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Beardyman – KOKO live review

The not-so-beardy beatboxer takes a drastically different and disappointing direction .


A tirelessly innovative performer, North London native Beardyman is globally recognised for pushing boundaries with his incredible beatbox abilities and capricious live shows, which cleverly incorporate interactive left-field comedy into the mix. But the performer, real name Darren Foreman, thoroughly shocked us at the only London date of his UK tour showcasing his brand new show.

Relying heavily on his specially developed software the Beardytron 5000, Foreman had wound the pulsating crowd into a frenzy way before his presence was even seen on stage. Any previous hints of his creative comedic background had been utterly erased as the artist furiously bashed and thrashed his machine, making thunderous and unending drum and bass noises.

Whilst shirtless younger members of the audience thoroughly enjoyed the direction-less din, launching themselves in the air with gay abandon, comparatively the late twenties/early thirties gig-goers tried in vain to mask their confusion with half hearted head nodding and out of time toe tapping.

When we interviewed Beardyman ahead of his tour, he told us he was ‘more interested in pushing the limits of beatbox and experimenting to see what else it can be used for in terms of musical technology.’ We weren’t quite expecting him to have morphed his skills beyond recognition into the guise of a raging technological robot. His incredible abilities had been so far removed from the mix that the sounds escaping from the speakers no longer even resembled those made by even the David Beckham of human beatboxers.

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The sheer magic that Beardyman brought with his eclectic mix of off the cuff comedy and on the hoof musicality seems to have sadly disappeared from his act altogether, and the fantastically raw element has all but been blasted away by his bloody massive boombox.


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