The Beards

Source: The Beards Facebook

Source: The Beards Facebook

If ever there were a subculture in need of its passion and views thrust upon the world in a homoerotic but comradely, folk-rock kind of way, it would be that of the beard.

The Beards formed in 2005 after four bearded South Australians saw a need to express their love of beards in song form.  Johann Beardraven, Nathaniel Beard, John Beardman Jr, and Facey McStubblington have since become hirsute heroes of the facial hair world.

Writing and performing only songs about beards, some titles include “No Beard, No Good”, “You Should Consider Having Sex with a Bearded Man”, “Why Having a Beard is Better than Having a Woman”, and what is possibly their most famous song, “If Your Dad Doesn’t Have a Beard, You’ve Got Two Mums”.

The band currently has three albums and a world tour under its belt, as well as placing 99th in Triple J’s Hottest 100 countdown for 2011. In 2009, the band traveled to Alaska to perform at the opening night of, and compete in, the World Beard and Moustache Championships. They most recently headlined a show in Sydney, Australia to celebrate World Beard Day.

A large part of the success of the band thus far is they also put on a fantastic live show. Jen Pearce was lucky enough to see them in concert earlier this year.

“They’re performers and showmen, as well as musicians,” she said.

“All their songs, because they’re all beard-oriented, even though that’s a bit gimmicky, they really owned it.”

She said the show had a really good feeling, and that it was filled with positive energy.

“Even though I wasn’t [more familiar with the music], it was still (…) a good atmosphere. You still got sucked into the whole vibe of what was going on.

She also noted that it was interesting to watch the quirky  things that the band would be doing amongst themselves on stage.

“… they were getting people to stroke their beards,

You look away and you look back and all of a sudden oh, the guitarist is over there next to the drummer, and in between hits on the drum, he’s stroking the beard of the guitarist.”

“It was just really silly but it was fun, it was all really fun.”

She was adamant that she would see them perform again.

“Yes, definitely see them again (…) I’ll take my bearded guy next time!”

One must wonder how much more there is to say about beards. But with an already cult-like following in the bearded community, surely they will never run out of things to say.

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World Beard Day

Australia saw some major events take place over this past weekend. There was a Federal Election, a change of government and a new prime minister elected. Unfortunately, another historical event taking place on the same day may have gone unnoticed by most: World Beard Day.

This year World Beard Day was celebrated heartily by bearded fellows, beard loving lasses and envious baby-faced boys who hope to someday become that manly, all over the country. Its official origin is unknown, but according to the World Beard Day website “there is some evidence to suggest that Danish Vikings had a special day dedicated to the glorification of beards as far back as 800 AD.” They say that it “was not held on a fixed date, and was often celebrated hundreds of times each year.” These days the event is celebrated annually on the first Saturday of September. The general consensus surrounding the guidelines for the day is that bearded family members are to refrain from doing any type of chore or manual labour, and may have the other non-bearded members at their beck and call to fulfill any command they wish. It is also considered incredibly disrespectful for any man to shave his face on this day.

It may have been mostly overshadowed by other events deemed more newsworthy, but for some it was the story of the day. What is quite possibly Australia’s best newspaper for comedic value and just doing whatever it wants, The NT News embraced World Beard Day with open arms. In keeping with the prominent issue of the day, its front page for Saturday September 7 looked like this:

images_article_2013_09_07_NTnews7-300x0In other political and beard related realms, the campaign video for one independent central Victorian candidate stood out well above the rest. Candidate for the seat of Bendigo, Daniel Abikhair, prepared a 40-second YouTube video outlining why he should be elected to represent Bendigo in the local election. If you hadn’t guessed yet, it’s for his beard.

And finally, Australia’s hirsute heroes The Beards headlined a show at Sydney’s Manning Bar with a number of other bearded Aussie bands, where the bearded were free to be amongst their own kind and celebrate all things beard. The event, which was live-streamed around the world, was hosted by bearded comedian Dave Callan and featured an array of acts, as well as activities such as bearded piggy-back rides and bearded man kissing booths. The Sydney Facial Hair Club also ran and judged a beard competition. The Beards frontman, Johann Beardraven, believed it a conspiracy against the facial hair community of Australia to hold a federal election on World Beard Day; “This is yet another example of our beardless government conspiring against the bearded.”

One should expect next year’s celebrations to be bigger and hairier than before.