Recently, we, The Beards, have announced that we will be ending our touring and live performing career with a farewell tour in 2016. The fact that we have had a touring and live performing career at all has surprised many, including ourselves. The fact that we can go out on our own terms with a farewell tour such as this is something we are deeply grateful for. And it would be remiss of us if we didn’t offer a genuine and heartfelt thankyou to everyone who has made the last ten years of beard-related madness possible.
As few people other than those who have attempted to do it will understand, the personal, financial and emotional sacrifices necessary to make a living as an unsigned original touring band catch up with you eventually. Whilst being on stage in front of all of you can be the most awesome job in the world, we feel that now is the right time to (hopefully) go out with a bang with one last tour, rather than slowly fade from relevance until we’re nothing but a quirky answer to a 2011 Hottest 100 quiz question.
Being a novelty band (and we’re not afraid to admit it), we faced an uphill battle from the start in many respects –we’ve had precious little radio play over the journey, the majority of festivals didn’t want to know about us, and most self-respecting music fans would screw up their nose at the idea, at least until they saw us live. And so to win people over, we toured. Then we toured more. Then we toured again, until people began to take notice. That’s the reality we faced, as do many young bands that start out with nothing but a glint in their eye and a station wagon that they borrowed from their drummer’s dad.
Let’s be clear, none if this is sour grapes. The experiences we’ve had, the friends we’ve made, the sold-out gigs we’ve played in European cities that we can’t even pronounce – we wouldn’t change any of it. We all know bands and musos who would give their left nut to have the career that we’ve had and we’re exceedingly lucky that from the start, there were enough of you – fans, other bands, managers, booking agents – that believed in us and believed in what we were trying to do. To those of you who got behind us, we can’t thank you enough. For those who didn’t get it or didn’t want to buy in, we’re sorry you missed out.
As funny as it sounds now, we didn’t start this project because of a love of beards. Our passion was, and still is, a desire to do something fun, something left of centre, something that satisfied our warped senses of humour. Also, we had a hunch that just maybe, if we poured enough passion in and crafted the concept just right, something as absurd as a band that sings entirely and exclusively about beards might just end up being something great.
Did we succeed? Depends who you ask. Did we have fun? Hell yes. And do we owe it all to anyone who ever bought a T-shirt, sung along to one of our songs, forwarded on one of our videos, or stood in the crowd with a beer in their hand and a smile on their face? Abso-fucking-lutely. We’ll see you out on the road as we go around one more time – we’ll be doing our best to get to as many places as possible and hang out with as many of you as we can. And once again, from the bottom of our hearts, thankyou all.