Mike Skinner has announced he will return as The Streets in 2018 for a greatest hits tour. This marks the first time he has performed under that name since retiring the project six years ago.
The 38-year-old rapper and producer announced six dates earlier today, dubbed 'The Darker The Shadow The Brighter The Light' tour, which is also the title of his most recent musical guise. Skinner released a batch of tracks in 2016 under that name, plus the single 'Bad Decisions in the Night' in April of this year.
The Streets first broke through with 2002 debut album Original Pirate Material, which spawned the singles 'Let's Push Things Forward' and 'Don't Mug Yourself', but it wasn't until 2004's number single 'Dry Your Eyes' that Skinner became a household name. Taken from the album A Grand Don't Come For Free, it remains their most well-known song.
Following a period of success, the Birmingham musician decided to put the Streets moniker to bed shortly after the release of fifth album Computers and Blues. Since then he's worked as a DJ, as well as on various other musical projects, and even managed to fit a spot of acting into his busy schedule - a 2010 episode of Doctor Who saw him perform a cameo role as a security guard.
The 2018 tour dates are:
19 April - Birmingham O2 Academy
20 April - Glasgow O2 Academy
21 April - Manchester O2 Apollo
23 April - Leeds O2 Academy
25 April - London O2 Brixton
26 April - London O2 Brixton
Skinner's lyrics have influenced a lot of artists over the years. He uses everyday speech and conversations, making them into songs. The free-flowing, open style of conversation seems really simple but not everyone can pull it off.
Example talks about Mike Skinner's impact and influence on artists. Credit: Example
It also helps that, above all else, Mike is just a regular, run of the mill guy. He may have worn caps, Burberry clothing, popped his collar and had an aptitude for loud jewellery, but he's not what people these days would call a 'chav'. By his own admission, he "never lived in a block of flats, but wasn't born with a silver spoon in his mouth either." He lends himself to the whole 'he's just like me' vibe for listeners.
Back in 2011, Skinner shelved The Streets, focusing more on production. Prior to the final EP released by The Streets, 'Computers And Blues', he had taken time off due to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Then, following the birth of his daughter, he gave up messing about with drugs to focus on being a father.
Since then he's teamed up with various British rappers and grime artists, composing and producing their music and taking a back seat with regards to vocals. While his work may not be as prolific as it once was, and is now rather understated, there's no denying that he's had an impact on a lot of musicians.