The Beards' Tour Diary Part Six

27 November 2012 | 3:41 pm | The Beards

Breakfast can be tough for a bearded man. Cereal is right out – getting milk and bits of oat all through your beard can ruin your entire day.

Thursday 22  - Saturday 24 November
Ballarat, Queenscliff Music Festival

Tours. They can be long. They can be tough. They can tear a band apart at the flesh, ripping them limb from limb until there's nothing left but a bloodied corpse shell.  Anyone who's ever had any contact with The Beards on the road will know that they are a well-oiled touring machine, and be assured that this didn't happen by accident. Every detail of every day is meticulously planned, and if anything goes slightly wrong, it could spell the end of the band, and probably the end of society as we know it. Here's how a typical tour day goes down:

900 – 1100: Breakfast, Debrief  

Breakfast can be tough for a bearded man. Cereal is right out – getting milk and bits of oat all through your beard can ruin your entire day. Toast is a no-no as well – there's so many crumbs flying around that it becomes too much of a risk. Eggs are ok but if they're even slightly running then you risk falling victim to “Egg-Beard”, the details of which I won't go into here, but just trust me, it sucks. Truth is, breakfast will mostly consist of a couple of Nurofen and water. Over breakfast, we also like to discuss the previous night's show – how many beards were in attendance, how loudly they yelled the word 'beard' at us, how many times Nathaniel was able to stroke his own beard on stage, etc. Straight after breakfast we usually take the opportunity to style and groom our beards for the day ahead – if our beards aren't looking immaculate, the consequences could be disastrous.

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

Johann Beardraven does some last-minute beard prep before the show.

1100 – 1400: Travel

Whilst in the tour van, we often like to play a game called 'Spot That Beard'. The rules are simple: whenever one of the touring party spots a bearded person, they will yell “Beard! Beard!” The rest of us will in turn begin yelling the word beard until the bearded person in question is out of sight. At this point we will congratulate ourselves on a job well done, and agree that beards are the real winners.

1400 – 1700: Soundcheck

The importance of the soundcheck cannot be underestimated. Our sound technician is specially trained to EQ the front-of-house system so that the word 'beard' has the most clarity possible. It also gives us the opportunity to play a few of our songs, which is great – we only like songs about beards so we only ever listen to our own music.

1700 – 1930: Set-list

Few people understand what goes into a beards set-list writing session. Our pro-beard message needs to be delivered with absolute precision, otherwise we risk having the audience become confused as to what our stance on beards really is, and our message is simply too important to allow that to happen. Thus, our set-list writing sessions will often become quite heated affairs as we struggle with how to deliver our propaganda in just the right way for any given crowd.

Writing the setlist can be a time-consuming ordeal

 Facey McStubblington in particular will become quite aggravated during set-list writing time, and often turns violent as well. The most extreme example was when, on a particular show a few weeks back, he was still so enraged from the set-list writing that during the first song of the set he punched a beardless guy right in the face. To be fair, the guy had it coming – he was heaps beardless. Unfortunately he was also our stage tech and Face spent the whole gig noticeably out of tune and unable to change guitars. We all agreed it was one of our best sets ever.

1930 – 2300 – Gig

As soon as doors open, we like to be on the front line, shaking bearded folks' hands as they enter, and questioning or even refusing entry to those without a beard. When it comes time to hit the stage, the success of the show can usually be measured by how many people from the crowd reach out and stoke my beard during the set. This particular night in Ballarat (or Beardlarat, as we cleverly re-named it), it was a very healthy amount. We were filled with confidence and left in no doubt that every person there was feeling significantly more pro-beard than they were before.

2300 – 0200 – After-party

Feeling assured that our message has been delivered to the best of our abilities, we toast to our success backstage, before sending our manager out to find us some women, whom we may be able to share intimate relations with. Unfortunately, we love beards so much that we are only interested in females with beards, who for some reason are extraordinarily hard to find. After a few hours of drinking alone, we send our manager out again. This time we have lowered our expectations and will take any woman who is willing to talk to four sweaty bearded men. Women of this variety prove equally as hard to find, and so one by one we make our way back to the hotel room, broken and alone. (John Beardman Jnr claims to have almost had sex with a woman once, and thus he is held in the utmost regard.)