The Streets’ return to London was a hectic, pint-powered nostalgia hit
“Geezers need excitement,” so the Mike Skinner lyric goes. He wasn’t wrong back then in 2002 and it still rings true tonight. The foyer in O2 Academy Brixton could well be a football stadium concourse with all the boozed-up, laddish hollering going on, but you can’t blame them for the lairy anticipation. Skinner and his band The Streets are back on the road for the first time in seven years. If you thought this nostalgia hit might bring with it a dose of maturity, you’re wrong. Straightaway you’re greeted with posters reading ‘Brandy or beer? 2-pinter’s a good idea’, playing on the lyrics of ‘Blinded By The Lights’, encouraging the use of plastic double pint cups. “We’ve only got an hour,” Skinner declares, before booting an empty one into the crowd to get things started.
‘Turn The Page’ is the opener after a dramatic, orchestral build-up, Skinner casually strolling on stage dressed all in black and accompanied by a four-piece band, plus singer Kevin Mark Trail. He makes sure to get the crowd onside early, enthusiastically activating showman mode with an exaggerated recital of the lyrics ‘then the crowd roar’. Trail, who features twice on ‘Original Pirate Material’, tees up ‘Let’s Push Things Forward’ by aiming ‘let’s put our Classics on’ into the mic, even though Skinner, in somewhat of a betrayal of the song’s lyrics, has opted for Nike footwear over Reebok.