Damon Albarn should be prosecuted - charity

An anti-smoking charity has called for Gorillaz singer Damon Albarn to be prosecuted for smoking onstage.

The smoking laws in Britain have become far stricter in recent times. Venues have banned smoking indoors, with even artists being denied permission to smoke onstage.

Opening their tour in Portsmouth on Sunday (March 21st) Gorillaz have already come under fire. Despite the law, singer Damon Albarn lit up onstage sparking furious protests from anti-smoking charities.

Reports on the BBC indicate that staff at the Wedgewood Rooms venue had not received any complaints about smoking. However a spokeswoman for Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) claimed that the group should be fined.

Both Albarn and bass player Paul Simonon lit up onstage, sparking a enraged reaction from ASH's Amanda Sandford. "There can be no excuse for that as it is an indoor place and the law is very clear."

"We are not allowed to smoke on stage unless it is relevant to the act. It is not just illegal but more importantly it is about the message it sends out to fans."

Gorillaz are, of course, a cartoon group. However for live performances the band are joined by a host of guest musicians with Paul Simonon and Mick Jones - both former members of The Clash - set to join the band.

With their new album 'Plastic Beach' riding high in the charts, the band are preparing to play their first London shows in almost a decade.

Gorillaz have declined to comment on the smoking issue.

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