Legendary beatboxer Darren Foreman, otherwise known as Beardyman, started making noises from the age of three when he first saw Police Academy. Now a multi-award-winning beatbox champion, he catches up with the The London Word ahead of his KOKO gig to chat about David Cameron, danger wanking and why he salutes the Queen…
Where are you right now, and what have you been doing?
‘I’m in my kitchen. I”ve been choosing a cat with my girlfriend. That’s not a euphemism, we’re getting a cat.’
What is your favourite area of London, and why?
‘East London, ‘cos it’s better than the other bits. There’s more cool bars and shops and stuff to do and the price is right.’
What is your most vivid London memory?
‘Hard to choose since I live here, maybe the [Iraq] anti-war march of 2003.’
What would your perfect London day out involve?
‘Going to a park and hiding in a bush all day and swearing at the ice-cream men. They are the problem. Kill them and you solve it.’
And your perfect London night out?
‘Who knows; going to a random bar, ending up in another, having a chance meeting with a long-lost friend or two and ending up at a night in Brixton where you can smoke weed indoors. Then going back to some random’s house and talking complete bollocks all night. I like that London never gives up on you if you’re determined to keep going. But you do need to be determined, ‘cos London also hates you and wants you to die broke and in agony.’
What makes London unique?
‘Many things contribute to London being unique. The wealth gap is startling but not comparable to Moscow. The size is insane, but not on the same scale as Mexico City. Nothing makes it unique really, other than the fact that it’s London and only one city has that name, apart from London Ontario… so yeah… nothing.
Which season do you most enjoy in London, and why?
‘Summer ‘cos it doesn’t rain… and girls wear less clothes, which coincides with the accompanying hormone surge to produce, and soul-crushing urge to copulate.’
Where in London do you feel most creative, and why?
‘East London or Camden, ‘cos they’re full of creative people and weird little shops. The Square Mile ought to be destroyed and Canary Wharf turned into a water park.’
Where in London have you never been, but always wanted to go?
‘Never been to Alperton, but I have no desire to go. I hear they burn people with beards there.’
Who is your favourite Londoner, and why?
‘The Queen, ‘cos she worked hard to get all the money she keeps. She was born, which is really hard – she had to be pulled out of the Queen mother’s vagina – which is a horrible thing to have to go through, and for that I salute her. She also sends her grandchildren off to war as punishment if they mess about in hotel rooms in Vegas, and despite the relatively popular opinion that she and all her family are tax-spunging racists, she refuses to dissolve her out-dated post and install an elected official. And for that you have to respect her.’
What do you think is London’s best kept secret?
‘The fact that David Cameron is actually robbing this country of it’s free-at-the-point-of-use health care system. The BBC is not reporting it and it’s going to kill people who can’t afford health insurance. Maybe not yet, but after firing 50,000 nurses and health professionals then selling off publicly-funded assets at a rock-bottom price to private industry, that will be the only way you can get to live through a life-threatening illness. He lied to us. That is London’s best kept secret.’
Which song, book or film do you think best encapsulates London?
‘The live version of Interstellar Overdrive, which represents some of the only live recordings of early ‘swinging London’ Barret-era Pink Floyd.
What do you miss most about London when you’re away?
‘Picking black bogies out of my nose after a trip into town. I love pollution. I also love the Tories. I think poor people choose to be poor and should be punished accordingly… It’s the only way they’ll see sense. Also, I miss how rude people are to each other in London. There’s nothing like being treated as if you’re wasting everyone’s time and are weak for just being nice or helpful to strangers to remind you the next great climatic shift couldn’t come soon enough.’
How does London drive you mad?
‘By not being New York, which is in almost every way a superior city.’
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
‘Stop picking it, you’ll make it worse! Stop it!’
Where do you go in London to relax?
‘My house, or perhaps one of the parks. But to be honest I find London parks a bit much. Too many humans. I hate humans, they are a problem.’
Who is your biggest inspiration and why?
‘Richard D James [AKA Aphex Twin], Richard Dawkins, Chris Morris, Reggie Watts, Jon Hopkins, [Brian] Eno, because they’re amazing and they don’t give a fuck.’
What would you recommend everyone in London do at least once?
‘Have a danger wank. It’s thrilling. Go for a house viewing and see if you can finish before the estate agent comes back.’
‘Artificial, just like everything else. Enjoy it while it lasts you moron. You WILL die.’
Beardyman + special guests will be playing from 9pm to 3am on Saturday 22 September at:
1A Camden High Street
Tel: 0870 432 5527
Tickets cost £18.50