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Single cover
Single by Nizlopi
from the album Half These Songs Are About You
  • 6 June 2005
  • 12 December 2005 (re-release)
  • Luke Concannon
  • John Parker
Producer(s)Gavin Monaghan
Nizlopi singles chronology
"Fine Story"

"JCB" (or "JCB Song") is the second single from Nizlopi's first album Half These Songs Are About You. It peaked at number one on the UK Singles Chart and Irish Singles Chart in December 2005. In July 2006 the song became a moderate hit in Australia, reaching number 43 on the ARIA Singles Chart. As Nizlopi failed to earn any more significant hits after "JCB", they became a one-hit wonder.[1]


The song is a reminiscence of childhood, based on singer Luke Concannon's memories; it is sung from the point of view of a young boy, travelling with his father on his JCB digger, listening to Christy Moore's song "Don't Forget Your Shovel". The song's lyrics refer to Luke's dyslexia; the resulting bullying; and characters such as B. A. Baracus, Bruce Lee, and Transformers, who would protect him against the bullies. The bypass mentioned in the song is the A46,[2] as the band lived in Leamington Spa at the time and the A46 is known locally as "The Bypass".


The single was originally released in the United Kingdom in June 2005, when it entered the charts at number 160. Following its release, the song gradually achieved a cult following on the Internet and at film festivals, in part due to the award-winning animated video by Laith Bahrani of Monkeehub. Mainstream coverage and airplay followed, and by 19 November, national newspapers were writing about the song's rise, and possible destiny as Christmas number one.

The song entered the UK Singles Chart at number one in the week before Christmas but was pushed into second place on the Christmas charts by X Factor singer Shayne Ward.[3] Both songs continued to hold their positions for the next four weeks. In Ireland, the song also reached number one the week before Christmas but lost the top position to a cover of Will Young's song "Leave Right Now" by Mario Rosenstock on Christmas week.[4] It then returned to the top spot the week after, its last week at number one. The song stayed on the Irish chart for 16 more weeks.[5] In Australia, "JCB" experienced moderate success, debuting at number 45 on 2 July 2006 and peaking at number 43 the next week. It then left the top 50.[6]

The standard single features the new B-side "Clear". The enhanced CD has a second new track "Helen", plus the JCB video. The hit record was produced by Gavin Monaghan, also known for his work with Scott Matthews, Robert Plant, Editors, Ocean Colour Scene, The Twang and The Holloways.

Critical reception

Bob Stanley of The Guardian retrospectively panned the song as one of the worst number one singles of the 2000s, commenting: "You wait for the punchline on Nizlopi's JCB Song before realising, to your horror, that the weedy singing and naive lyric is not a Hoxton parody of outsider art but is meant to signify sincerity." He dismissed the song as resembling an attempt by Carter USM to write a ballad.[7]



Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[13] Platinum 600,000double-dagger

double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ "Nizlopi". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 12 February 2020.
  2. ^ Nizlopi [@NizlopiOfficial] (28 April 2015). "@flahr totally is. Jp" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  3. ^ a b "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  4. ^ a b "The Irish Charts – Search Results – JCB Song". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 21 January 2020.
  5. ^ "Top 50 Singles, Week Ending 20 April 2006". IRMA. Archived from the original on 21 December 2018. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  6. ^ a b " – Nizlopi – The JCB Song". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  7. ^ Stanley, Bob (17 December 2009). "Top of the Noughties Pop". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  8. ^ "Hits of the World – Eurocharts" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 118 no. 1. 7 January 2006. p. 55. Retrieved 18 April 2020. See last week column.
  9. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 8 July 2018.
  10. ^ "Official Independent Singles Chart Top 50". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  11. ^ "Best of singles 2005". IRMA. Retrieved 8 July 2018.
  12. ^ "End of Year Singles Chart Top 100 – 2005". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 8 July 2018.
  13. ^ "British single   certifications – Nizlopi – JCB Song". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 18 September 2020.

External links

This page was last edited on 18 September 2020, at 12:52
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