Review: The Streets at The Town Hall

Words by Keegan Fepulea’i


My early experiments with LSD and Newton’s 3rd law of motion collided last time The Streets played in New Zealand at the 2006 Big Day Out. The root of my love for this group could be traced back to that day, so I had to ask myself whether it was just pure nostalgia? Post-LSD romanticism? Or were they truly a band that told the stories of a generation?


It appears it was more than that.


I’m often worried when I turn up to a show and it’s very much a male-heavy crowd. One, the energy is just off-putting, and two, I fear for those brave women on the dance floor. While the energy was odd, it was eclipsed by a sense that we were about to relive the best days of our lives. As couples attempted mid-dance kisses and lads jumped around you were reminded by the makeup of the crowd that this was a British Band, and attendance was as patriotic of an exercise as watching the darts. “180…”


The strange thing was, The Streets’ show was a hell of a lot more musical than I ever remembered their music to be. They touched on genres that defined the sound of several generations of British youth. Reggae and Bass culture – which stemmed from the Windrush Generation of Caribbean immigrants – through punk & into UK Garage. This was no mistake…


Throughout the show, lead singer Mike Skinner would produce some incredible moments – crowd surfing, encouraging Auckland to hold up this woman who crowd-surfed the entire GA area of the Townhall – but for me, the moment of the night would have to be the one that was lost on most. In the midst of the party, you can’t be blamed for missing subtle nuances. After all, you’re there to party. For a while, I thought, “OK, enough with the sheep jokes.” But it wasn’t till the third time around the block that I realised it was an analogy. That the band were the minority and we, the sheep, were the majority, and that we must do our best to bring up the minorities in this world. We need to support them. Bravo Mike. Bravo.