So as a birthday treat, TW bought a pair of tickets to see Beardyman at Concorde II, which was nice. I’d only just recovered from the trip up to Brixton to see Carter, so I was almost feeling like I had my finger on the pulse…
We did things a bit differently though, compared to my Brixton visit. No guilty Maccy Dees for us; instead we went to Sawadee, which is a lovely Thai place at the bottom of Kemptown. We shared a bottle of wine and ordered their delicious fishcakes, which we still talk about, even more than nine years after leaving Brighton.
We finished up and walked to the Concorde. The warm-up guy was a mixologist, JFB, who has apparently been the DMC UK champion twice, in 2007 and again in 2011. And as expected, he rocked. They had some cameras close up on his hands as he was working, and those shots were showing on the backdrop behind him. He was brilliant. I would pay to see him again, and apparently he is working on an album, which I shall be watching out for. The way he rebuilt DJ Shadow’s “Midnight” was amazing.
Then it was the interval, and we were all waiting for Beardyman to enter the arena. A man came onto the stage and started talking Swedish or some other Scandinavian language, and TW and I didn’t know whether it was Beardyman or not… Turned out, of course, it was him, and he started sampling his own words as he was talking to us. All of a sudden, he was playing some pretty cool stuff, looping his own words, and adding in some beats and basslines. It was really good; I started movin’ and groovin’ a bit – I wasn’t throwing shapes but it was funky stuff.
Then it got a bit harder. There was a camera under his chin, so pointing up at him, and the images captured there were then refracted and disjointed and displayed on the backdrop. The room was pitch dark and the beats and tunes were getting heavier, and actually it was getting quite oppressive. I think we left about five minutes before the end. It was a great gig, and a brilliant way to spend my birthday and a cold Monday night. The amazing thing was that he was improvising the whole event. Of course he had a couple of hooks and ideas on which he based the whole show, so I’m sure that some elements would sound familiar to people who have seen him before. I would go and see him again, although I was expecting a lighter, more humorous feel, but there were touches of that. If I had been on drugs I don’t think I would’ve enjoyed the end of the show…
Well worth going to see though – there was lots of techno, lots of mixing and lots of funk. Well done fella and thanks TW for buying tickets to see him. The night was topped off with a beer on the train home, and then we relieved M & P from babysitting duties…

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