Live Review: The Streets
UEA, Norwich, Monday 28th February
Fast-forward nine years: [b]Norwich UEA[/b], scene of the modern-retro ziggurat architecture which graces the cover of [a]The Streets[/a]’ final album [b]‘Computers And Blues’[/b]. Skinheads everywhere, and [a]The Streets[/a]’ days are numbered. [b]‘Fit But You Know It’[/b]’s furious, pounding guitar stabs induce onrushes of mayhem. Bouncers hungrily eye up an expanding contingent of potential troublemakers. True to his cheeky persona, Mike ain’t much help. “[i]I can’t smell marijuana yet... Someone should just spark up[/i],” he teases. “[i]Don’t be shy – they all do it in Norway[/i]!”
The [b]‘OPM’[/b]-heavy setlist would leave only the harshest critic disappointed. A solitary snare drop is all it takes to ignite [b]‘Don’t Mug Yourself’[/b] delirium, and the dirty organ pulse of [b]‘Let’s Push Things Forward’[/b] jumps with the energy of a whole room treasuring it one last time. For a moment, it was the future, and before long it’ll be a figment of the past.
[a]The Streets’[/a] spirit, though, will live on: it shines brightly within Skinner-endorsed, don’t-call-it-post-grime [b]MC Ghostpoet[/b] for one; and in view of [a]Arctic Monkeys[/a]’ phalanx of imitators, we’d wager Skinner DNA will be at the roots of peculiarly intriguing flowerings 20, 30 years from now.
Back in the infancy of a decade that never quite grew into its potential, [a]The Streets[/a] pushed things forward like no other. And sure, there’ll be those who say Mike’s post-[b]‘A Grand Don’t Come For Free’[/b] output reeked of cod philosophies and stale humour. But as [b]‘The Escapist’[/b] swells and surrounds Norwich UEA for the last time, there’s a sea of hands, a chorus of voices, that wouldn’t have it any other way.
The Streets' 'Computers and Blues' NME album review
To read all our reviews first - days before they appear online - check out NME magazine, on sale every Wednesday
- Previous : Live Review: Tinie Tempah
- Next Track Review: This Week's Singles Reviewed - 7th March 2011