The Streets - When You Wasn't Famous

George Bass 27/03/2006

Rating: 4/5

What do you do after you've turned out the breakthrough cash-cow of an album? Get wired in your private jet, and go and make Be Here Now? Going by his latest single, Mike Skinner knows how to play the fame game and still hang on to the spark that made Original Pirate Material such an allure in 2002, back when he was just another munchkin with a laptop and a pair of Reebok Classics (ahem).
When You Wasn't Famous is a cut 'n shut of chirpy beats, sarky but savvy banter and cheeky funk hooks - a breath of Fisherman's Friend fresh air after the comparative gloom of A Grand Don't Come For Free. In his trademark Brummie dulcets, Skinner fesses up about how celebrity status gives you a jones for copping off with the average lass and 'so you try to pull a girl who's also famous too', as well as touching on the perils of getting caught in a Kate-on-coke Kodak moment. No doubt the tabloid gasbags will have a field day while they try to work out just what crack-smoking CD:UK diva he's on about (the marketing department at Streets HQ can all give themselves a pat on the back), but fans will be pleased to hear he can still hold a tune and spin a decent yarn.

My money's on that one from Girls Aloud, by the way.