Opera North

LIVE: The Streets

21 October 08 words: Shariff Ibrahim
It was not Godzilla emerging on stage though, but a short Brummie in t-shirt and jeans

The Streets live at Rock City - photo courtesy domhenry.com (c)
The Streets performing at Rock City - photo by Dom Henry

Everybody’s favourite white West Midlands MC, Mike Skinner played to a sold out Rock City with The Streets as part of his tour to promote new album, Everything Is Borrowed.

Skinner and co took to the stage opening with title tune Everything Is Borrowed, which saw drummer Johnny Drum Machine thrashing away in earnest. The awesome thump of the bass drum and the clap of the snare through the massive sound system drew similarities with Led Zeppelin’s menacing anthem 'Kashmir'. It was not Godzilla emerging on stage though, but a short Brummie in t-shirt and jeans with soulful, dreadlocked hype man Kevin Mark Trail in tow.

The Streets live at Rock City - photo courtesy domhenry.com (c)
Mike Skinner - photo by Dom Henry

The Streets then proceeded to run through a few of Skinner’s biggest hits, including Don’t Mug Yourself and Let’s Push Things Forward, before launching into a live rendition of The Prodigy’s Max Romeo-sampling Out of Space. The Streets’ music, especially from the first two albums, has always been imbued with a garage style, and the latter track’s house-y tinge struck a chord with the crowd.

The nineties house-sounding Weak Become Heroes and the final track, late night drug tale Blinded by the Lights went back to back, but the pill popping narrative could have benefited from a better sound system to showcase that riveting bass line. Skinner had kept a close rapport with the crowd throughout the gig, and on this last tune, the audience were invited to strike a pose en masse when the lights came up. The resulting image of a capacity venue replete with a beer and sweat ridden audience frozen mid-movement was a great sight. 

For the encore, The Streets came back with Dry Your Eyes (which I thought I had escaped, it being one of my least favourites ), new up-beat single Heaven For The Weather, and Fit But You Know It; before ending for good with some proper jump up and down, bang your head, scream and shout, good old fashioned metal.

The Streets live at Rock City - photo courtesy domhenry.com (c)
The Streets Rock City crowd going mental - photo by Dom Henry

The tracks from the first album, ‘Original Pirate Material’, were definitely the best received and catered for the saturday night atmosphere. Also, the more recent, poppy material where Skinner has taken a more chart appealing approach went down well. It was one of those gigs that leaves you wanting more and to definitely make a night of it.

The Streets played at Rock City on Saturday 18 October 2008

All photos courtesy of Dom Henry (c)

The Streets official website

 

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