The pursuit of rap perfection hasn’t always been easy for Newport’s best hip hop outfit, Goldie Lookin Chain, but nothing has stopped them trying since they shook up the international music scene in 2004 with their top 5 album, Greatest Hits.
The news that the GLC have made it to twenty albums has caused shock, surprise, awe and a variety of other feelings within music critics and the public alike. In November, the Welsh titans release ‘Fear of a Welsh Planet’ and, to celebrate the achievement, Rhys from the GLC looks back over some of the band’s finest moments from the last two decades.
Robbie Williams’ Empty Promises
“We were playing a gig at The Troubadour in LA and Robbie Williams, that fat dancer from Take That, turned up. He had a good time, jumping up and down to our track “YOUR MOTHERS GOT A PENIS”. After the show he invited us to play football on his five-a-side pitch he had at his house in LA and we talked about doing a track. I offered him the chance to do backing vocals on one of ours. Needless to say we never played football or recorded anything with him. He went on to make the Rudebox album and we got the fuck out of there.”
Punched by Sienna Miller
“Celebrity parties can be dangerous. At one, Graham the Bear was dancing with famous actor Sienna Miller, who was going out with fellow Welsh dude, Rhys Ifans. It was all going so well, with Graham, wearing Sienna’s famous fedora, dancing together to Madonna’s ‘Vogue’. But, Graham didn’t know the words and decided to change them as he often does on stage. This time he changed them to: “I want to jizz in your hair”. Sienna thought, incorrectly, that this was directly at her and smacked Graham hard in the face, twice. They made up later, but Ifans stared menacingly at Graham for two, whole hours.”
Scaring Eric Clapton
“In 2004 we played a benefit gig for the Boxing Day Tsunami appeals, alongside Manic Street Preachers, Charlotte Church, Jools ‘Jazz Hands’ Holland and Eric Clapton. As Jools and Clapton closed the concert, Billy Webb danced out to within two feet of Clapton, who promptly panicked at the sight of a tracksuit wearing nutter and almost ran off stage. Billy was 10 seconds from feeling the weight of Clapton’s security detail when they recognised him as a legendary rapper. Phew!”
Losing Baneswell Express shop their licence
“In 2012 we released a song about a local 7/11 style shop, containing the lyrics “Homemade sandwiches and homemade pies, you get served after hours if you give them the eyes” and the owners were kind enough to let us film a video in the shop. The problem was that they ended up getting done by the council for selling booze out of hours. What made it even worse was that our song and lyrics were quoted in court. They are still trading, but under a new name.”
Upsetting Top Loader
“In 2009 we were playing a gig at a well-known University along with long haired home-taping-inspired Top Loader, famous for a song about part of a foot. We were playing before them and at the end of our set a large portion of the audience decided to take to the stage. Who can blame them? Sadly it was more than stage could take and it collapsed. Top Loader had to call off their set and repair to their hotel. So sad. We have played a few gigs with them since and the reception has been a bit frosty.”
Billy Webb’s Beer Can Rap
“We did a song with SFA called ‘Motherfokker’, which was all about Gruff’s dad seeing an alien space ship in North Wales in the 70s. Later that year we were playing different stages at a festival and Billy Webb had properly got on it and ingested beer, wine, cider, fags and rave enhancers. He had a rap on ‘Motherfokker’ and by the time we got to the side of the stage he was talking to a light and singing the Irish song he always sings when he has lost it. We agreed Billy was too out of it, so Mike Balls stepped up to do Billy’s rap. Some of Billy was still there though; as he delivered his rap perfectly into a beer can at the side of the stage at the precise moment of his cue.”
Mistaken Identity at Glastonbury
“The first time we played Glastonbury I decided at the end of the set to get into the crowds face, standing on the barrier. No idea how I could have been mistaken as anyone other than Rhys from the GLC, but I was wrestled to the floor by security. After shouting “I’m in the band!” a load of times security let me go, but instead of grooving, I limped back to the stage. No sooner had the pain kicked in than I was on a flatbed golf buggy and driven through the crowd as Paul McCartney played ‘Live and Let Die’. I got back on the tour bus, instead of following medical advice to go to hospital with a suspected broken ankle. I’m a very brave boy.”
Goldie Lookin Chain release ‘Fear of a Welsh Planet’ on Fri 3 November 2017 on Goldie Lookin Records, with pre-orders available now from iTunes.
Still Newport’s best rap outfit by far, the GLC play Tramshed, Cardiff on Fri 8 December 2017 and OSLO, London on Sat 9 December 2017. Tickets are available from www.seetickets.com and further updates can be found at www.youknowsit.co.uk