History, Tragedy, Comedy. If Shakespeare were alive today he’d be The Streets
Like Shakespeare, Mike Skinner is an Everyman. In 500 years time there will be a film made called ‘Skinner in Love’.
The music of The Streets takes in hip-hop, dance, pop, rock, even prog at times. The words are of the everyday; love, loss, drink, drugs.
But that doesn’t make The Streets lowest common denominator. Far from it. The music is muscular, vivacious, present.
There is a disarming simplicity to the lyrics. They speak with poetic clarity.
Last week I was lucky enough to see the final date of their recent tour. It was at the mighty Brixton Academy, the best gig in town. In 500 years time there will be a recreation of The Brixton Academy near the site of the original.
The show had everything; history, tragedy, comedy and left us wanting more.
We start with an overture which gives way to the greatest opening riff of a debut album ever, the call to arms synth signature of Turn The Page. This is the history; ‘War and past injury as metaphor and simile’
Mid way through the set we arrive at the personal tragedy of Dry Your Eyes. Only skinner could elevate the words ‘plenty more fish in the sea’ to such heartbreaking poinency.
Finally at the end of the set; Comedy, “Fit but you know it.” We’re back where we started; a monster riff, looks likes geezers ravin’ indeed.
The Streets leave us wanting more. For that those that do and don’t have baby sitters waiting there is the official after party. For the rest of us there is the promise of the next tour.
Exit, pursued by a geezer.