English singer-songwriter Lily Allen’s brutally honest fourth album is “No Shame.” (Courtesy photo)

English singer-songwriter Lily Allen’s brutally honest fourth album is “No Shame.” (Courtesy photo)

Lily Allen shares her thoughts exactly

When British pop provocateur Lily Allen — who plays the East Bay this weekend — looks back over the past four years leading up to her brutally honest new fourth album “No Shame” and a simultaneously published autobiography “My Thoughts Exactly,” she recognizes the point where she hit rock bottom. It was when she started ducking off-day visits with her daughters on an increasingly-tedious 18-month tour behind 2014’s “Sheezus,” a record she barely remembers writing.

“It all just fell apart at the seams,” she says. “I was drinking heavily, and I found myself not wanting to come back home and see my kids, because I’d spent so much time away and I was tired of them rejecting me.”

Also, Allen’s husband Sam Cooper was leaving her — the divorce was finalized in June — after she confessed some of her infidelities, including an affair with Oasis mouthpiece Liam Gallagher, who also was married at the time. (Her book unflinchingly dishes the dirt.)

“I suddenly found myself very alone and isolated,” she says. “When I split up with my husband, most of our friends seemed to take his side, so I was alone at home with two kids and not really having anyone to talk to. So this album and book that I’ve done have both become outlets for me.”

The singer (sister of “Game of Thrones” actor Alfie Allen) says she arrived at some “No Shame” songs — mea culpas such as the current jazzy single “Lost My Mind” — with “about 20,000 pounds’ worth of therapy.”

Allen, who debuted in 2006 with the edgy “Alright, Still,” never has shied away from pointedly political subjects in her songs.

This time, she cleared her head by attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. “Instead of looking at everybody else’s behavior, I turned the magnifying glass in on myself for the first time,” she says. The approach worked: “No Shame” was nominated for a Mercury Prize.

Allen, daughter of actor Keith Allen and film producer Allison Owen, entered the entertainment industry with ease. After hitting with music, she got her own BBC TV talk show, and her own label In the Name Of Records, whose roster included Cults and Tom Odell.

Now, she’s behaving in a more businesslike way, too. She no longer drinks to get drunk, and will have a glass of wine with dinner only if a guest has brought along a bottle.

Allen, a savvy survivor, had an ulterior motive behind her CD/book assault. She penned it for her daughters: “With the Internet and what exists there, I want to be able to give them my version of events, rather than whatever’s floating around out there online,” she says.

IF YOU GO
Lily Allen
Where: Fox Theater, 1807 Telegraph Ave., Oakland
When: 8 p.m. Oct.6
Tickets: $35
Contact: (510) 302-2250, www.ticketmaster.comAlrightLily AllenLost My MindMy Thoughts ExactlyNo ShamePop MusicSam CooperStill

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Giants second baseman Donovan Solano scores on a double in the seventh inning against the Dodgers at Oracle Park on July 29. (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
Will the Giants make the playoffs? Kris Bryant may be the answer

By Chris Haft Special to The Examiner You’d be hard-pressed to find… Continue reading

Tiffany Carter, owner of Boug Cali West Coast Creole Shack in San Francisco’s La Cocina Marketplace, was dismayed by gentrification she found when she returned to her hometown to start a business. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF Black Wallstreet: Helping residents build wealth, reclaim spaces they’ve had to leave

Tiffany Carter moved back to her hometown of San Francisco five years… Continue reading

A prescribed fire at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks was conducted in June 2016 to reduce hazardous fuel loading, increase watershed health, and restore the natural fire cycle in the Redwood Canyon area ecosystem. (Photo courtesy Rebecca Paterson/National Park Service)
Experts, UC scientists discuss wildfires in the state’s riskiest regions

Wildfires are nothing new in California’s history, but the magnitude and frequencies… Continue reading

Fourth-grade students at Lucerne Valley Elementary School don masks and Western wear for a “Walk Through California” history day during in-person instruction. (Courtesy of Krystal Nelson)
Confusion over mask mandate for California schools sparks tension between districts and parents

By Diana Lambert EdSource Shifting rules around mask mandates at schools are… Continue reading

In his extensive filming of The City during the pandemic, Eric Goodfield said he has been “observing how the environment affects the behavior of people.” (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Filmmaker Eric Goodfield fixes lens on SF’s COVID days

140 days of shooting in The City made for ‘greatest adventure’

Most Read