Is Mike Skinner losing his touch? Remixes for The Streets latest song “Who’s Got The Bag” compare badly with the more creative efforts of years gone by

As today is June 21st – the original “Freedom Day” with Covid restrictions across England previously due to be removed on this date – I thought it was only appropriate to take a closer look at Mike Skinner of The Streets. It seems the right thing to do in the circumstances…

A while ago, he took a risk and named his latest tune “Who’s Got The Bag? (21st June)”. The government did say that this was the earliest possible date for lifting English restrictions, but they were also guilty of ramping up expectations when they knew they were in no position to do so. As a result, Skinner subsequently released a new version that goes “21st June, they f***ed that too”. Eloquent indeed.

However, there’s one thing that Skinner has always had his pulse on. When The Streets started to really make traction in the early 2000s, one of the reasons was because of a number of inspired choices of remixes to introduce the song into the dance music world. Remember, vinyl sales in those days still counted towards the charts, so every sinew was strained to get noticed.

For example, Zed Bias was brought in to introduce “Has It Come To This” to the UK garage crowd in 2001. High Contrast remixed “It’s Too Late” in 2003, and both Ashley Beedle and Röyksopp took “Weak Become Heroes” to the house audience. All these new versions added some difference to the original version – and even if you didn’t like them, at least they brought something new to the table.

Under no stretch of the imagination can the same be said of the remixes for “Who’s Got The Bag? (21st June)”. Three official ones currently exist – they’re from Patrick Topping and Seth Troxler. Oh, and Solardo. They’re the ones to go to when you realise you can’t afford CamelPhat’s remix fee.

Are they any good? In a word, no. Frankly, how the three would have the bare-faced cheek to justify their remix fees for this, I do not know. The three have mostly just changed the drums and put in some incredibly boring tech-house style bits. Not one had the courage to strip it down to the vocals and build something totally new.

And these three are supposedly some of the best names in house music in Britain today. God help us…