Beardyman comes to Australia for four special shows, including an appearance at the prestigious Just For Laughs Sydney Comedy Festival.
Beardyman, the undisputed guru of beatboxing greatness, is bringing to Australia his groundbreaking live interactive show One Album Per Hour, a fairly self-explanatory notion in which he creates an album on the spot based on audiences’ suggestions. Pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in a live interactive experience, Beardyman has sold out every run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival at one of the biggest venues, Pleasance Grand, as well as selling out his last UK tour.
Imagine a machine that can let you record and mix music in real time – one that will enable musicians to get down the ideas in their head instantly, with no filter between the germs of a song and hearing it come alive straight away. Imagine the fevered genius capable of building such a perfect musical aid. Meet the Beardyman’s custom built music production space ship, BEARDYTRON_5000mkIV which is able to create original music faster than most people can think of it, twisting every sound he makes into slick, polished songs live!!! And meet its creator… Beardyman, whose performances have been viewed over 60 million times on YouTube alone with improvisation being at the heart of the creative process.
Chances are, you already know Beardyman. He’s the lovable beatboxing champion, last heard playing the charismatic stoner on Fatboy Slim’s global smash Eat Sleep Rave Repeat, right? This beat One Direction in the charts! He won the UK Beatbox Championships consecutively until no one else dared to enter. Actor, writer and animator Mike Judge was so impressed with his vocal abilities he insisted that Beardyman lend his voice to several characters in the latest series of Beavis and Butthead.
One Album Per Hour show, it’s up to the audience as to what happens and how the album takes shape, asking the audience for suggestions for song titles and genre acting as the inspiration behind each new creation, ensuring no two shows will ever be the same.
To the public, the first glimpse of the Beardytron was at Beardyman’s TED talk in 2013, which has racked up a staggering two million views.
“I was going to talk about the history of mimicry, but I don’t have a PhD, so I didn’t” he smiles. “I thought ‘The Beardytron’ is really cool, why not showcase that? I think I found a happy medium of demonstrating what I’d built, whilst framing it in the context of beatboxing and my personal story.” Those suitably impressed in the TED audience included philosopher Daniel Dennett, Paypal founder Elon Musk, Bono, and Simpson’s creator Matt Groening.
Beardyman also met Herbie Hancock at TED, leading the jazz pioneer to become the only other person so far to successfully use the Beardytron. “We jammed for four hours and there are some sweet little ideas that I might use for other stuff”, he says. “There are plans to develop a commercially available version of the Beardytron. But I’ve been talking about developing it for a long time and for now it’s time to stop developing the gear and develop as an artist instead”.
“There’s an element of ‘Look, aren’t I clever?’ about beatboxing”, he admits. “The crowds love it, but it felt very trapping. People were aware of me for reasons I wasn’t comfortable with. I want to change the way music can be made, get my ideas out as they are in my head, but I was doing sketches and mash-ups of other people’s songs. You can say ‘I want to be an artist’, but until you produce the music you really want to make, why should anyone else see that?“
SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE – JUST FOR LAUGHS – 7 & 8 SEPTEMBER
Book at SOH Box Office 9370 1777 www.sydneyoperahouse.com/justforlaughs or Ticketmaster 136 100 www.ticketmaster.com.au
BRISBANE THE TIVOLI – SUNDAY 11 SEPTEMBER
Book at Ticketmaster 136 100 www.ticketmaster.com.au
MELBOURNE CORNER HOTEL – 13 SEPTEMBER
Book at Corner Box Office 1300 724 867 www.cornerhotel.com
TICKETS ON SALE MONDAY 4 JULY 9am