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.