Goldie Lookin Chain / John The White Rapper - Manchester Academy 3 - 13.4.04

Comedy and music don't always mix and you need look no further than John The White Rapper for that fact. Possibly the most atrocious crime committed to hip-hop ever, JTWR takes all the worst elements of every single bad hip-pop record and multiplys them by a zillion. Take Kris Kross, Vanilla Ice and Skilo in equal measure, add a touch of Kevin and Perry and you have this heinous crime in front of us. For someone who MC's to Britney's "Toxic" it's no wonder than a few freestyle jams later he's rhyming about girls not liking him. It may be an ironic statement and the logical successor to the character from Offsprings "Pretty Fly For A White Guy", but the joke wasn't funny in the first 30 seconds never mind a whole career later.

Goldie Lookin Chain on the other hand are funniest thing we've seen and still manage to keep the music sounding fresh which sustains your interest long after you've finished rolling around the floor. Draw, shell suits from Primark or the market, blinging gold chains, Zanzibar, cheese and chips...these are the things that Goldie Lookin Chain are made of and although it's a blueprint than has made Mike Skinner aka The Streets successful, GLC do it with their tongue's placed firmly in their cheeks rather than writing a concept album and thinking they're making some social commentary up there with the complete works of Shakespeare. If Ali G was a satirical take on Asians adopting the culture of Black Americans, then GLC is an obvious in yer face p*ss take of white suburban chav culture as well as a wander into the mind of randomness along the way. "21hrs To Go", a So Solid Crew pastiche worthy of Weird Al Yankovic is the most obvious simplistic song on the set and the closing "Your Mothers Got A Penis" the most puerile, but a succinct lashing of the worst names (J-Lo, Jay-see, Nelly, Will Smith and Alicia Keys) in "urban" music in a song about keeping it real in Newport has to be heard to be believed.

The debut single "Half Man Half Machine" is actually the weakest song in the set and with some splattering electro it's still got a certain naive charm to it. Much better is "Self Suicide", a song about how maybe the GLC should kill themselves to sell more records ala Michael Hutchence and somehow they manage to do it without mentioning Richey Manic. Along the way Ice Dildos, David Bowie's weird eyes, posh wanks and Dragon Taxis somehow get mentioned and that's the great thing about Goldie Looking Chain - one minute they'll be doing a straightforward stab at chav culture which you could find in any comedy store across the country and the next minute they're dropping in purely random ideas which elevate the caricature’s to another level.

Whether Goldie Lookin Chain can sustain a career longer than one remains to be seen, but while they're around it's gonna be one hell of a ride. They're are rumours circulating that the Newport massive are going to be collaborating with the Darkness on a cover of Run DMC's "Walk This Way", that surely has to be seen to be believed!!!

Alex McCann

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