Remember when you were 14, your dad taught you to shave? The Beards do, and they’re still furious about it.
We arrived at the show in time to witness support group Massive Horse rapping about an alien invasion and a lonely flower (and in time to witness a mix of very confused faces with entertained faces). A full set might be a bit much from them for some, but as a support band they kept the crowd entertained and warmed up; despite the lack of beards (“they’re off the tour!” claimed Nathaniel Beard later on stage).
It features Dick Valentine from Electric Six. I find no fault with this fact.
The Beards took to the stage shortly after Massive Horse galloped off into the sunset (witty horse pun delivered), to a massive chant of “Beards!” Whether we were chanting for the band, or chanting for the hair, I don’t know, I’d say a mix of both.
The band opened with a new song from their upcoming album, and it’s safe to say it’s already looking like a good one. The excellent thing about being a novelty sort of band is that even when you play a new song, the crowd can try to join in by muttering words before shouting BEARD every so often.
The set then took a trip over their back catalogue with such beard related numbers as No Beard, No Good, You Should Consider Having Sex With A Bearded Man, The Beard Accessory Story, Why Having a Beard is Better Than Having A Woman and more.
One of the highlights of the night came with There’s Just Nothing Better Than A Beard. It is both a true statement, and a wonderful song. It really displays the genuine talent The Beards have as a band, they don’t just survive on gimmick alone, without their facial hair the songs would still be either as catchy or as powerful (or both) and they would still remain excellent musicians. Though obviously not quite as good.
They are a band that really know how to keep a crowd interested and entertained. The fact that they do a better job of engaging with an audience than many of the top tier £40+ bands I’ve seen either says a lot for The Beards or not a lot for the big bands.
From encouraging the crowd to boo their slave (or roadie as some call him) when he brought Johann Beardravens keytar/keyboard/saxophone out to handing out awards for best and worst beard in the room, the audience are kept smiling and focussed on the stage (I say smiling, but there were some thick beards here and there, it’s hard to tell, they seemed happy though).
At the end of the day, it may be a gimmick, but it’s one of the most entertaining and well performed gimmicks I’ve witnessed and if they can keep pumping out these albums about beards while putting on performances like this, I’ll still be buying albums and tickets for a long time to come. Beards!
(Also, click here for my interview with the band for The Wee G)