Kevin Shields has raised the notion that Britpop was part of a government conspiracy. Speaking to the Guardian in an exclusive interview, to be published online later today and in the G2 Film&Music section tomorrow, the My Bloody Valentine leader reacted angrily to a mention of the Cool Britannia phenomenon.
"Britpop was massively pushed by the government," he said. "Someday it would be interesting to read all the MI5 files on Britpop. The wool was pulled right over everyone's eyes there."
In the early years of Tony Blair's premiership, Britpop luminaries such as Noel Gallagher and Damon Albarn were vocal supporters of the Labour government, and visited 10 Downing Street. Shields said he would only have attended "on condition we could play a song".
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Shields also said the time he spent with Primal Scream – he toured with them between 1999 and 2006 – was a bit of a blur. "I was terrible in my 30s," he said. "I did some silly, crazy things. That's when I really went for it in every respect. Taking drugs recreationally – lots of them. So it's all very hazy and jumbled up. I can remember the beginning and the last few gigs with Primal Scream but everything else is interchangeable.
"I once took down the name of every single member of staff on an aeroplane because I was so fucking drunk. I found this illegible piece of paper in my pocket the next day and couldn't work out what it was. I'd blacked out. But now I'm a more convivial drinker, I don't get really drunk."