Quixotes Beard (pronounced kee-ho-tee-s) are a Cambridgeshire/Harlow based band, comprised of David Brown, Robert Tucker, Phil Hardcastle and Andy Clapp. They have been performing a mixture of punk rock style original and cover songs in venues all across England for the past decade. I was able to interview lead singer, songwriter and guitarist David Brown as I was curious about what his motivation was behind starting a band. I was also able to learn about his passions, goals and song-writing process as well as gain an understanding of what it is truly like to be part of a band.

Since he was young, David Brown has always wanted to be in a band- “It goes back to having a guitar in my bedroom and listening to LPs and slowing them down and trying to learn to play them.” He has been playing guitar since he was fourteen and was influenced by famous bands such as The Beatles and The Punks, and recalls going into London when he was seventeen and seeing famous punk bands play- “I was watching them and they were only playing three of four chords and I thought, I can do this!” This gave him the inspiration and motivation to start his own band and fulfil his childhood dream.

Quixotes Beard is compiled of four talented individuals. As well as David Brown, there is bass guitarist Phil Hardcastle who David has known since he was eight- “We sat next to each other in junior school.” Lead guitarist Robert Tucker who David has known for 35 years as “We used to work together.” As well as drummer Andy Clapp, who they recruited five years ago.

Determining a name is an important aspect of creating a band- the members of Quixotes Beard “Sat down and thought about that silly name for a year” before making it final. Their unique name stems from “A famous book about an old knackered knight… and we are four old knackered knights!” They especially enjoy the confusion of someone trying to pronounce their name when they are announced on stage.

David states that their band is “A cross between punk and rock.” They believe that, due to growing up in the 60s and 70s, this style of music was “The greatest of all time and still listened to nowadays.” When writing his own songs he focuses on the lyrics first before picking up his guitar. He believes his best songs are over in a matter of minutes as “It is no good sitting there, if an idea doesn’t follow I put the guitar down.” Once he has completed a song he will “Come back to it the next day and look at it with fresh eyes.” A majority of his lyrics reflect society and death and some even come to him “In the middle of the night, I`ve dreamt lyrics before.”

They play at a variety of venues such as pubs, festivals and even the Hertford Corn exchange. They performed at a festival in Wethersfield with an audience of 500! They were even fortunate enough to do a tour “All around Essex” a few years ago. However, Covid-19 had a large impact on their band- “It killed it completely, we couldn’t even rehearse.” They lost many venues, however, were determined to keep their band alive. Despite “A lot of bands disappearing, we hung in there.” Luckily, they were able to rehearse whilst restrictions were temporarily lifted. Being able to perform again has felt “Fantastic” as “You don’t realise how much you loved it until it`s taken away from you.”

Performing regular live gigs does not come without its fair share of embarrassing moments; “I fall over a lot.” David admitted “I don’t use a lyric sheet so I do forget words so I make them up as I go along.” He recalls one time where “We played at a festival and when we got to the field there was nowhere to plug anything in- so they brought a tractor which was still running!” They had to increase their volume to drown out the sound of the tractor. Regardless, the audience is definitely David`s favourite part of performing- “You can`t function without an audience.” However, “We`ve played gigs in front of one person before” due to a variety of factors such as “The weather, world cup and even boxing matches.”

In the coming months, they are planning to perform at Ballstock festival and put out an EP following their punk-rock style album `Life`s a Lark` which was released when their band was called `Deckchair Dayz`.

To find out more about their music, you can visit their Quixotes Beard Facebook page.