Last updated: 18 November 2008
Coming straight outta Newport, with a mysterious background shrouded in a fug of herbal cigaratte smoke, Goldie Lookin' Chain broke through to the mainstream in 2003.
Xain was soon joined by an expanding posse of pottymouth Newport clarts, including Eggsy, Adam Hussein and Mystikal (probably best not confused with US rapper Mystikal, who was jailed in 2004 for sexual assault).
It all started with cherry aid, Space Raider crisps, Tizer and gobstoppers - basically '80s confectionary.P Xain
Not long after, their Don't Blame The Chain CD-R introduced the fully formed concept of the GLC to those Newport-based people in the know. It established the group's infectious patois, of seven seater scum buses, valley commandos and, er, purple headed yoghurt chuckers. Don't Blame The Chain also set out the GLC's political agenda, of Hi-Tec Silver Shadows, Newport club Zanzibar, and draw.
Word of mouth in and around Le Pub and the spread of mp3s on the net meant the GLC's reputation was growing slowly but steadily, mainly among kids from the 'Port. New CD-Rs Chain's Addiction and Return Of The Red Eye were eagerly copied and shared. Word was spreading beyond the Port, and more and more people were heard addressing each other as spa, bra or clart.
The Party Album upped the ante even further, taking in myriad themes including heavy metal, 1983 rollerdiscos and monkey love. It was followed by a stroke of genius: GLC got one over on the British media in November 2002 when celebrity mag Heat printed a story suggesting stroppy teen warbler Charlotte Church was working with the GLC.
Headlined 'Charlotte Church's new band!', the article claimed that she'd sung backing vocals on the tracks Monkey Love and Stick It In Cider, and that her boyfriend Steven Johnson was Mystikal in the band.
The story was picked up by Jonathan Ross and Liquid News. Needless to say, it was a load of lies, and Heat was forced to issue an apology after La Church's lawyers stepped in. One up to the 'Port massive.
With breathtaking precociousness, Adam Hussein then decided to release his debut solo album, Truth Or Slander, which included a duet with his nan. But there was no stopping the rise of the GLC, and a 12" pressing of the Rollerdisco remix became their first proper release. It sold out in weeks and is now a highly sought-after collector's item worth more than an ounce of soap bar.
Goldie Lookin' Chain took their show on the road for the first time in June 2003, with a packed out debut gig at Cardiff's Clwb Ifor Bach. Soon after they released The Manifesto, their best work to date, which featured classics such as The Maggot, You Knows I Loves You and Your Mother's Got A Penis.
Their first Newport show was at the City Live Arena, supporting Super Furry Animals, and since then they've also played with The Streets and The Darkness. The GLC played their first headlining gig in the 'Port in February 2004.
The GLC finally signed a record deal on March 17, to EastWest/Must Destroy. Afterwards they partied outside the Houses of Parliament, with placards stating 'Free Terry Waite', 'Golf Sale' and 'Weed has rights too'. They were also joined by Newport's Labour MP Paul Flynn, a long-term afficionado of the group.
Speaking to the NME, P Xain said: "It feels like electricity floating through my veins, running through my body, making me feel alive sexually for the first time! We're probably gonna get really high now." Their first single, Half Man Half Machine/Self Suicide, was released in April 2004.
However, it didn't do nearly as well as Guns Don't Kill People, Rappers Do, which went straight in at number three the following August, establishing the GLC as a cultural force to be reckoned with. The album Greatest Hits followed soon after, as did the singles Your Mother's Got A Penis and You Knows I Loves You.
The second album, Safe As F*ck, was less successful. Closely repeating the formula with little new to add, it sold just 80,000 copies. An appearance by The Maggot on Celebrity Big Brother couldn't raise their fortunes, and at the end of February 2006 the GLC were dropped by their label Atlantic.
Their manager Conal Dodds described the decision as "short-sighted", adding: "Goldie Lookin' Chain are going to be around for a long time. I fully expect in two years' time, they will try to re-sign us. Unfortunately the label we are on would prefer to spend money on James Blunt - work that one out."
The group planned to revive Gold Dust, the group's label which released The Manifesto, and to release a comedy feature film. "It's not going to be another Spiceworld. It's a comedy the band have written and a major distributor has picked up on it and we are hoping to go into production in August and put it on cinema release next March or April."