I’ve seen the brilliant Beardyman (beatboxer extraordinaire!) three or four times over the years. I think the first time was at Lovebox when he did a fantastic medley of Groove Armada songs.
I have a real soft spot for beatboxing, but he remains my favourite. So, when I spotted that he was doing a gig in Shoreditch where he will create a brand new album in an hour from suggestions from the audience, I was well in there! Beatboxing and improv? It’s like this was aimed specifically at me!
He was better than I could have imagined. He took to the stage peddling his wares and had the crowd onside from the start. He was engaging and FUNNY, and certainly gauged the audience right.
Aided by his ‘Beardytron5000MKII’ decks/mixer (?!) that enabled him to add many layers and textures to the brand new compositions as he went along (everything made up live on the spot), the only instrument other than his voice was an electric guitar that he used for a couple of ‘prog rock’ style tracks.
As well as that, we had songs in the style of Lionel Richie, Prince, rave, reggae (starring Rastamouse), his fantastic drum n bass, house and even a Britney Spears style pop track called Heatwave that he ended up having to break from after he caught himself dancing around and singing in a high-pitched voice. He held his head in his hands and shouted at us for what we’d made him do. Secretly, I think he might have enjoyed it a little. Track names from the audience included Mousehead, Release The Midget, Strawberry Blue, Dragon Tears, Lyrical Spaceman and Chelsea Cocks.
As an additional treat, improvised graphics were expertly created by mr_hopkinson & asdescribed.net
Energy was high, beatboxing was incomparable, choons were awesome and there were huge laughs.
This was a warm-up for a show at the Edinburgh Fringe…so I highly recommend it if you’re going!