Sat at the backof Eastbourne’s Floral Hall, Damon sniffles into his hanky and blows hard. Blurs manager flurries around him like a tubby, beared Florence Nightingale (if you can imaging such a thing) administering bottles of lemsip and mineral water to his sickly singer. Its only a few days into Blurs tour of seaside towns, but Damons in a very prickly mood as he prepares for tonights gig at the sleppy, blue rinsed costal resort. After a brief kick around with his footie mates, he walks off with a ‘do not dare aproach me’ look at all onlookers- TOTP included.
So, taking a deep breath, TOTP moves in with a frehs tissue and a bottle of thick, gloopy cough medicine, and offers to take the weight off his flu-fugged mind with some quickfire, theraputic questions. Thankfully, Damon responds to the treatment with a matey handshake, and his mood only darkens when the subject of Oasis raises an ugly eyebrow...
Have you ever worn womens clothing?
I used to do it all the time when I was a kid. You know, playing in my mums dressing up box. It was fun. It’s been quite a long time since I dressed up as a woman. Probably about a year or so. I havnt had the time to do that sort of thing recently.
Have you ever been in trouble with the law?
Yeah, I’ve been locked up in a cell a few times. When I’d just left collage and I was doing really bad jobs in a croissant shop and then signing on the dole, I used to go down to Goldsmiths Collage a lot, where Graham and Alex were studying for they’re degrees.
The most drunk I ever got was at a private view of a collage art show. I think I had about two bottles of tequila and completely lost about 10 hours. I woke up in a cell, and when my vision cleared, I found myself staring at this Nepalise soldier. He didnt speak any English, and he was just very alarmed that I was in there with him.
When I asked the coppers what happened, they said ‘Well, we found you at Euston station, unconscious and surrounded by tramps, so we thought we’d bring you here for your own good.’ I’d had all my money nicked, so I had to walk all the way home.
Do you have any disgusting habits?
Nothing really disgusting. I havnt worked out yet whether the secret to a happy life is getting rid of your mucky habits or doing them more.
Do you ever need to be the centre of attention?
I dont if its normal, everyday situation. But I do if its related to what I do. Pop music is my chosen thing, its what drives me on and I want to be at the centre of things.
When did you realise you were a fully fledged popstar?
I think the single Girls and Boys was the first big crossover record for a British bands since, erm, whenever. It knid of started with that. You know you’re a household name when things start getting unpleasant with the tabloids, but you should be able to get around the stupid thingsa by approaching them on a stupid level. Its pop music. Its not supposed to be taken seriously, is it?
Are Oasis your arch enemies?
I would have been dissappointed if Oasis had got to number one instead of us. But I think they’rre a really good band and this rivalry is just getting silly now. At the Brit Awards- and I know we won a lot and that annoyed them- when I said ‘This should be shared with Oasis’ I thought that was the fair thing to say. After that, they were fine in person, but in public they were still equally aggressive about the whole thing.
Whe they got to number one with Some Might Say, I went down to their party to have a drink and congratulate them. You know, they’d got something I’d been dreaming about all my life. So I went down there ad said ‘Well done Liam’ But then he puts his face right up to mine, so we’re almost touching, sticks out one finger and goes ‘We’re number one mate, number one’ I dont know why I even bothered going, as I wasnt even vaguely happy for him. I’m just quite a competitive person and he just humiliated me. I just thought, ‘I really dont need this.’
Do you regret your public war of words with Brett Anderson fom Suede?
Yeah, absolutely. Its not quite as bad as ‘I hope he dies of AIDs’ bnut its the same sort of stupid thing that comes up in the press. It was misinterpreted. I wasnt really having a go at him, I was just saying it was stupid to take Heroin. He wasnt looking very healthy at the time, and I think that maybe sometimes when people say things about you in the press it really brings it home to you. But I’m not trying to justify it at all. I was out of order to say what I said, and I’m sorry.
Do you have a favourite charactor from The Great Escape?
I think the ones that are closest to me really, because it means I can sing them from within myself. They’re probably quite obvious now.
When did you last cry?
Last week. I cry a lot when I’m getting very stressed. I dont cry into my beer very often, though. Ocasionally the first beer wil start me off, when I’m on my own. But I’m not really a melancholy drunk.
You sadi that you felt like an outsider when you were a kid. Were you unhappy?
I wasnt depressed at all when I was younger. I was exceptionally happy, but I was always seen as being odd. I didnt want to be different, but I was. There’s quite a subtle difference wanting to be odd and actually being odd.
Is it true you’ve got a tongue that would make a large reptile feel inadequate?
No, thats my tongue (unrolls a floppy, yellow tinged thing and licks his nose with a dog like slobber)
Didf you ever get into trouble at school?
I once owned up to flooding the toilets when it wasnt me. I got the slipper from the teacher for it too. Noone else would own up and we werent allowed home, so I just owned up/ I cant remember whether it was for anyone in particular, or whether it was a random act of chivalry... or just plain stupidity.
Can you resist a dare?
I quite like being set challenges. I like taking risks. But its a school thing really isnt it? When you get older you just do things. You dont really need someone to dare you.
Tell us about a strange sexual experience?
Sex was probably a lot stranger when I was younger. I’m trying to rid myself of all my desires as I get older. There are certain things you have to get out of your system and I ctrave, erm... simplicity these days. I dont really want to amke things more complicated than they already are.
Were you embarrased when your girlfriend Justine said that you had a low sex drive?
No, I thought it was funny. Its a good quote for the tabvloid press, isnt it?
Have you ever been in love with someone who didnt love you?
I’ve only ever been in love with one person and thats Justine. So no, I guess I’ve been lucky that way.