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Monday, September 20, 1999 Published at 14:36 GMT 15:36 UK


Kula Shaker hushed

Kula Shaker: Crispian Mills (in glasses) going solo

Rock band Kula Shaker have split up to allow frontman Crispian Mills to pursue a solo career.

The group, formed by Mills in 1995, hit fame in 1996 with the single Tattva, before releasing their number one album K.

They became known for blending Hindi lyrics with psychedelia, and quickly built up fans worldwide at the height of the mid-1990s Britpop era.

Other hits included Hey Dude, Govinda, The Sound of Drums, and a cover of the Deep Purple hit, Hush.

[ image: Crispian Mills: Controversial comments]
Crispian Mills: Controversial comments
However, the band's reputation was damaged by savage attacks in the UK music press following comments Mills made about Nazism.

He told NME he wanted to have "great big burning swastikas onstage" and that "Hitler knew a lot more than he made out. You can see why Hitler got support. It was probably the uniforms that swung it".

Mills - son of actress Hayley Mills and grandson of film legend Sir John - insisted he was referring to the swastika as an Indian spiritual symbol, but the band never shook off the controversy.

Following the outcry, Kula Shaker's fortunes started to sink. Earlier this year, their second album Peasants, Pigs and Astronauts failed to repeat K's success.

The band's last live shows were in August, including appearances at the ill-fated Lizard eclipse festival in Cornwall, and at the V99 festivals in Essex and Staffordshire.

The 26-year-old singer is now preparing to embark on a solo career. He has reportedly already been writing new songs.

He said: "I have loved my time with Kula Shaker and have experienced more than I could ever have imagined. The time is now right for me to move on and try new experiences, new musical ideas."

It is not known what plans the rest of the band - Alonza Bevan, Paul Winterhart and Jay Darlington - have for the future.

Mills added: "I will always consider them to be friends and much, much more. I would like to thank everyone who has been part of this incredible ride."

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