English rapper, songwriter and producer Mike Skinner has today announced the return of his music project, The Streets, with an album, a feature film and an Irish and UK tour, which includes a night in Belfast’s Telegraph Building on 22nd October 2023.
Skinner recently announced the first full-length The Streets album in over a decade, as well as his debut feature film of the same name, The Darker The Shadow, The Brighter The Light. The album is scheduled for release on 20th October on 679 Recordings/Warner Music UK Ltd. To accompany the announcement, The Streets share a first taster from the record, ‘Troubled Waters’.
"It has been seven long years working on this film and album. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and after dipping my toe in with some shorts and music videos, I felt I was ready. I tried to go the traditional route for a bit, but it’s always served me better to follow my instincts and just get on with it myself, so I've directed it, acted in it, edited, sound mixed, funded, produced it all as well as written it. The album doesn’t exist without it. Ultimately it’s all the fruits of a decade on the DJ circuit, watching people in clubs and back rooms, testing out beats and basslines to see what connected - and putting it all together into The Darker The Shadow The Brighter The Light” - The Streets
“The Darker The Shadow, The Brighter The Light” album is a classic Streets album - filled with Skinner’s trademark lyrical wizardry and beats honed over a decade of building his other career as a legitimate bass/rap DJ in clubs - all songs written by Skinner but featuring vocal contributions from longtime collaborators Kevin Mark Trail and Robert Harvey, as well as a track featuring Teef. The songs on the album soundtrack the film and also play the role of narrator of the film at times - and whilst neither the album or film exist without each other - both can be enjoyed separately.
Euphoria-inducing synthesiser stabs cascade through the first taster from the record, “Troubled Waters”, underpinned by Skinner’s trademark lyrical flair. A minimalistic half-step beat provides the backdrop to the gritty realism of Skinner’s storytelling, which fervently advances with a rapid changing of pace. Stripped back drum and bass rattle with the track as the arrangement unfolds into its latter stages.
“The Darker The Shadow, The Brighter The Light” film is a tripped-out noir murder mystery based in London’s clubland. Skinner has written, directed, shot, edited, scored, funded, and even created his own special effects on the film, shooting at a number of different locations in 2022 across the UK.
The Streets broke through in 2002 with the Mercury Prize nominated 'Original Pirate Material' – widely regarded as one of the most influential British albums of recent times, whose impact on culture and UK music can still felt be felt to this day. Four BRIT Award nominations for Best Album, Best Urban Act, Best Breakthrough Artist and Best British Male Solo Artist followed. “Dry Your Eyes”, from 2005 follow-up album 'A Grand Don’t Come For Free', won an Ivor Novello for Best Song Musically And Lyrically. Skinner additionally received a BRIT Award that same year, for best British Male Solo Artist.
Since then, The Streets have released further LPs “The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living” (2006), Everything Is Borrowed (2008), Computer and Blues (2011) and 2020’s mixtape “None Of Us Are Getting Out of This Alive”, and Skinner has collaborated with a who's who of British music – from Kano, to Fred Again, Greentea Peng and Giggs. In recent years, and with his Mike Skinner LTD label, he’s worked with artists at the tip of the spear of breaking British music, with acts like FLOHIO, Ghetts and Grim Sickers.
An inimitable live performer with bountiful experience both behind the decks and on the microphone, Skinner is renowned for his boisterous onstage presence and ability to grip audiences from crowded basements to Glastonbury headline slots. Whether it’s a live-streamed lockdown performance or a garage and bassline DJ set, Skinner commands the stage with undeniable presence and a quintessentially British tongue-in-cheek attitude. When The Streets announced a comeback tour in 2017, tickets for the dates sold out in less than a minute, it’s all testament to the impact The Streets have had, and continue to have, across several generations of musicians and fans alike.
Plus Master Peace
The Telegraph Building, Belfast:
Sunday 22nd October 2023
ON SALE FRIDAY 18TH AUGUST AT 9 AM FROM TICKETMASTER.IE