The Streets’ Mike Skinner has said he “shouldn’t have played at” Bristol venue Colston Hall.
Read more: An exclusive essay from Bristol City Poet Vanessa Kisuule: “Edward Colston does not represent us”
The space is named after former slave owner Edward Colston, but is set to be renamed later this year.
Speaking to the Independent, Skinner said he felt “a bit guilty” about performing at the venue. “Massive Attack haven’t been playing there for years,” he said. “At the time, I just thought it was just a name.”
A statue of Colston was recently pulled down by protestors and dumped in Bristol Harbour, which Skinner called a “fantastic moment”. “It was driven as much by white guilt as black power,” he said. “Even Piers Morgan backs it. If he backs it, I’m pretty confident that we’re good to go.”
The musician also commented on the recent Black Lives Matter protests around the world, calling them “incredibly moving”. “It’s easy for me to say, but I don’t think racist people are the problem, even though they are being quite vocal on Twitter,” Skinner added.
“I think racist systems are by orders of magnitude more damaging. I think what’s going on at the moment is people are starting to understand the difference between racist people and racist systems.”
The Streets shared their latest new song ‘Falling Down’ last month (June 23) – the latest track to be taken from their upcoming mixtape, ‘None Of Us Are Getting Out Of This Life Alive’. The record will be released on July 10 and will feature IDLES, Ms Banks, Greentea Peng and more.
Meanwhile, the group are also one of a number of artists who are set to play the UK’s first drive-in gigs this summer. The Utilita Live From The Drive-In series will see artists including The Streets, Kaiser Chiefs and Dizzee Rascal perform across 12 venues as fans watch on from their cars.