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People are asking what happened to Nizlopi over 17 years on from their one hit wonder JCB

Daisy Phillipson

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People are asking what happened to Nizlopi over 17 years on from their one hit wonder JCB

Do random memories from your teens ever pop up in your head and make you think, 'Huh... I wonder what happened to them?'

Well, I had that exact experience with the band Nizlopi the other day and it looks like I'm not the only one.

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It's been over 17 years since their one hit wonder 'JCB Song' blew up in the UK and despite their huge success, they seemed to vanish into the ether.

Over the years, people have taken to social media to ponder what happened to the musical duo Luke Concannon and John Parker, and 2023 is no different.

Before we get into it, let's first refresh your memory on the song itself. The cutesy folk track is based on a moment in Concannon's childhood when his dad picked him up from school in a JCB digger.

The lyrics centre on a boy who sees his father as a hero, comparing him to famous figures such as Bruce Lee and B.A. Baracus.

Although the pair included the single on their debut album Half These Songs Are About You, which was released in 2004, it wasn't until a year later that the track really took off after gaining a cult following online.

Its popularity only grew further after animation company MonkeeHub created the accompanying music video, which is arguably just as famous as the track itself.

Nizlopi re-released the single at the end of 2005 in the UK after it became a strong contender for Christmas number one that year.

The JCB Song nearly made it to Christmas #1 in 2005. Credit: FDM Records
The JCB Song nearly made it to Christmas #1 in 2005. Credit: FDM Records

Although it didn't win, it became synonymous with the mid-naughties festive period and is still beloved by the fans.

Which begs the question: what the hell happened to Nizlopi?

This was asked by TikTok user @pokketvoice, who took to the video-sharing platform to say: "Now this might unlock a memory for some of you guys.

"How many of you remember a song whereby the lyrics went, 'I'm Luke, I'm five and my dad's Bruce Lee'? It's from 2004."

He then shares a segment from the instantly recognisable music video.

Plenty of people remember the song, with some saying they 'still listen to it now'. Another follower commented: "Thanks for making me feel old."

Over on Twitter, a number of people have raised the same question, with one saying: "I always wondered what happened to Nizlopi."

Another simply asked: "Who remembers Nizlopi?"

It seems like a lot of people certainly do remember them, but if you're hoping to catch them on tour anytime soon, don't hold your breath.

Although they continued to make music together after the release of JCB Song, unfortunately they could never match its success and the pair officially split in 2010, although they have performed a few gigs together since then.

In their latest band update, shared in March last year, they said: "Thank you so much for checking in on us; Nizlopi are on a long term pause."

That being said, Concannon is still touring with his own songs, having recently released his album Ecstatic Bird in the Burning - you can keep tabs on his solo work via his personal website.

Although their story is that of a one-hit wonder, you might be interested to know that Nizlopi went on to influence one of the most famous pop stars today: Ed Sheeran.

Ed Sheeran said Nizlopi had a huge influence on his songwriting. Credit: PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo
Ed Sheeran said Nizlopi had a huge influence on his songwriting. Credit: PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo

Yes, in his book A Visual Journey, the 'Shape of You' singer wrote: "When I was fourteen I got into a band called Nizlopi, who fused the two things I loved: acoustic music and hip hop.

"The first song I heard was Fine Story, on MySpace. Next I heard Freedom and then The JCB Song, in April 2005.

"After that, I became obsessed with them and went to a f***load of their concerts. I went to every single gig and waited around afterwards so I could meet them. They were really inspiring."

He added: "I took their influence and it helped me to find my sound."

Featured Image Credit: PA/Alamy FDM/Records

Topics: Music, UK News, Ed Sheeran

Daisy Phillipson
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