The Bloc Party frontman, whose most recent solo record was last year’s ‘2042’, shared a video of himself playing the song from his home. The word ‘Kettling’ refers to the police tactic in which officers form large cordons to contain a crowd within a limited area.
Some of the lyrics to the song from Bloc Party’s 2012 album, ‘Four’, read: “Po-po don’t fuck around / As their cameras take pictures of us“, and: “Because they can’t stop this / We can feel it in our bones“.
Okereke’s performance comes amid a time of global unrest sparked by the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25.
Floyd, 46, was pinned down by the neck by officer Derek Chauvin, who has since been charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter. As well as Chauvin, three other officers now all face charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder, and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.
“The political backdrop that we’re experiencing right now is quite frightening to me,” Okereke explained. “The most powerful man in the world in the US is a racist and, in this country, the Prime Minister is an unapologetic racist too. Brexit has unleashed a wave of nativist patriotism and there’s been an unleashing of ugliness and a coarsening of the rhetoric,” he said.
“I’ve never experienced such widespread public racism and for it to be given the centre ground…”