Damon Albarn once shouted ‘xenophobe’ at Michael Gove in the street

"He came over, which showed me he had some steel"

Damon Albarn has revealed an accidental meeting with MP Michael Gove in which he called him a xenophobe, followed by a conversation about the mishandling of Brexit.

The Blur and Gorillaz frontman was speaking to The Times, when he recalled spotting the Conservative Secretary Of State jogging through West Lodnon.

“I called over — ‘Gove, you’re a xenophobe!’” remembered Albarn. “Now, I had no real qualification for saying that, but he came over, which showed he had some steel. I wasn’t expecting that. I thought he’d run off.”


“So, I told him the EU had nothing to do with the dark agenda of the referendum, which was the last gasp of a naive aspect of English culture that presumes our way of life is superior. I was proud of the progressive nature of the country and so was disappointed.

He added: “Anyway, that is what I said, and he admitted — but if this got relayed to him, he’d deny it — that he could have done things better.”

After one fan directed the interview to Gove via Twitter, Gove replied: “I remember it well! Enjoyed the chat – and wish Damon well for the future.”

Reflecting on his divisive speech at the BRIT Awards 2018 in which he hit out at Brexit and urged citizens to “not let themselves be cut off”, Albarn placed much of the blame upon alcohol.


“I’ve got one thing to say and it’s about this country. This country is, believe it or not, quite a small, little thing but it’s a lovely place, and it’s part of a beautiful world.”

“Don’t let it become isolated,” he added, “don’t let yourselves become cut off. Considering our size, we do some incredible things in music. We got a real spirit and a real soul. Don’t let politics get in the way of that shit.”

Gorillaz release new album ‘The Now Now’ on June 29.