Last night I saw someone I’ve been listening to since the year I did my Junior Cert for the first time. The Streets blew up too early for me I think. There was never a chance of me shelling out for tickets to a big outdoor gig, really, so I was so resigned to never seeing Mike Skinner in the flesh that it just never really entered my mind.
Then Budweiser stepped in. Say what you will about corporate sponsorships, any nice-ish beer that’s willing to subsidise a gig in a tent on a fake island in a dock in April is well worthy of my thanks. I also enjoyed the six tubes of orange jelly beans Nokia gave me, so help me God.
I was surprised by how much fun it was, actually. Mike Skinner, complete with diamond-encrusted in-ear monitor, was exactly as charming as he seems, even when he was calling the crowd a pack of wankers. I pogoed at a gig for the first time since Radiohead in Marlay Park, and I wasn’t madly put off by having two or three strangers on my lap at various points when Mike decided everyone had to hunker down.
Like LCD Soundsystem, The Streets manage to transpose non-rock music to a rock-show environment pretty well. The set was weighted towards older songs, from Original Pirate Material or A Grand Don’t Come For Free. The opener, Turn The Page, as well as Let’s Push Things Forward and Could Well Be In got me on a nostalgic Junior Cert-studying kick, and obviously Fit But You Know It was deadly. Everything was good actually, even Let It Be-sampling Never Went To Church which is a terrible song under normal circumstances. I had a lot of fun, fuck credibility.
Credit to my lovely girlfriend Katharine for the photograph.