Badly Drawn Boy turns badly behaved rock star

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The Independent Culture

The musician Damon Gough, also known as Badly Drawn Boy, hurled abuse at his American fans in an onstage meltdown on Thursday night before telling them he would "never play live again".

Playing at the legendary Los Angeles venue the Troubadour Club to complete his tour of North America, Gough complained of sound trouble in an often-interrupted set before beginning to swear at the crowd.

The Dunstable-born singer rose to fame in 2000 when he won the Mercury Music Prize for his debut album The Hour of Bewilderbeast. He is currently promoting his latest album It's What I'm Thinking Pt 1 – Photographing Snowflakes which dropped quickly out of the British charts in October.

"I am going home," he said. "This is the end of the show for me. If these cunts keep saying shit, I am fucking off. Anyone else want to say any shit to me? You think I enjoy this? Being away from my two kids to do this shit?"

The artist described the sound as "swampy" and "terrible" after walking on stage. The problems persisted, causing him to become increasingly angry. "Anyone who doesn't want to be here, fuck off," he told the crowd.

After getting only one verse into his song "The Shining", Gough threw his harmonica to the floor and launched into another tirade. "You can shut up!" he shouted and then disappeared for a cigarette before returning 20 minutes later, by which point half the crowd had left.

He added: "I am trying my best, LA twats. You need to get a life." The audience responded with laughter and applause.

"Give us our money back," said one audience member upon his return. "Do I need to be here? You are killing your fan base." Another can be heard on a YouTube video saying: "He is moody tonight."

The musician switched from guitar to piano before becoming even more agitated. "After tonight, I'm never playing live again," he said. "Seriously, do you think I want to be here? This night has been a complete disaster for me." As fans left the venue in disgust, Gough dedicated one of his last songs, a cover of Madonna's "Like a Virgin", to those who had remained.

"I wish I could turn back the clock and start over," he said. "I should just open a shop somewhere."

His latest album is the first in a planned trilogy of releases. It spent one week in the British charts at number 63. Gough gained popularity two years after winning the Mercury prize for the soundtrack to About a Boy, starring Hugh Grant based on the Nick Hornby novel of the same name.

Gough's management were not available for comment last night.