You have only one week or less to put down your razor. Throw away your hair clippers and your beard trimmers and let that smudge on your face grow into a beard in all its glory.
I wish I could say that the Beards, playing at the Union Jack Hotel on Sunday, June 29, don’t care if you have a beard or not, but to do that would be a blatant lie.
“We’re coming back to make sure everyone in Cairns has a beard,” guitarist and vocalist Facey McStubblington warned. “Last time we were there we had a great time except for the fact there were some people without beards and we told you all to grow them so we assume that now you have and we’re coming back to check up on you.”
The last time the Beards (rounded out by Nathaniel Beard on bass/vocals, John Beardman on drums/vocals and Johann Beardraven on vocals/guitar/sax) were here they treated the crowd at the Jack to one of the best live performances seen at the venue and the boys come back enthusiastic about their next outing.
“Oh man,” McStubblington gushed, “the Jack was great last time. It’s such a good venue. It’s kind of odd in that you feel like a pharmacist when you’re on stage there because you’re above everything else but that’s good. We have for a long time urged venues to put us on a higher plane than regular civilians because we have beards, but then what about the other people that have beards? They shouldn’t be down there. This time we’ll probably try and figure out a way to get all the bearded men on stage and maybe get a ladder and all the bearded people could stand on the top rung and go down from there.”
Five years and four albums in, the Beards feel that their message of all things beards is finally getting across to the masses, and despite initially forming their own genre of beard based music, McStubblington says the band always knew their message to the world could be spread through music. “It was as organic as growing a beard itself,” he said of the bands formulative years. “We started as a band of musicians – I don’t know if you could even call us musicians – but we were together and we noticed that we were all on our way to growing beards and we thought ‘gee, we look good, there must be something in this’, and we explored it further and after that people kept booking us. We realised that there was a not a niche, but a real need for our band and our message in society because for too long the bearded man has been oppressed and we are here to liberate you bearded man!”
“Stylistically we started out very folky. We didn’t have an electronic guitar – I think there was maybe one part on the first album – it was mainly acoustic. There was no piano and no organ and then we slowly brought in the piano and a little more electric guitar. Probably over the four albums – in half of the last one and definately on the latest – we’ve grown into a rock band. We just go where the beard calls us basically. Certainly the fact that we have the one subject matter doesn’t preclude us from any musical genre. We have alot of followers from the metal world and other genres of music, fans who just understand, ‘oh yeah, beards, I get it.’”
With a songlist that consists of everything beards and beards only, it would be natural to assume that coming up with fresh ideas could sometimes get difficult, but McStubblington is quick to refute that.
“No, it’s not hard at all,” he stressed. “If you listen to the secret track on The Beard Album you will hear that we had four or five extra songs that didn’t actually get on there. Artists all through time, be it visual or musical, have always relied on a muse to inspire them and our muse is on our face so it’s just as easy as looking in a mirror and BANG, another three songs.”
The Beards latest offering, the recently released The Beards Album, has been unleashed on an anxious public and at this early stage McStubblington says the band are happy with the response.
“So far it’s been pretty good,” he said. “We’re certainly very happy with it. As far as we’re concerned it’s easily our best work. It’s probably even the best album that’s ever been recorded ever in the history of music. And I know we said that about our last album but in our defence we hadn’t heard this album then.”
With hits already such as ‘If Your Dad Doesn’t Have a Beard, You Have Two Mums’, ‘You Should Consider Sex With a Bearded Man’ and ‘No Beard, No Good’, The Beards Album looks set to follow a similar path to success with ‘All The Bearded Ladies’ and ‘Hey You, Grow a Beard’, but don’t dare try and say that the Beards are taking their music lightly, because McStubblington scoffs at the mention.
“No, no, we’re not really musicians and we’re certainly not comedic entertainers,” he stressed.
“There is nothing funny about our message. There is nothing joking. We see ourselves as forefathers of the next era in time that will be where every man, woman and child has a beard and there is no crime. There is no famine, there is nothing negative because once we achieve this bearded eutopia everyone will be living in a state of euphoria and that’s what we’re trying to sell to everyone. There’s nothing weird, there’s nothing funny, we’re deadly serious and we’re not joking. This is the ONLY way forward for human homosapiens!”
The Beards play at the Union Jack Hotel Sunday June 29 with special guests Franky Walnut. Pre sale tickets can be bought through the venue or through Oztix for $28.60 or on the door for $30. Music starts at 7 p.m