Skinner's voice sounds strained at times. Understandable, judging by the tour carnage his Instagram has displayed. It's no wonder he says it's been "the best tour of my life." The carnage continues when Jameson's rumbling UK garage cut 'Urban Hero' is dropped and Skinner launches himself onto the arms of the crowd, uncontrollably riding left, then right, then left. "You lot are too much for me to handle on my own," he says once back on stage, spraying one of many bottles of champagne onto them.
Later singles like 'Everything Is Borrowed' and 'Heaven For The Weather' don't quite hit the spot, but the more emotional tracks like 'Never Went To Church' and 'Dry Your Eyes' turn the place into singalong central. Skinner's clearly feeling the love, saying "there's nothing like a room singing the same song, ladies and gents." There's a taste of The Streets' future as the younger crowd members are sent into a frenzy with 'Boys Will Be Boys', featuring Birmingham grime MC Jaykae, but this feels a little bit forced among The Streets' classic hits. The band swaps the piano chords for guitars and drums on 'Weak Become Heroes', sadly taking away the original's euphoria, but 'Blinded By The Lights' hits the rave-infused sweet spot. The stage lights turn a dim blue, Skinner takes his T-shirt off and a guy in front of us pulls his mate in for a hug.
"I'm coming in, I'm coming in," is the threat of the night from Skinner. In come the rowdy chords of 'Fit But You Know It', alternating with the madness of Arctic Monkeys' 'Bet That You Look Good On The Dancefloor', and into the crowd he goes. As the crowd push him back towards the stage, he triumphantly points an up yours towards the ceiling. He might be pushing 40 and past the point of being able to recreate the tales that made The Streets so great, but Mike Skinner can still throw a hectic party. Geezers really do need excitement and Mike's one hell of a geezer.
[Photo: Amy Elizabeth Gordon]
Dave Turner is Mixmag's Digital News Editor, follow him on Twitter