Beardyman: One Album Per Hour

Starting a show with a song containing the lyrics “it’s a stupid idea and it’ll never work” feels somewhat disingenuous when the song’s fully orchestrated and lit. Nonetheless, Beardyman (Darren Foreman) doesn’t disappoint when it comes to his incredible ability to conjure up new tracks on the spot. One Album Per Hour does exactly what it says on the tin: using suggestion cards filled in by the audience before the show, Beardyman selects titles and works his magic over a range of genres in the best incarnation of a one-man band possible.

Beardyman is well worth a listen.

Beardyman rattles through song titles rapidly, his perceptive skill when it comes to music whittling down options to titles which inspire the most imagination for his musical talents. Whilst it may offput the improvised premise of the show to throw away suggested song titles, it’s understandable that throughout the run there may have been repeat title suggestions or the occasional obscenity – a mind block to improvisers everywhere. The latter option is less likely, given how unapologetic Beardyman is as a performer. Not afraid to berate his crowd’s contributions, Beardyman’s angered persona might not be for everybody- though his ability to create music seamlessly out of live-beatboxing is sure to impress anyone in attendance.

The genre range is extraordinary, with disco anthem My Dog Is Definitely Gay now creating a massive chasm in any nightclub set due to its one-time play. That’s the ultimate downside to Beardyman, really: there are no ways to repeat any of the bangers on display tonight. Beardyman implies a strong preference of drum and bass, which emerges at the end of the night along with a chance to get up and really rave along with full abandon. It’s hard in a large seated venue but it’s impossible not to feel yourself bobbing throughout the show. If hard-core rhythms and the occasional tribute to Jean-Michel Jarre are your bag, Beardyman is well worth a listen. 

Reviews by Louise Jones

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The Blurb

Total sell-out 2013, 2014 and 2015. Travelling at the speed of thought in his music production spaceship, the world-class multi award-winning musician and comedian transcends mere mimicry to produce studio-quality compositions faster than most could imagine them. The vocal shaman emits and manipulates any conceivable sound with a manic wit that will have you rocking with laughter and shaking your tail feather as a whole album is created live, based on your suggestions. 'An hour of dazzling skill... The bar for improv has been raised' **** (Chortle.co.uk). 'Breath-takingly talented' (Time Out).

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