The Streets just has such a great bunch of songs man. This debut, Original Pirate Material is an all-time favourite of mine, and seeing the songs played live was really a treat worth sharing with the middle-aged British ex-pats who packed out Auckland Town Hall on Monday night. Mike Skinner is the mastermind of the project which has lain dormant for the better part of a decade. From the early 00’s he has crafted a fairly unique sound in the UK Hip Hop scene. Rapping technicality or flow has never been Mike’s focus, but with a lot of emphasis on poetry and storytelling, he’s certainly an artist whose lyrics are worth digging into.
There’s also something distinctly grimy about Mike’s sound, the certain dirty UK kind. From anthems like Blinded By the Lights and Weak Become Heroes whose production illicit feelings of peaking at a rave somewhere in Birmingham, or loutish, tongue-and-cheek bangers like Don’t Mug Yourself and Too Much Brandy portray ill-behaved nights out with the lads, Mike brought something uniquely British to Auckland.
He was accompanied by a full backing band, which meant a very different sound from the studio versions of his songs. A personal highlight for me was Has It Come To This? (his best song imho). Overall, great git, great tunes, great guy!
-Buster Darragh Major