Live Review: Beardyman at Rescue Rooms – 02/03/11

In the last couple of years Beardyman’s outrageous musical spontaneity and tongue-in-cheek attitude have carried him from being a world beat-boxing champion to a mainstay in the electronic side of pop. His popularity in Nottingham was clear as a sold out Rescue Rooms was full of students and dub-stepping locals alike. This universal reputation might represent the biggest challenge to the bearded beat-boxer; with great popularity comes the dreaded commercialization, a.k.a ‘selling out’.

He came on stage beat-boxing for ten whole minutes, and although undoubtedly brilliant, I had heard everything he did in the mini-set before. Afterwards he brought in what everybody seemed to be waiting for; a new song that casually took apart David Cameron. The gig used a massive screen above the stage to show pictures from what was going on in Rescue Rooms at the time, but as expected in a Beardyman gig, the footage moved at 10,000 themes per second. During the song about Cameron, the screen had a picture of Clegg next to the prime-minister and the caption read ‘A right pair of c***s.’ Needless to say, this got a bigger applause than the artist himself.

There were limitations to his set though, like when his songs took on a jungle and dubstep feel, the restrictions of his voice really began to show. The sound was incredibly authentic, and at times I felt as if I was simply in Stealth with a serrato’d up DJ, but the song writing was consistently poor. Perhaps this is his greatest asset as well as downfall, because, in attempting to recreate every electronic style, at times it feels as if he just brushes over a very stereotypical and even at times boring example of each one.

All in all the performance was a mixed one. Every so often there would be moments of brilliance, none more so than when a toy helicopter was driven out into the crowd accompanying the power ballad in the final minutes of the set. Like Beardyman himself, a bizarrely fitting way to end the show.


Dominic Major




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