One man beatbox band Beardyman sets off on his first solo tour on 28th April with a head of ideas, a bag full of gizmos and the madcap suggestions of a legion of fans.
Twice UK beatbox champion in 2006 and 2007, before joining the judging panel in 2008, he’s spent the last two year astounding clubs up and down the countries with his vocal versatility but this new series of show marks the next step in his much-loved crowd interaction.
Send your suggestions for performance ideas, along with your city where he’s playing via Twitter under the hash-tag #beardytour and Beardyman will include them in his set, as long as you’re there to claim responsibility for the resulting spectacle.
So Marmite-hip-hop-ragga-step, renegade-banana-disco-dub, or Michael Jackson and Arnold Schwarzenegger in a techno rave-up anyone… the choice, as Cilla Black might say, is yours. We caught up Beardy to find out more.
You’re embracing Twitter and taking audience participation to a whole new level. What would be the ideal suggestion for you to enact on stage? And what have been some past favourites?
Sometimes the worst suggestions can get the best reaction. I did a live webcast the other day, it got over 2000 viewers and the suggestions in the chat window were coming in so fast that it was impossible to read them all. I ended up doing whatever I managed to actually see. Amongst the suggestions were, drum and bass Kate Bush, David Bowie dubstep and Doctor Who crossed with Michael Jackson. I s’pose what I'm looking for is for people to give me a suggestion of a subject and a style but ridiculous mash-ups are more fun and easier to think up.
As one man and his voice, what set-up are you using for the show?
It’s looking like it'll be six Korg Kaoss pad 3's, one Boss rc-50 looper, a Boss GT-8 guitar FX pedal, a couple of Edirol mixers, a Kaossiloator, a Micro Korg, a Korg M3, oh, and some keyboard stands. Instant music, no pre-recorded samples, so as usual, just a brain, a mouth and lots of processing power.
You’ve been in the studio with Tom Middleton. What kind of stuff have you been working on?
Stuff… lots of stuff… we've been making many musics and many of them are goodly. They shall be revealed to the wider universe in autumn, once the summer has shone its shine.
What else is in the pipeline?
I'm doing loads of music festivals around the world this summer, Fuji Rocks in Japan, a tour of Canada, lots in Europe. I’ve got a run of comedy shows at the Edinburgh Fringe too. Also a studio project with surrealist comedian Reggie Watts will be coming out, a project with some of the best freestyle MCs in the country as well which we've recorded and is being edited as we speak, a live hip hop freestyle show on the Southbank, an online TV series called the Complete and Utter Shambles which is basically coverage of the improvised music and comedy shows I did last year with a bunch of long time collaborators, some more Battlejam nights and the club night I run with JFB… so not much… bit bored actually. . . anyone fancy a pint?
Wednesday 28th April
Birmingham, Hare & Hounds (18+)
£12.50 tickets: www.seetickets.com / 0871 230 0010
Thursday 29th April
Glasgow, The Arches (14+)
£11 tickets: www.gigsinscotland.com / 08444 999 990
Sunday 2nd May
Bristol, Metropolis (18+)
£10 tickets: www.theticketsellers.co.uk
Wednesday 5th May
Manchester, The Factory (14+)
£12 tickets: www.ticketline.co.uk / 0161 832 1111
Thursday 6th May
Galway, Cuba (18+)
€12 tickets: www.eventelephant.com/beardymancubalive
Friday 7th May
Dublin, The Button Factory (18+)
€15 tickets: www.bodytonicmusic.com/store
Saturday 8th May
Cork, Cyprus Avenue (18+)
€15 tickets: www.cyprusavenue.ie