Winston Peters told to stop using Chumbawamba hit ‘Tubthumping’ at rallies

The Deputy Prime Minister is denying reports he has been asked by an anarchist punk band to stop playing their best-known song at his rallies.

British group Chumbawamba have reportedly issued Peters a cease-and-desist notice after he used their song ‘Tubthumping’ ahead of a speech he delivered at the weekend in Palmerston North.

He went on to paraphrase the song, telling supporters: “We got knocked down, but we got up again – and nothing is going to stop us now.”

The chorus to the song, which topped the New Zealand charts in September 1997, goes: “I get knocked down, but I get up again / You are never gonna keep me down.”

Peters also quoted the song in a speech in Auckland in July last year.

The band told The Spinoff they did not authorise Peters’ use of the song, and had asked their record label to intervene.

Lead guitarist Boff Whalley told the outlet ‘Tubthumping’ was a “song of hope and positivity”, and disagreed with Peters’ “divisive, small-minded, bigoted policies” and “ideas on race relations”.

“The song was written for and about ordinary people and their resilience, not about rich politicians trying to win votes by courting absurd conspiracy theories and spouting misguided racist ideologies,” Whalley said.

In a statement on Tuesday evening, Peters said the “ham-fisted attempt at a story” was “initiated by a leftie shill reporter”, and the guitarist’s views a “biased appraisal of what was said in my speech”.

“New Zealand First has not received any cease-and-desist phone call, email, letter, or anything of the sort from the former band nor any other representative – and we don’t expect to.”

RNZ was unable to reach Sony Music on Tuesday evening for a clarification. Stuff later reported APRA AMCOS, which handles music publishing, had confirmed a letter from Sony Music Publishing would be sent to Peters and his party, New Zealand First. APRA said the party had not sought permission to use the song, a requirement when it could be construed as support from the artist for the party.

Chumbawamba frequently attacked politicians and political parties in their native UK in their lyrics and public statements, including dumping a bucket of ice water on the then-deputy prime minister at an awards show in 1998, at the height of their fame.

The band broke up in 2012, after – in their own words – “30 years of being snotty, eclectic, funny, contrary and just plain weird”.

‘Tubthumping’ is sometimes thought of as a drinking song for its verses, which begin, “He drinks a whiskey drink / he drinks a vodka drink” – ironic in light of Peters’ recent spat with Labour leader Chris Hipkins over their respective alcohol intakes.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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