This was a gig that I’d been looking forward to for quite some time. Beardyman (A.K.A. Darren Foreman) has quickly garnered a reputation as an incredible live performer. His unique beatbox skills and use of live loops threatened to throw up one of the most interesting nights of the year. The show was a sell-out and and I honestly can’t remember the last time I saw the place so rammed.
Local boy Brian Deady got things off to a pleasant start by throwing out some quality tracks that got the thickening crowd nicely warmed up. Then, at around the half past ten mark, the main act took to the stage and the place erupted. This was a crowd that were here to see Beardyman and they were deafening in their appreciation. He took the applause and worked the crowd to perfection, with banter aplenty throughout the set.
Things on the night could be best described as eclectic, but that only tells half the story. As Beardyman put it himself, he was coming up with the rhymes “off the top of his head” but it certainly didn’t show. There were loops galore and the beatboxer from Brighton didn’t disappoint with creativity being key. We got his unique acapella take on everything fromWhole Lotta Love (morphed into an appreciation for weed) to The Korgi’s Everybody’s Gotta Learn Sometimes. There really was a hell of a lot to take in here with ideas coming thick and heavy.
Just when you thought you were on terra firma, the wild-eyed man with the mic took things in a completely different direction. One second you were listening to him doing a Madonna pastiche courtesy of the Bangles and next thing you were into a furious 10 minutes of Dubstep meets dancehall. To some, that might sound like a horrific mix but incredibly it worked. If you wanted to see something that was unique and original then this was definitely one for you. I can genuinely say I’ve never seen an act quite like it.
The fact that every sound emanating from the stage came courtesy of Beardyman made this a performance that was all the more exciting. He certainly makes it look easy as he darts from one genre to another with seemingly effortless ease, this was almost performance art with a beat. He certainly lifted the roof off The Pavilion and the capacity crowd were left breathless and panting for more by the end of his set. To put it simply, Beardyman came, Beardyman saw and Beardyman most definitely conquered.