Its official. Mike Skinner (pictured in one of my shirt designs above) is reuniting his most beloved project The Streets for a string of live dates in 2018. Interestingly the tour’s title is his new alias title “The Darker The Shadow The Brighter The Light”.

As a longtime fan I’m well aware that Mike’s been releasing singles under that alias (without much noise on social media) for the past year! He’s done an interview with the UK’s best interview platform (NFTR), runs an amazing podcast with Murkage Dave (which is like the laddish UK equivalent of the Joe Budden Podcast) but most of his visibility has been producing, directing and hosting films for VICE’s Noisey platform (Here’s a recent one). All this as well as running Tonga quite possibly one of the most fun club-nights in UK history alongside club promoter legends Murkage & spinning DJ sets under his own name the world over. Thats just the tip of the Iceberg if you follow his Instagram.

Here’s a few points as to why you MUST sell out the online tickets at 9am on Friday morning! Link at the bottom of the post!

Skinner is one of the Uk’s true Pioneers

I’ve always looked up to Skinner’s independent approach. He’s a maven and a pioneer who managed to make his breakout debut on an IBM Thinkpad he bought in Australia. Read his Autiobiography to learn more.

He was brave enough to make the music he wanted to hear.

At a time when UK Garage was all about champagne & flexing in over-priced clothes to fit in, Skinner added some grit. He wanted to tell stories of things he’d seen & the “little adventures you and your mates go on” in Birmingham. Gritty stories & witty observations.

A huge part of Grime’s blueprint

His influences were the storytelling found in 90s US Hip Hop & the fresh sound of UK Garage. This gritty addition to UKG along with DJ Zinc making tunes like 138 Trek definately helped form the blueprint for Grime.

His Magnum Opus was the “difficult second album”

The biggest single on his biggest album, Dry Your Eyes is 90% technique 10% emotion according to Skinner. Through reading his book I found he keeps copies of Shiela Davis’ Successful Lyric Writing nearby when writing. He studies old country greats & understands why those songs resonate with people the way they do.

His New independent releases are just as great without the marketing buzz

Recently I’ve been obsessed with the new material he’s been quietly releasing. In particular his song Lies, Damn Lies & Instagram. The title is a spin on the Mark Twain-popularised phrase “there are three types of lies… lies, damned lies & statistics” – the idea that you can lie with statitstics. In Skinner’s track, its a very relevant modern take on that phrase, framing Instagram as the place people use to lie. Press play below & learn the lyrics I had to transcribe on Genius

Cult Classic Not Bestseller

Whatever he plays at the Reunion tour – I know it’ll be a sick run of shows & I do hope he shots copies of the new alias’ materials too! I could write a bunch more fan stories too but I’ll leave u with a bonus one. One of my most high moments was hearing the Ashley Beedle remix of Weak Become Heroes & cheesing my face off while out of my mind on edibles in Glastonbury’s VIP tent. Despite being a huge fan of the OG I’d never heard that house mix until glastonbury 2012 and it was magic. The part at the end where he salutes all the DJ’s who gave him great times was really emotional for me!


The important stuff lets face it! Here’s the April 2018 Reunion tour dates below, which will go on sale at 9am on Friday at gigsandtours.com

Mike Skinner The Streets Renuion Tour 2018
Mike Skinner The Streets Renuion Tour 2018


Jaykae every country

Here’s why you should listen to Jaykae’s new track

Jaykae is one of the hottest MC’s in the UK right now. He reps his home city Birmingham alongside talents like MIST and is a breath of fresh air to the Grime scene. He has been fully accepted getting tons of play on BBC 1xtra & his energy is felt sincerely on Charlie Sloth’s popular Fire In The Booth program.

Every Country follows a string of strong singles (Pull Up, No & Toothache) that came out in the past couple years. Since then, Jay’s been rubbing shoulders with SKEPTA. In a world where up & coming MC’s ask big brother MC’s for a verse its super inspiring to see someone like JayKae requested a BEAT from Skepta, not a Verse! Thats original – spotting what others overlook. Jaykae doesn’t think inside the box.

Hook wise – Murkage Dave adds to the song’s brilliance, delivering a super smooth vocal over Skeppy’s beat. Listeners will hear the duo speak on various topics. From being independent in music industry to cutting your new girlfriend a spare key to your place and meeting up in Paris.

This song is like having your head in the clouds but with still 2 feet firmly planted on the ground. Living the dream but not getting too carried away because you love & know everything depends on the honest grind of daily life.

Also check Jaykae on Lotto Boyz new single Birmingham

& Murkage Dave’s single Car Bomb

Murkage Dave & Mike Skinner – Tied To You

Bonus Material: Make sure you grab Murkage Dave’s Pharrell Williams approved EP D.A.V.E Part 1 here for free


 Amazing animated visuals to one of my favourite songs of the year. I think this song is a classic and here’s why. When you break it down its no suprise to see why its such a hit.
  1. lyrically – melodically – singalong but catches u off guard
  2. the way the verses are delivered are super original.
  3. Switches octaves vocally
  4. Never forget the lyrics – PUSH ME TO THE EDGE ALL MY FRIENDS ARE DEAD


  1. Its the only hit song about swapping cars with your friend to wow a chick
  2. You can’t play it Once.
  3. Hooks are on point
  4. Even though its a cold club track Hus’ vocal delivery is emotional
  5. Its part of an exceptional whole. His album “Common Sense”
  6. “The black Benz turned white & she can’t believe it”


I really hope he wins something at the Mercury Prize 2017. Its been his year. Literally no one else is writing songs like this man & you can see why its done so well. I can compare his song craft to many greats who own a specific niche of songwriting. Even on his song “Like Your Style” off the album he has the guts to sing in a faux Liverpudlian voice “whats the crack whats the storeh”. J Hus is making his publishers very happy. People won’t forget his songs anytime soon!


And of course if you’ve not heard it, you’re probably in the US or living on a rock somewhere. So here is the music video (also good).