Mr Quimby's Beard - Live at The Royalty, Sunderland, 31st March 2001
From Aural Innovations #15 (April 2001)
Playing to an enthusiastic hometown crowd Mr Quimby's Beard set a relaxed atmosphere from the very first note. Their unique blend of space & psychedelia captured the audiences attention firmly and their dedicated followers were not disappointed with a performance rarely seen from most bands.
Starting off very much in your face the sounds were hard and loud, but not overly loud, mellowing almost immediately to grasp the moment to give renditions of a few classics from 'The Definitive Unsolved Mysteries Of...' playing them with as much feel and depth as the album itself. Ray (Guitar & Vocals) stood in front of the stage; this was due to the small Royalty stage being unable to cope with this five piece and their equipment. The rest of the band: Hardy (Keyboards-Synths & Vocals), Kidd (Bass), Jim Walton (Guitar), and Chris Walton (Drums) just managing to squeeze onto it.
After cracking versions of Darkness and Mystery they indulged the crowd in some new material, all of which was blinding stuff. The light show was out of this world casting moments of vintage Hawkwind into the fray. The smoke machines were working overtime, filling the venue, allowing the beams of light to shoot through the crowd, enhancing the experience of a band set for a bright future.
The set was just over 90 minutes and it was filled with many familiar songs, Travelling and Bringing up the Acid from the album 'Out There' and the classic Marijuana Nightmare from the self titled 'Mr Quimby's Beard' were interwoven with new material and a hand full from the latest offering 'The Definitive Unsolved Mysteries Of...'
The audience roared their approval and made their appreciation known throughout the set and the band rolled with that flow. Mr Quimby's Beard is a band who takes their listener on a thrilling journey through space and time, their music is true spacerock at its best. That is why they are well supported and are gradually climbing the ladder of this type of music.
Their finale was a great version of Hawkwind's Hassan I Sahba, which the crowd lapped up to no end. This band's attitude towards the music I love is like a breath of fresh air to the whole genre, they took me through the realms of space and looked and sounded like many bands aspire to be. Mr Quimby's Beard are one of the best bands I've seen in a long time, I just hope the next time I see them it will be on a bigger stage because they certainly have the quality and ability to show other bigger named bands a thing or two, if given a chance! A must see band.
Reviewed by Albert A Pollard
[Ed. Note: There is a strong possibility that Mr Quimby's Beard will be touring the USA in the Fall. Keep your eyes peeled to the Freaky Fungi web site at http://www.btinternet.com/~freakyfungi for the latest news. And Aural Innovations will most certainly be sounding the bullhorn when concrete information is available.]