blender Theatre at Gramercy - 127 East 23rd St. at Lexington Ave.

Wednesday, October 3 2007

Opening the show was Chumbawamba cofounder Danbert Nobacon, an anarchist and activist who alternated between songs from his pointedly acerbic new record, THE LIBRARY BOOK OF THE WORLD (his first solo disc in twenty years), and stories and set pieces about political figures and the war in Iraq. While the album features Jon Langford’s Pine Valley Cosmonauts backing him up, Nobacon is touring solo, just him, his acoustic guitar, his sweating bald head, and his cell phone, which he works into his act. Nobacon, who calls his blog the Axis of Dissent, holds nothing back as he references Rumsfeld, Cheney, Bush, Bin Laden, Rockefeller, the bomb, global warming, mass marketing, the Iraq war, Zionism, and other controversial topics in such songs as “Straight Talk (Meet Frank),” “Rock ‘n’ Roll Holy Wars,” “Red Mist,” and “Nixon Is My Dentist.” In “The Last Drop in the Glass,” he sings, “Society wedding, East Coast embedding, the military marries into industry / The drinks are flowing, let’s all get blasted, enjoy it while it lasts / Harry Truman raises his glass to Churchill! for warming the seat for his ass / The happy couple are already in the family way / Fossil fuel catches the bouquet.” Nobacon even sang a duet by himself. Good stuff.



- This Week in New York Oct 2007


"The Library Book of the World - Broken Dial"


"...smart satire, poetic lyrics and quick and often humorous wit makes him stand out in a now chorus of political songwriters and commentators around the world. The style casts him as part of the older political dissenter, like Phil Ochs, which to be honest we need far more of these days. And it seems like we got just what we need in Danbert Nobacon."

BrokenDial.com Dan Berkman
- BrokenDial.com


"Cashbox review"

"On The Library Book Of The World Nobacon establishes himself as a prominent genre hopping solo artist and brings that musical depth of his previous act and pushes it into the forefront."

Justin Scro

Cashbox

- Cashbox


"Library Book of the World - five stars"

DANBERT NOBACON

*****
The Library Book of the World (Bloodshot Records)

Danbert Nobacon, vocalist of the ‘resting’ fully electric version of Chumbawamba has always previously embarked on ‘side projects’. The Library Book of the World, though, is only his second album in twenty years. Recorded in Chicago in May 2006 with Mekon, Jon Langford, and kings of outlaw country, The Pine Valley Cosmonauts, it’s an enormous leap musically.

Turning expectation on the head has always been a Chumbawamba speciality, and Nobacon carries that tradition ever onwards with a series of unhurried and magnificently realised compositions that combine his left field roots, classic country, Tex-Mex, gnarly blues and jazz and fuses it together into a great big engrossing whole. Nobacon has taken a huge leap vocally, with his voice ranging from an evocative nasal whine, via a gravely Waits-esque growl, to a confident, soaring torch-style intonation. Song titles like ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Holy Wars’, ‘Nixon is My Dentist’, ‘Fossil Cigarette Burns’ and “Information Storm’ continue Nobacon’s tradition of revealing the contradictions behind the cloak of so called western democracy. The maturity of Nobacon’s writing mans that the diatribes of old are absent, replaced with similarly vitriolic but carefully constructed wordplay.

The Library Book of the World is a vaudevillian-flavoured concept album that takes you on a journey through the voices of the past, present and yet to come history, as Nobacon struggles to make sense of the current global predicament. It is also just happens to be the most vital thing he’s ever done.

--- Sean McGhee Rock ‘n’ Reel October 2007

- Rock 'n' Reel


"Washington Post"

Like most of the Mekons, Danbert Nobacon is Leeds-bred and well-read.

Formerly a member of Chumbawamba, which had a fluke 1997 hit with "Tubthumping," Nobacon now lives in the United States. On his first solo album, "Library Book of the World," he's backed by Langford and one of his many bands, the Pine Valley Cosmonauts. The result is 15 twangy stompers that could be labeled Americana if not for their wide-ranging topics.

Singing in a rough voice that sometimes resembles that of Tom Waits, Nobacon smartly surveys past and present, justifying such titles as "Nixon Is My Dentist" and "Jamestown 2007." The problem is that the melodies are rarely as compelling as the words. Yet the two are sometimes equally matched, notably on the striding "Christopher Marlowe," a sitar-accented ode to "messing with form" that suggests Nobacon may have another fluke hit in him.

-- Mark Jenkins

September 28th 2007 - Washington Post


Discography

ALBUM "The Library Book of the World" by Danbert Nobacon and the Pine Valley Cosmonauts - 2007

ALBUM "The Unfairy Tale" by Danbert Nobacon - 1985

All Chumbawamba albums and EP's 1985-2004

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Bio

A founder member of Chumbawamba and was part of the band for 22 years until November 2004 when the electric band went into deep freeze. He began playing solo in 2005, released and album entitled "the Library Book of the World" on Bloodshot Records with The Pine Valley Cosmonauts (produced by Jon Langford - Mekons, Waco Brothers). He has done his own European and US tours and supported Mekons in the US and the UK in 2007 and has played a wide spectrum of genre crossing events from political theater to alt country, european caberet to anarcho punk hoe downs; performing at the Bertolt Brecht Festival in Augsburg, Germany in July 2007 and the Rosa Luxembourg Conference in Berlin in January 2008. Live he mixes stories songs and spoken word, using wry humour and a range of lurid characterisations exploring some of the history and currrency of the unholy mess we find ourselves in in the early twentieth century. He moved with his family to Washington state USA in 2007 and plays regularly in the Pacific North West. He is currently unsigned in 2009.