Ocean Colour Scene frontman Simon Fowler has opened up about being outed as gay by the tabloids in the 1990s.
Speaking in a new interview for NME’s Does Rock ‘N’ Roll Kill Braincells?! when asked about The Sun revealing his sexuality in 1998, Fowler said: “I don’t think it was a big deal. It was noticeable that our third album [1997’s] ‘Marchin’ Already’ went to Number One and knocked Oasis’ ‘Be Here Now’ off the top spot – which is when Noel Gallagher sent us a plaque: ‘Congratulations to the second greatest band in the world’.
“But the album didn’t end up selling anywhere near as much as its predecessor, ‘Moseley Shoals’, overall. Whether that [The Sun’s outing] had anything to do with it, I don’t know. I suspect it didn’t. It certainly didn’t affect our concerts.”
He continued: “Looking back now, it seems absurd – and I don’t think anybody gave a toss even then. In fact, when it happened, the first thing Liam Gallagher did was come up and kiss me on the lips! [Laughs] Everybody knew – apart from my parents. But now, I’ve been with my partner, Robert, for 34 years, and my parents have accepted him into the family.”
He also spoke about touring with Oasis during Ocean Colour Scene’s breakthrough in 1995.
“It was just as you’d imagine,” he recalled. “I don’t know why we bothered to order bedrooms because I don’t think anyone went to bed for about five years. They were fantastic.
“When it was the two of them friendly to each other together, they were hilarious and had a banter relationship that only brothers can have and it’s a bloody shame – in my book – that they had the world at their feet and scored an own-goal. I think: I wish I could have had that with my brother.”
Meanwhile, Ocean Colour Scene are set to perform at this year’s Victorious Festival in the summer.