You know how they say less is more, well nothing stops a crowd like the tea-box bass! They say that it's origins are from the 50's in England, invented by sailors bringing tea from Africa. But I really doubt it. I've seen bands from all over the world using them, and quite honestly I think the wash tub bass is probably much older. It's the same principle as a wash tub except that it's made from these large boxes that they ship tea in bulk from 3rd world counties (you can try to make a box yourself, but real tea-boxes are made from very thin, flexible and hard plywood, you'll save yourself a lot of trouble by finding a classic tea-box). As far as I know Chris Potts (of Ooooh Sticky & the Greasy Pigs), invented the idea of beating it with a drumstick, something that sounds really horrible on a wash tub, becomes the most potent super bass you've ever heard!
The thing about it is that it's so simple! It's just a piece of rope (something strong and low elasticity), a broom stick and a tea-box(in some countries, you can't walk two meters without having to step over them. It's sound is unbelievably good. If you beat it with a stick, you can get bass and percussion at the same time (with a little practice). It's also great because you can play music you've never heard before just by "faking" it. For me it's made many a magic jam session!