BeardyMan @ Oxford o2 Academy – 07/03/11

First things first, hats off to the warmup act, JFB. Outstanding skills on the MP3 decks, combining classic tunes like Jump Around with incredible scratching and movie clip visuals. With the crowd warmed up, the legend that is BeardyMan took to the stage. As was expected jaws were hitting the ground throught the venue as beatboxing commenced.

He started with about 10 minutes of “accoustic” beatboxing, the highlight being him clicking the tune to Popcorn whilst projecting a totally different tune with his voice at the same time. Awsome! He has clearly been practicing. Incorporating pop tunes as well as classical trumpet melodies (flight of the bumblebee) it is impossible not to be impressed by his versitility.

The show as a whole was a good mixture of Drum and Bass, Hip-Hop, House and Techno all created on the spot using only his vocals, a loop machine and keyboard with numerous effects. It is hard to justify the skill and talent exuded by this artist unless you are there in person. You can see how tracks are built, developed and executed when you can relate what you are hearing to what is happening on stage. It is definately a live act not to be missed. There is plenty of involvement with the audience and he uses visuals to enhance his performance as opposed to it being the focus of the show.

All in all, it was a great night out, but would have been so much better if it was a Friday or Sarturday night and I really could have got stuck in without the prospect of a brutal hangover at work the next day! I highly reccomend BeardyMan whether you are an electronic music fan or not.

Photography by Tomasz Ras