British urban music star MIKE SKINNER has found an unlikely fan in American singer Ben Folds, who has spent the last 18 months promoting Skinner's album A GRAND DON'T COME FOR FREE to anyone who'll listen.

Much to Folds' disappointment, Skinner's - who performs and records as THE Streets - second album didn't fare well in the American charts so he has taken it upon himself to give the album the exposure he believes it deserves.

The pop pianist says, "A big part of rock and roll has always been about trying to document growing up and I don't think anybody's done it better that he has. The lyrics so inventive but they're honest and vulnerable as well.

"So many of the songs on that record are like, 'Oh man, I've been through that!' I've played it for people and just had them stare at me - I don't know what it is that they're not getting about it.

"The first thing I heard was DRY YOUR EYES. I was like 'Oh my God, that's the best break up song I've hear in my life!' It's a f**king classic!"

19/06/2005 14:01