Bearded comes to Stack

by Steve Watson in December 2008
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Before I met Gareth Main, head man at the brilliantly named Fleeing From Pigeons publishing company, I’d never heard of Bearded. A magazine that concerns itself solely with independent music, Bearded is a beautiful piece of work, with big, thick pages of recycled paper filled with reviews, interviews and lots of strange and lovely illustrations. Gareth (a hairy-faced man himself) edits Bearded from his kitchen table office in Hackney, and has done a tremendous job to develop the magazine and get it into newsagents, Borders and Smiths across the country. There’s going to be a slight redesign for the shops (the logo is going to be made a bit more legible) but by and large he’s going to press on with the magazine pretty much as it is.

It’s always exciting to come across a magazine that treats a familiar subject in a way that’s completely different from everything else out there, and Bearded does exactly that. The illustrations are great – artists’ responses to the bands featured in the stories – but it’s the sheer enthusiasm for the subject that really impresses and means that Bearded is like no other music magazine I’ve ever seen. There are none of the cryptic similes or obscure references that can often find their way into music journalism, and Gareth and his writers convey their message stylishly and effectively. It’s well worth a read even if you wouldn’t normally consider yourself a huge fan of off the beaten track independent music – exactly the sort of magazine I want to find more of for Stack.

The next issue is out at the end of January, and might well become the February delivery for Stack. If I end up saving it for later in the year, though, make sure you head down to the shops and find a copy for yourself – based on what I’ve seen so far you won’t be disappointed.

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