The Streets @ The Corn Exchange

Even when rendered with Skinner's wit the result is a performance as edifying as a Jordan rendition of R-Kelly's Trapped in the Closet

Article by Miles Johnson | 15 Jun 2006
After winning the hearts of critics and Stella enthusiasts alike with his tales of kebabs and geezerdom, Mike Skinner has returned with musings on the rather more exclusive experience of smoking crack with girl band members. Tonight sees him swagger onto the stage to the theme from Scarface and at one point even launch into a semi-cover of the Pussycat Dolls' Don't Cha. While certain moments such as All Goes Out the Window serve as a reminder of his occasional candid brilliance, The Streets present a dreary live spectacle. Things are made worse by his cohort Leo the Lion's erratic interjections of "brap! brap! Brap!" which often leave the singer sounding less convincing than if Trevor Macdonald was the one raising his trigger finger.

It seems as if Skinner, while being accused of losing his common touch in a fit of cocaine-fuelled naval gazing, has in fact suffered as a result of remaining so normal. How many other "average lads", after becoming millionaire pop sensations, would not saunter along the same worn, tedious path of drugs and celebrity? The problem is that these subjects, even when rendered with his wit, result in a performance as edifying as a Jordan rendition of R-Kelly's Trapped in the Closet. Skinner once said how his third album would be "shit". Its accompanying tour does not fare much better. [Miles Johnson]