Top 10 Punk Rock Beards – The Band Edition

It’s time. Our punk rock beard list finally returns. Some of you may or may not remember a piece that I wrote in 2008, compiling some of my favourite dudes and their super rad beards. I didn’t expect it to be a big thing, but somehow now, when you search ‘punk beard’, we’re the first thing on Google. It’s been a big year for facial hair, so it’s time to get serious. Get ready for the band edition.

DISCLAIMER: this might just be a list of sweet bands who have a couple of members with beards, either currently or just ‘tour beards’. But who gives a shit, there’s beards involved!

10) Summerslam 88
Summerslam 88 very rarely have facial hair but when they do, they look like skeezy 80s dudes. They also do sweet skatepunk that sounds like the Offspring when they were good.

9) North Lincoln
Beard punk. What a genre. Were North Lincoln ever really ‘beard punk’? Probably not, but they were kind of brilliant. And look at that full beardage going on there.

8) Fights and Fires
Worcester ‘geekcore’ lads like sitting on cannons, apparently. They also like beards a lot because their current logo is a guy with a massive beard. And most of them have one in some way or another!

7) Every Time I Die
Do you remember that time when all of Every Time I Die thought ‘fuck it, we’re all gonna grow beards and look kinda dirty?’ I sure as hell do. It was awesome. And if nothing else, Andy Williams has enough beard for everyone.

6) The Menzingers
Quintessentially rugged and responsible for some of the finest punk records of the 21st Century. You know it.

5) The Lawrence Arms
I don’t care if they’re not real moustaches. Nobody cares if they’re not real moustaches. And now these dudes have signed to Epitaph, which is not the home of the beard, but, along with another band further down on our list, they’re making it a classier place.

4) Darko
Darko’s beards were unexpected and highly surprising. But excellent. Skatepunk probably shouldn’t involve beards but I’m very glad it does.

3) Bike Tuff
We did a feature on these guys a few months ago, and while Into Shore is probably my favourite emo-revival-esque record right now (and possibly forever), these dudes all have pretty sweet beards.

2) letlive.
Jason Aalon Butler’s beard is a thing of beauty. Furious, furious beauty. Nothing else needs to be said.

1) Arliss Nancy
LOOK AT THE MAJESTY OF THOSE BEARDS. Arliss Nancy probably couldn’t function without said beards. Americana blended with punk aesthetic to create something kind of beautiful, Wild American Runners is deep and heartfelt with a touch of jaded gruffness that can only come from beards that excellent.

Honorable mention: Enter Shikari
Can one class Shikari as punk? I suppose that imposing trance on post-hardcore and trying to make people more aware of the broken society we live in through their lyrics is pretty punk. Not usually known for the beard, this new video reveals a different side to them…

Live: North Lincoln – Robbin’s Well Leamington Spa, 12/10/09

It turns out that my university has a little society called ‘Punksoc’, where people sit around, talk about punk and go to a lot of shows. The idea of this intrigued me, being a fan of such things, so I signed up right away. Monday was the first gig social, and we went to nearby town Leamington Spa to see North Lincoln at Robbin’s Well.

There were three awesome things about this particular gig. The first was that it was an actual basement show. Sort of. The Well has a downstairs area for gigs which is pretty much like a basement in that everyone crowds around the band who are playing on exactly the same level as you. This is probably the closest I’ll ever get to experiencing something like that, so it’s totally a basement show. The second was that it was North Lincoln’s last tour, and we got to see them in such a small and intimate environment. I will admit, I’d never heard of North Lincoln before (I really should follow record labels more considering they’re on No Idea) or any of the other four bands on the lineup, which brings me to the third awesome point – five bands for a mere £5. I am fed up of paying ridiculous prices for gigs. In January, I’m seeing Henry Rollins, and paying £22 a ticket for the privilege. It’s just not punk rock any more. So five for £5 is pretty damn good, even if the drinks were fairly expensive.

First band up were Caves, a fairly melodic punk band from Bristol. We came in late and missed about half of their set, but from what I could tell, they were pretty good. Nothing particularly original, except that their lead, female singer had an exceptionally gruff voice for a girl. Not a bad thing at all.

Second on were Big City Plan, hailing from Birmingham. It’s difficult to compare them to anything else, but I seemed to think that they were like a less hardcore No Trigger with rougher vocals, which is still pretty awesome. These guys were one of my favourite acts that night, with their tuneful, energetic songs receiving a great reception. Really good fun, and their song ‘Paint The Town Rad’ is a must listen. They’re also playing again soon, and I’ll definitely be seeing them again.

Next up was James Black, a folk punk artist from London. Now, I like folk punk, and I like it a lot, but every song here sounded exactly the same, both lyrically and musically, and not in a good way. I found him to be fairly bland and he didn’t really fit with the rest of the line up. Folk punk is tricky to get right, and you don’t need to shout all the time to do it. It also wasn’t too interesting to watch, even though I’ve found someone with nothing but a guitar to be compelling in the past. Personally, I’d give this guy a miss.

The Amistad, a relatively local band, were on next. The Amistad have this real charm about them, probably because they talk lots in between songs and are genuinely quite funny. The songs are good too. Very catchy, with the potential to become real anthems. They probably didn’t sound as good as they could, due to the vocalist having taken over bass duties and not really being able to play it. He managed pretty well though! Great energetic punk rock and one I’ll definitely be looking out for.

Finally, North Lincoln took the floor. I really have only one word to describe their set – amazing. They had a really laidback approach, and knew that they were having fun, which in turn meant we were having fun with some awesome music. Their gruff punk anthems filled the basement well, playing really old stuff as well as the last few songs they wrote. Everybody in the crowd was there for the same reason – to see North Lincoln – which sounds like a strange and obvious remark, but too often, I go to gigs and see people there because they were dragged there with friends, or because they wanted to see the support, or because it’s something to do, and it made for an incredible experience. All I can say is that it’s a shame North Lincoln won’t be touring again, because their wonderfully melodic punk needs to be heard live to be truly appreciated.