Beardyman is one of the funniest and most innovative musical creators and performers in the UK, and indeed the known universe. Starting out, as many children do, with an early passion for making funny noises, Beardyman later discovered how to turn these funny noises into beats, and went on to win the UK Beatbox Championships twice in a row.
However, he soon felt too confined by the limitations of even his unbelievably flexible voice box, and started to experiment with loop pedals and Korg Kaos Pads. This allowed him to shape his sounds with effects and build up music in layers – still using only his voice to make the original sounds – and perform entire shows of hilarious, genre-bending madness. Often he would ask the audience for random song name suggestions, and build totally improvised tunes on the spot, as in this amazing show at Edinburgh Festival:
He even improvised with a classical concert orchestra at London’s Royal Albert Hall:
But Beardyman still found that he wasn’t able to fully express all the music that was in his mind. (This man is not easily satisfied!) He therefore began working to create a machine to help him do it, and, seven years later, the Beardytron 5000 was born. This magnificent music machine combines all manner of interfaces and secret, custom-built software, all designed to shape Beardyman’s already impressive range of vocal sounds into literally any sound you can imagine. He describes the machine “the most complex and fully featured live-production system ever devised”.
It might be hard to say exactly what kind of music Beardyman makes, but that’s because he is a true pioneer. Take a look at the Map of the Evolution of Western Dance Music, and it’s clear that when one genre influences another, new styles are born. Beardyman drinks in all the musical influences around him, and spits them out in a completely new way.
Have a listen to his 2014 tour of Germany (each show is unique), and be amazed at what’s going on inside Beardyman’s mind.