VF has shared many a hazy and often forgettable time with the Goldie Lookin' Chain boys throughout their distinguished existance, or the last three years of festival going anyway, so it was only right we invited them down to give out a few awards at our inaugral bash (they were actually nominated as well but sadly didn't win anything.) Bursting onto the scene in 2004, the neon Newport crew are defintely up there with the 'hardest working' bands of recent times - and it's been a pleasure to watch their career develop. From challenging them to a drinking contest at Glasto (we won), to helping them skin up enough spliffs for their headline set at Wakestock (they won), to discussing the rights and wrongs of animal space travel with Mystikal at Leeds, it's been a beautiful and insightful relationship. With all the dressing rooms at Islington Academy being used by 'proper bands', VF stole some beer from The Levellers' fridge and pulled up a bench by Adam and Billy's plastic table to ask the question 'why are we here?'
Virtual Festivals: What do you reckon to these here awards then?
Billy Webb: I think its wicked to get an awards ceremony for festivals, and I think they all deserve an award because they’re all pretty good fun. They’re all winners. You can’t go wrong at a festival can you?
VF: As seasoned festival goers, what makes them stand out compared to anything else?
Adam Hussein: I like the open air aspect. I like getting ferrell. It’s good to get in touch with the environment and when there’s a lot of live music and electricity going on as well it just becomes one massive party.
VF: Any particular favourite?
BW: Generally speaking I think Glastonbury or T In The Park are the best UK festivals. But if you’re looking for a really good festival then go abroad. Go to the festivals in Switzerland. They’re amazing. Amazing.
AH: I went to Glastonbury this year. It was amazing. It was just me. I took my iPod and chose every band. The mud was still there. Yes!
BW: What’s good about festivals is camping so close to cow sheds. That’s quite nice. Last Glastonbury I camped right at the top of the hill. It stunk of shit the whole time, but you need that so you don’t oversleep or stay round your tent too much smoking weed. If you can’t get near a cow shed just shack up next to the shitters and it’ll be fine.
VF: What have you got planned for tonight?
BW: Adam is going to dress up as a, err…
AH: A woman basically. We’ve been talking about it and we reckon you shouldn’t be ashamed to dress up as a woman if the mood takes you. Saying that I want to dress up as an astronaut as well, so I might do that, who knows?
BW: He’s got a pom-pom skirt and a goldfish bowl to wear round his head.
AH: Cross-dressing, that’s what I’m into.
BW: Just because you wear a skirt it doesn’t compromise your sexuality. Wear a white cotton negligee. There’s nothing wrong with that. Nothing wrong at all.
AH: So that’s the message we’re hoping to bring to the awards tonight. Be beautiful.
VF: How’s the band?
AH: Alright. We’ve just managed to acquire a new house. There’s still an old woman living in there but it’s alright because she’s decided that she can’t live with eight Welshmen on her own so we’re taking the place over.
BW: Adam, have you written that will for her yet?
AH: Sort of, yeah. I’m writing her will for her at the moment just in case. You never know what can happen to old folk once a cruel winter takes hold.
BW: You’re just holding her hands really aren’t you, and guiding them in the right places. Just making her signature.
VF: What do you think of bands who win awards but don’t turn up to accept them? We’ve been snubbed by Girls Aloud of all people...
AH: Yeah, I heard Beyonce was turning up today because she’s putting on a wicked festival called ‘BeyonceRocks’. It’s a new thing and it’s held in Bulgaria and it’s big on the international festival scene, so that’s a bit shit that she hasn’t turned up.
BW: J Diddy is going to be here. Do you know him?
AH: Yeah, I like him. You know what it is, right, a lot of the time their managers don’t even tell them they’ve won awards. It’s often a massive breakdown in communication.
VF: Actually, you guys won an award last year. Did it ever get to you?
AH: No! See exactly, I’m talking from personal experience.
BW: Yeah and then tonight we turn up and ….
VF: Well you’re presenting. That’s a far higher accolade!
BW: That’s it. We’re all a winner in life, we’re all part of its rich tapestry.
VF: What else have you got planned for this evening?
BW: Well, I’m going to go out and fuck…
AH: …ing have a good time.
BW: Yeah that.
AH: I’ve only just got over food poisoning which I’ve had all week. I had a duck curry from Newport’s famous oriental specialists ‘Superwok’ and it put me down, so this is only the fourth beer since the dilemma I had in my pants. I’m feeling good, so we’re going to have a party tonight.
BW: He’s good to go, but remember at all times … he’s also ready to squirt. I’m not saying while he’s up on stage but he is a coiled spring.
AH: I’m like sluice gates. Just waiting to be opened.
VF: How are the rest of the Chain?
AH: They’re all alright. Maggot’s out filming a fishing programme at the moment, so he’s out in the North Sea or somewhere at the present.
VF: Has fame gone to his head since Big Brother?
AH: Oh yeah. He keeps going on: ‘I’m not gonna sit at the captain’s table anymore. Fuck’em.’ He never stops. He wants to be the next Captain Birdseye, he’s got his sights set on the top.
BW: Maggot’s always been a bit otherworldly and never more so than at the moment.
VF: And how’s Mystikal? I haven’t seen him since some very silly antics at Leeds a couple of years ago.
BW: Oh he’s good fun Mystikal. He’s got a mystical lair now. He’s moved into a new house surrounded by his stuff and he doesn’t really leave it anymore does he? He’s a very spiritual man.
AH: He’s got problems with his mind though. He’s got a terrible thing with his memory now, it’s starting to fail him a bit. What he does now is, if he likes bits of food or packages of food which he buys, he cuts them out and sticks them on his kitchen wall so he can remember the picture rather than having to remember what it's called. Ultimately he’s working on colours and images now, other than words, which is beautiful. He’s going back to basics.
BW: There’s a universal language in pictures of food.
AH: It works in Benidorm.
VF: And is the band still working on a rotational basis? Are others still coming into the fold?
AH: We’ve got the core which is always good.
BW: The thing is it’s like having a top football team. To win the Champion’s League and the League you’ve got to have a big squad - and you’ve got to keep them all happy.
VF: So there's some new talent coming through?
AH: Yeah, especially when they play well for the reserves, y’know, the GLC juniors. They can't all get to play, but fortunately that’s part of the game, you’ve got to take it.
BW: Do well in training and it’ll be noted, and maybe if there’s an injury you’ll make it for the next game.
VF: How's the competition at present?
AH: Hmmm. Juventus have got some good rappers. They’re pretty good they are. And Ajax are good, they can smoke their draw.
VF: There's a new album in the pipeline. Any themes coming through?
AH: Yeah, death, destruction and carnage. See what I do at the moment is spend half the day writing rap music and the other half writing death metal music. I’ve got a new band called Devil Motherfuckers. I’m thinking about splitting the day into threes and doing a bit of Christian Rock towards the evening, just to calm me down.
VF: Understandable. You don’t want to put your heart and soul into one thing, do you?
AH: Yeah, I mean like, Cliff Richard, he’s doing fuck all at the moment but he’s got his hands in an awful lot of pies. You’ve got to have your hands in pies. Just ask Sue Barker.
VF: Would you collaborate with Cliff?
BW: Yeah I wouldn’t mind collaborating with Cliff. You know, he’s the Peter Pan of the music scene.
VF: Anyone else you’d like to work with. We were going to try and fix you up with The Levellers tonight.
BW: What sexually or what?
VF: No, as a one off performance tonight. We put it to your agent..
BW: Oh I’d have liked that. That could’ve been a goer. I do love the sound of a good fiddle.
VF: We didn’t get an answer..
BW: See, it’s electronic mail, I tell you.
AH: It’s that breakdown in communication again.
BW: The problem is like, when you’ve got your inbox set to private or high levels of security then people don’t even bother checking it. I dunno. Maybe our agent thought it wasn’t a good idea. Don’t get me wrong though, our friend Tommo speaks very highly of The Levellers and I speak very highly of Tommo. I don’t know who speaks highly of us though. But it still puts The Levellers very high up.
Goldie Lookin' Chain are embarking on a nationwide Christmas tour in December and have a new album due out next year. Click here for more.