Goldie Lookin Chain
Leeds University Union
11th October 2013
Goldie Lookin Chain get debagged during a storming show at Leeds Uni. Just another Friday night for Ian Critchley.
While I was busy interviewing the Goldie Lookin Chain boys the gig was already in full swing. I’d been talking to a man outside trying to peddle cheap tickets as his “kid” (said “R Kid”, which could mean his brother, uncle, dad, son, cousin, nephew, and possibly even just some guy who goes to the same pub) was in the support act. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to see what he had called “the next evolution in beat box” and instead fell into the evenings music during the set of second support, “Chip Daddy”, an awful attempt at replicating the elements of “comedy hip-hop” that make acts like GLC great. The lyrics were very half arsed, “Cheese On My Crumpets” (I think the song was called) was less a comical series of rhymes but more just a list of potential breakfast choices. The band didn’t even use their own music, instead merely having one member press play on a mac book whilst another rapped over the beats of pop hits. In fact, even though this was a trio, the only person who actually did anything was the main rapper. It made the entire act seem like a poor karaoke by three pissed friends on their first night out since starting uni. It was a series of songs that could have either been made up on the spot, or at least five minutes before the show, with no real depth, thought, or talent.
When the Chain took to the stage it was hilarity from the get go. After slagging their own sound guy for fucking up the tracks, the band left the stage and re-entered leaving the audience unsure if it had been a pre-decided comedy routine or just an actual mistake. The crowd reacted to this handful of Welsh jesters with the same insane awe as Sinatra commanded at the Palladium, with the female members literally clawing at the pants of the band (one girl even managed to de-pant Rhys mid song and he spent the next thirty seconds or so in penguin walk, showing of his tighties).
The downfall of the show was that for some ridiculous reason the curfew was set for 22:00. Being the student union of a major university town, and it being a Friday night, it’d make sense to keep the doors open for as long as possible so that the slowly intoxicating crowd can continue to keep pouring their hard-earned … sort of … university loans into the tills. But for some reason Leeds Uni seemed to have missed this trick which instead resulted in the GLC having to play their entire set in double time, just to fit everything in. Which they did, and they did well, with each member maintaining lyrical tightness under duress with very few, if any, faults. Sometimes this increased speed did the songs justice, other times not (Half Man, Half Machine just sounded weird at such a high tempo), but these circumstances were in no way the fault of the band who truly showed they could be an entertaining unit in any circumstances.
Regardless, the evening was a success with both band and audience filled with a sense of satisfaction and mutual respect by the end. I even overheard one girl say it was “the best show she’d ever been to” and even though I wouldn’t go as far as that, it was pretty damn great. She did also say that it was “the smallest venue she’d ever been in” though, so perhaps her opinion shouldn’t be held in too high esteem. She should probably get out a little more by the sounds of it.
All words by Ian Critchley. More writing by Ian on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive.