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You’re listening to The Streets, Mike Skinner told us back in 2001. Back then he was launching Original Pirate Material, the era-defining debut album that would become a cult classic and a best-seller, despite his lyrical assertion otherwise.

Now, we will soon be watching on the big screen, too, as Skinner releases his debut film The Darker The Shadow, The Brighter The Light, billed as a “tripped out neo-noir” murder mystery. The story follows the “seemingly mundane life” of a down-on-his-luck DJ and has been entirely crafted by the musician, who wrote, directed, filmed, edited and created the score for the project, and is also its star.

From a lyricist whose nuanced lines about life’s mundanities turned the banal into the exhilarating – from video shops and texting girls to scrambled eggs and fried tomato (plenty of) – it sounds promising. Of course, there is an album, too – the first full-length record from The Streets in more than 10 years (None Of Us Are Getting Out Of This Life Alive, released in 2020, was a mix-tape of collaborations).

The Streets star Mike Skinner at the London premiere of his debut film, The Darker The Shadow, The Brighter The Light. Pic: Dave Hogan/Hogan Media/Shutterstock
Pic: Dave Hogan/Hogan Media/Shutterstock

‘I’m a DJ in the film and that part of the film is true’

“It’s a musical but the songs are the voiceover,” Skinner told Sky News at the premiere for the film, held in London. But don’t expect “jazz hands or dancing around on lampposts – that’s the next film”, he jokes. “It’s a very simple story that started out almost like a film noir type thing, but then got carried away.”

Scenes were shot in London venues such as Visions and Hoxton Hall, as well as Manchester’s Warehouse Project and Club Liv. “All of the places in the film are nightclubs where I have been DJing, so I’m a DJ in the film and that part of the film is true. But I wasn’t trying to be overly clever. I was just trying to make a film that would be easy and cheap.”

Skinner called time on The Streets in 2011 before announcing a reunion tour in 2017. His other projects, such as The D.O.T, have been low-profile in comparison, and he has been DJing for years. “I think music is about the other people you’re around, which is what makes it so intense when you’re a teenager, right, because the music represents these emotional times that you’re having. In a weird way, I actually think DJing is a bit like that, really. Because, you’re forced to be in rooms with people listening to music very loud.”

So the premise for the film sounds like it could be based in truth, apart from, presumably, the murder-mystery part. “It’s not autobiographical at all, apart from the people and the places, if that makes sense,” he says. “There’s elements of it that are really happening – when I’m DJing, that’s just someone filming me when I’m DJing. But it’s… I’ve just crafted a very silly story on to the top of what is very banal, and nocturnal.”

Concept similar to A Grand Don’t Come For Free

Mike Skinner, aka The Streets, performing on stage at the Brixton Academy in south London, in 2003
Skinner pictured at a gig in Brixton in 2003

The film was planned “as being a bit like my second album”, Skinner says. A Grand Don’t Come For Free, the album that saw his fame skyrocket, was a concept album telling the story of a guy who loses £1,000, featuring hits including Fit But You Know It, Dry Your Eyes, and Blinded By The Lights.

“This is the same, really,” he says. “It’s kind of what I’ve been doing lately, but turned into a musical.”

The music has been ready for years – “this project’s seven years old, or 10 years, depending on how you define it… I’ve been sitting on the music”.

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Bringing back The Streets, starting with a reunion tour, has been “great”, Skinner says. In fact, that’s been the easy bit. The film was harder to get off the ground. He was determined, financing the project himself when he struggled to get backing.

“Knowing that I’m working on this film and then working on this film has been a nightmare. It’s been an obsession… I kind of did everything myself so it just didn’t stop, really. The tunnel was very long, very dark, and there was no light – apart from a train, maybe.”

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‘I didn’t sleep for a week’

Skinner is a perfectionist. “You have to be. But it was more… we did try to get funding. No one wanted to give us any money. That was 2019. I mean, established directors can’t make films, you know, so I’ve not got a chance in hell, really. I kind of knew that. End of 2019 I just thought, I’ve just got to do this myself or it’s not going to get done. And it’s really hard.”

Now, with the film about to launch, he admits he feels “completely overwhelmed”, having struggled the most with the finishing touches in the days leading up to the premiere. “I’ve kind of gone from literally sitting in my pants, just tearing my hair out, to like three days later, having make-up put on me and talking to you.”

He adds: “It was completely bonkers. I didn’t sleep literally for a week. I could have gone on, to be honest, I could have gone on for another six weeks. But, you know, you don’t finish a work of art. You just abandon it.”

Skinner is touring The Darker The Shadow, The Brighter The Light with Q&A sessions at Everyman cinemas, starting in Plymouth on 19 September and ending in London on 6 October

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Donald Sutherland, Hunger Games and Kelly’s Heroes actor, dies




Donald Sutherland, Hunger Games and Kelly's Heroes actor, dies

Donald Sutherland, who appeared in films including The Hunger Games and Kelly’s Heroes, has died at the age of 88.

His agency, CAA, said he died in Miami “after a long illness”.

The Canadian actor won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his performance in the mini-series Citizen X.

In 2017, he received an honorary Oscar.

His son, fellow actor Kiefer Sutherland, said “with a heavy heart” that his father had “passed away”.

“I personally think [he was] one of the most important actors in the history of film,” Kiefer Sutherland posted on X, adding that he was “never daunted by a role – good, bad or ugly”.

“He loved what he did and did what he loved, and one can never ask for more than that. A life well lived.”

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Sutherland with his son Kiefer. Pic: Reuters
Sutherland with his son Kiefer. Pic: Reuters

In the Hunger Games franchise, Donald Sutherland played President Snow alongside Jennifer Lawrence.

In Kelly’s Heroes he starred alongside Telly Savalas and Clint Eastwood as Sergeant Oddball – on a mission to steal gold from the Nazis.

“I love to work – I passionately love to work,” Sutherland told US talk show host Charlie Rose in 1998.

“I love to feel my hand fit into the glove of some other character. I feel a huge freedom – time stops for me. I’m not as crazy as I used to be, but I’m still a little crazy.”

Sutherland with Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence in 2015. Pic: AP
Sutherland with Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence in 2015. Pic: AP

His “breakthrough performances” were in 1967 movie The Dirty Dozen and MASH, CAA said.

He also took parts in Robert Redford’s Ordinary People and Oliver Stone’s JFK.

He is survived by his wife Francine Racette, sons Roeg, Rossif, Angus, and Kiefer, daughter Rachel, and four grandchildren.

“A private celebration of his life will be held by the family,” CAA said.

Born in St John, New Brunswick, on the east coast of Canada in July 1935, he was the son of a salesman and a mathematics teacher.

He started university in Toronto as an engineering student but switched to English and started acting in college productions.

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Travis Scott arrested for ‘causing a disturbance while drunk and trespassing’




Travis Scott arrested for 'causing a disturbance while drunk and trespassing'

Rapper Travis Scott has been arrested for “disorderly intoxication and trespassing”, police in the US have said.

Scott, who has two children with Kylie Jenner, was arrested for causing a “disturbance” on a charter boat at the Miami Beach Marina, where he “was drunk, and asked to leave multiple times”, the Miami Beach Police Department said.

Officers were called to the marina at 12.44 am on Thursday morning to reports of a disturbance, according to official records.

The 10-time Grammy Award nominee was reportedly getting off a charter boat when the owner of the boat asked him to leave, 7News Miami said on its website.

The force said officers found Scott, arguably one of the biggest hip-hop acts in the world, “standing by the dock yelling at the vessel occupants”, and while he complied with their instructions to begin with, he then ignored them, NBC, Sky’s US partner, said.

Officers could sense “a strong smell of alcohol coming from the defendant’s breath”, records showed.

Though he agreed to leave the dock after being threatened with arrest, he did not go quietly.

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As he walked to the boardwalk, Scott “walked backwards yelling obscenities to the occupants of the vessel”, police said.

He left the marina, but returned five minutes later and was seen by officers walking back toward the vessel.

Scott spoke to a sergeant he had spoken to earlier and began yelling once again – “becoming erratic” and “disturbing the peace of the occupants of the marina and nearby residential buildings causing a public disturbance”, court documents said.

The 33-year-old musician was arrested at 1.17am and booked into the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center at 4.35 am on a charge of alleged disorderly intoxication as well as trespassing property after warning.

He submitted a $650 (£512) bond – $500 (£394) for the trespass charge and $150 (£118) for disorderly intoxication, the Daily Mail said.

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Scott, real name Jacques Bermon Webster II, has achieved four number-one hits on the US charts and is known for his energetic live shows and successful albums, including Astroworld.

He has two children with the socialite and media personality, Kylie Jenner, but the pair are no longer together.

His European tour, titled Circus Maximus, is due to start in The Netherlands next Friday and he is scheduled to play Manchester’s Co-Op Live venue on 13 July.

In 2021, 10 fans died in a crowd surge at his Astroworld festival in Houston, Texas, where he was born.

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He did not face criminal charges over their deaths but remains involved in civil cases alleging that organisers were at fault.

Last year he scored his first UK number one album with Utopia, which has been streamed more than 50 billion times globally, NME said.

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Taylor Swift Eras Tour: Final UK shows at London’s Wembley Stadium ‘will boost economy by £300m’




Taylor Swift Eras Tour: Final UK shows at London's Wembley Stadium 'will boost economy by £300m'

The final UK shows of Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour are expected to boost the economy by £300m, officials have claimed.

The US star will perform three gigs at London’s Wembley Stadium this Friday, Saturday and Sunday – before returning to the venue in August for a further five dates.

The sold-out shows will be attended by a total of nearly 640,000 people.

The Greater London Authority (GLA) estimates fans will spend an average of £471 per show, with many travelling from around the world or other parts of the country to watch.

The capital’s mayor Sadiq Khan said he was “delighted” the 34-year-old was playing more shows in the city than anywhere else in the world during her Eras Tour.

He said the gigs would be “a huge boost to our hospitality industry and [provide] further proof that London is the greatest city in the world to watch live music.”

It comes following the singer’s shows in Edinburgh, Liverpool and Cardiff this month.

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Taylor Swift greets fans in Welsh

Officials in London are keen to harness enthusiasm for Swift’s visit.

Transport for London has said it will rename some Tube stations in her honour, while Mr Khan has also unveiled a mural of the singer on the Spanish Steps outside Wembley Stadium.

EMBARGOED TO 0600 THURSDAY JUNE 20 EDITORIAL USE ONLY Mayor of London Sadiq Khan unveils Swiftie Steps and new murals at Wembley Park as global popstar kicks off her first London show. Picture date: Wednesday 19 June 2024.
Mr Khan with the new mural at Wembley Park. Pic: PA

The GLA said its economic estimate was based on research by tourism body UKInbound.

A previous study claimed Swift’s shows would have an even bigger impact – with Barclays predicting that fans would fork out a total of almost £1bn across her 15 UK shows.

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UK leg of Eras tour kicks off

However, some commentators have questioned the claims.

George Moran, an economist at Japanese bank Nomura, expressed doubts over the alleged net benefit of the tour, saying he believed some fans would be cutting back on other spending in order to attend.

He told The Guardian last month: “We think the idea has been overhyped, especially for economies like the UK.”

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Nonetheless, there appears little doubt that fans – some of whom have spent around £200 on tickets alone – will be spending big on accommodation, food and merchandise during the UK leg.

The multi-billion pound tour is also expected to be a major earner for Swift, who has an estimated net worth of more than $1.1bn (£0.9bn), according to Forbes.

The star has faced criticism for some spending, including her frequent use of private jets.

General view of of Anfield Stadium in Liverpool where a Taylor Swift concert is taking place. Picture date: Thursday June 13, 2024.
Fans packed out Anfield Stadium in Liverpool to watch the star last week. Pic: PA

It comes amid a boom in concert tours worldwide – and their increasingly hefty economic impact.

Last year, officials in Sweden said two shows by singer Beyonce in Stockholm may have been responsible for a rise in inflation in the country.

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