Beatboxer and improvisational comedian, Darren Foreman has achieved great acclaim performing as Beardyman. On Friday 22nd November 2013, he payed a visit to Southampton to share his unique live show at RoXX in Bedford Place.
Beardyman’s entrance was met with enthusiasm as he leapt onto the stage at RoXX. Donning his headset, Beardyman began to tweak and tap his kit, showing off the growls, rumbles and shrieks his synths were capable off. Satisfied he began with an atmospheric intro, before bringing in his famous vocal beats. The beginning of the set evolved into a synth heavy bass-fest of a song that can only be referred to as ‘We Want Drugs.’ Needless to say the entire crowd was chanting back Beardyman’s vocal passionately as he built the song into an incredible soundscape.
Stood amidst his rig, Beardyman’s performance is franetic, but also fluid. Continually using a hardware synth, a Maschine controller and various iPads, all the while providing beats and his own vocals on the mic whilst looping elements, Beardyman is the ultimate one man band, providing rhythm, bass, melody and lyrics. Not only this, but his talent at beatboxing is so incredible it is difficult to differentiate his own sounds from those of his hardware; this is not a criticism, but a testament to his skill.
Beardyman is a pleasure to watch due to his sheer energy. The look of glee that shows upon his face as he delivers a perfect loop is infectious. He toys with the crowds expectations, leading them into one musical genre, before surprising with a seemingly impossible change up. RoXX’s smaller bar/club venue was ideal for the performance, allowing interaction with the crowd, but also plenty of room for fans to rock out to Beardyman’s take on dubstep, drum and bass and breakbeat genres.
Beardyman had the venue under his control from the outset. The dance floor was alive with energy, and could be felt reverberating as the crowd pounded it to the beat. One particularly enthusiastic member of the audience took it upon himself to step on stage to show everyone how much he was enjoying the music. A bouncer swooped in to put a stop to such antics, but the quick witted dancer leaped from the stage. Not wishing for the miscrient to escape, the bouncer dove off the stage on top of his quarry, WWE wrestling style. Not allowing such dramatics to go unnoticed, Beardyman began to sing to the rhythm, “I am amazing, I can drunk fly,” mocking his self-elected mascot’s booze inspired genius as he was escorted from the premises.
The lunacy continued as Beardyman crafted an incredibly catchy dance tune before delivering its profound chorus, ‘Everybody say my anus.’ …The crowd willingly obliged. Having provided his sarcastic vocals to Fatboy Slim’s recent hit, ‘Eat Sleep Rave Repeat,’ Beardyman proceeded to deliver his own rendition to a brilliant reception. As his set drew to a close, Beardyman generated more humor as he applauded his sound technician, Pete, who apparently has large feet and everything else that comes with that, before revealing he and Pete were newly-wed, showing off a ring on his finger. Bursting into his finale Beardyman mimiced the lyrics and melody of club favorite ‘Meet Me at the Hotel,’ over far catchier beats of his own creation, before unleashing one final drop. Whilst deconstructing his soundscape, Beardyman confessed that he and Pete were not really engaged and proceeded to leave the stage to the sound of what he envisioned sex with Pete would sound like, played on loop.
The crowd was manic with laughter and clapping. With some chanting, Beardyman was coaxed back on stage. Turning off his equipment to relieve the venue of manly love grunts that had been left playing, Beardyman delivered the perfect encore. Removing his headset in favour of a traditional microphone, Beardyman delivered an incredible medley of songs to close his set using his voice alone. The highlight came as he pretended to honk an assortment of different horns, mimed playing a solo upon them, then introduced a trumpet to the mix, and then reverting to drum and bass at break-neck speed. This really was the perfect end to the show, showcasing Beardyman’s phenomenal talent in it’s purest form. He dropped the mic and walked out, to great applause.