Blur’s Dave Rowntree: ‘David Cameron’s not a real Smiths fan’

Drummer speaks out as he stands for parliament

Blur drummer and Labour parliamentary candidate Dave Rowntree has criticised Conservative leader David Cameron over his apparent love for The Smiths.

Rowntree, who is standing as a candidate for Labour in the Cities of London and Westminster in the forthcoming general election, questioned Cameron‘s motives for wanting to be photographed outside The Smiths’ spiritual home of Salford Lads Club in Manchester in 2008.

“He’s a Smiths tourist, “Rowntree told the Guardian. “Real Smiths fans dress a certain kind of way, and they have a certain kind of haircut, and they wear certain kinds of T-shirts. But what they probably don’t do is have their picture taken outside the Salford Lads Club.”

Elsewhere, Rowntree criticised former Prime Minister and Labour leader Tony Blair‘s dealings with UK bands during Britpop.

“What got my goat about Tony Blair inviting all the bands to Number 10 was that that was the standard way politicians had interacted with musicians for generations. Cool Britannia was nothing to do with us. We never said Britannia was cool,” he explained.

He added: “It was like when Harold Wilson called The Beatles round. What happens at those things is not that the politicians say: ‘Well, what do you think we should be doing?’ Politicians say: ‘We’re going to be doing this. Will you support us?’ And nobody likes to feel taken for granted like that.”

Although admitting that he “almost certainly won’t win” a seat in the election on May 6, Rowntree said he is enjoying the campaign, which has seen him working at a “grassroots” level. “People write that Dave quit the band to concentrate on his political career, but I don’t have a political career,” he explained. “I’m an activist. I go round knocking on doors trying to find problems to solve.”