Goldie Lookin Chain - Manchester Academy 2 - 15.10.04

Art imitates life and then life imitates art. It's an endless cycle and one that the GLC now find themselves in the middle of. What started as a well written and twisted critique on chav scum has now ended up appealing to those people at the butt of the joke. Oh, the irony of it all and yet in Bo Selecta style the Newport massive are quick to expand on the act somehow bringing bizarre chants of "Fog On The Tyne", 1983 reference points and free ice cream to the party.

Since they last appeared at the Academy 3 earlier in the year the crew have almost doubled as if Mystikal was fed after midnight or fell in a puddle in Newport and spat out extra GLC members Gremlins style. It's the sort of surreal situation that isn't too far to imagine them rambling about in a spliff addled interview and at the heart of the GLC what they've essentially done is taken 24 lost hours in Newport and spat it out onto the mic. Underneath the lowest common denominator jokes of "Your Mother's Got A Penis" there's some of the most intelligent lyrical wordplay brought to hip-hop since Eminem hit the scene, shook off the shackles of gangster rap and added a large dose of tongue in cheek humour. "Self-Suicide" name checks Michael Hutchence, Jimi Hendrix and Elvis and features the immortal line "Jesus was nailed up to some wood, 2000 years later and book sales are still good". "21 Ounces" rips it out of So Solid Crew just before everyone forgets about the self-styled outcasts of the urban music scene. It's the next single "Your Mother's Got A Penis" which sends the crowd going wild. A song, which at one point was just another track in the GLC's repertoire, but over summer festivals became this year's anthem.

Musically the GLC are magpie's par excellence creating genius out of the most bizarre sources. "Soap Bar" contains elements of "Spirit In The Sky". The Maggot samples from Steelyeye Span while "Time To Make A Change" borrows from a curiously named Liverfailure. Not since the early days of hip-hop has sampling been so refreshingly original and uncritical in it's choices.

Who knows where the GLC will be this time next year? Maybe the joke will grow tired for the band themselves as well as the audience or perhaps they'll surprise us all and become the British answer to the Beastie Boys and outgrow their humble beginnings. Either way we're gonna enjoy the ride while it lasts

Words: Alex McCann
Photos: Karen McBride

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