Charity wants Albarn prosecution
Published 22/03/2010 | 15:41
Damon Albarn should be prosecuted for smoking a cigarette on stage on the first night of a tour, an anti-smoking charity has claimed.
The Gorillaz frontman was seen to light up a cigarette while performing at the Wedgewood Rooms in Portsmouth on Sunday night - and bass guitarist Paul Simonon, formerly of The Clash, also smoked during the show in front of an "intimate" audience of about 500 fans.
Action on Smoking and Health (Ash) spokeswoman Amanda Sandford called for Albarn and Simonon to be prosecuted to make an example of them, saying: "There can be no excuse for that as it is an indoor place and the law is very clear - we are not allowed to smoke on stage unless it's relevant to the act."
She went on: "They should be fined. It's not just the artist, it's the premises where the act is held. I would expect the local authority to take the appropriate action.
"It's not just illegal but more importantly it's about the message it sends out to fans.
"People in the public eye have a duty not to promote smoking. It's very irresponsible - I suppose they think it's rebellious and they may get some extra kudos from it and maybe some extra publicity."
A member of staff at the Wedgewood Rooms said they had not been made aware of the smoking during the show or received any complaints.
Gorillaz were on the first night of a "rehearsal" tour as they prepare to headline the Coachella festival in California ahead of a series of shows in the UK in the autumn.