Remember in the mid-'90s when a rash of Britpop bands like Blur and Oasis suddenly became all the rage? It was an odd phase for the American charts, but could it have been the result of a government conspiracy designed to promote pro-U.K. propaganda?
Kevin Shields, frontman of the legendary Irish shoegaze band My Bloody Valentine, thinks so. In one of Shield’s rare interviews following the release of “m b v,” the band’s first album in 20 years, Shields explained to the Guardian that the Britpop craze of the mid-'90s wasn’t popular because it was any good. Instead, Shields believes that the music took off because it was being heavily promoted by MI5, the U.K.’s version of the CIA, for propaganda purposes.
"Britpop was massively pushed by the government," Shields told the Guardian of the “Cool Britannia” bands like Oasis, Blur and Pulp. "Someday it would be interesting to read all the MI5 files on Britpop. The wool was pulled right over everyone's eyes there."
The Guardian added that “In the early years of Tony Blair's premiership, Britpop luminaries such as [Oasis frontman] Noel Gallagher and [Blur frontman] Damon Albarn were vocal supporters of the Labour government, and visited 10 Downing Street.”
So, would Shields have ever visited 10 Downing Street to cozy up with Blair and the rest of the British government?
"I would have agreed to go on condition that we could play a song," Shields said, reportedly with a bit of menace in his voice.
“He's referring to MBV's formidable live sound. One reviewer complained that the experience had more in common with torture than entertainment,” the Guardian explained.
It sounds a little bizarre, but he kind of has a point. Really, what else but a massive government conspiracy could explain Oasis’ popularity?