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- Astoria, London »
- The Streets »
“Do you want some excitement?” yells The Streets. Of course we do, and that is precisely what** Mr Mike Skinner goes about giving us.
First off though, its a pity More Fire Crew are so MOR. All their songs sound the same, even ‘Oi, Who dat More Fire Crew’ sounds weak and watered down, and you would have thought with a TOTP appearance and an album deal, they’d be able to afford tracksuits without patches all over them.
The Crew give us some of their new tracks, including 'Smokin'’ which is ruined by one of the trio coughing in the mike (damn that smokers cough!) and some nice senior school drama role play, talking into their mobile phones while rapping to us about their lady who has left them. Cringe. And Mike likes them too…Oh well, you can’t be right all the time, I suppose.
The Astoria is rammed with hip hop kids, garage heads and indie spawn, reflecting quite how The Streets have affecting the subconciousness of the nation in its entirety and diversity. Skinner paces up and down the stage, seemingly intent on making the night a pure party. He wants us to rock, he wants us to sing along and he wants us to have fun, and the crowd respond with gusto.
This tour is still a promotional tour for Original Pirate Material, and no new songs are aired, despite Mike allegedly being in the process of writing songs for his second album. So the crowd are relaxed and rap along to _'Weak Become Heroes', _'Turn the Page' and 'Let’s Push Things Forward'. Since his last UK outings at the Carling Weekend, Mike has developed a great stage presence. Whereas the Leeds gig was underwhelming and at times dull, tonight sees Mike whipping the crowd into a frenzy. We do whatever he tells us to do, he wants us to dance, we dance. For onstage antics, there’s laddish play-fighting between Mr Skinner and his singing partner, a tug of war with microphone leads and piggybacks across the stage. The man is a great talker, regaling the crowd with tales of on-tour mischief, such being hit full eye with an unopened beer can. He talks about his songs and he raps about urban life.
Between the main set and the encore, the band disappears off stage while avideo for 'The Irony of It All' is played, it’s a cool video showing the catatonically stoned students and a pissed up lager lout starting fights in a pub. Its thought provoking. In fact Mike is a thinker. On a Thursday he challenges us to think against the grain and then tells us to take Friday off so we can get pissed and have fun.
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