Rory Barclay is king beggar and with him lies the lyrical depth, husky vocals and the best beard in the band. He is strikingly handsome and pulls off don’t-give-a-fuck cool with aplomb while alternating between his electro-acoustic guitar and his mandolin; a self-confessed Bob Dylan obsessive his prose are intricate, structured and romanticized; a womanizer for sure. His solo, acoustic side project ‘Red King James’ contains much of the lyrical and structural basis of The Beggars music and has made appearances at the Cambridge Folk Festival alongside other talented contemporaries.
Their sound owes much to Robin Ruston, lead guitarist, who with his effects peddle and penchant for Pink Floyd adds a complementary dimension to Barclay’s initial simplicity. A gang built around a duo, The Beggars would crumble without Ruston and everyone knows it, despite his unwillingness to admit as much; inventive, youthful, talented and modest to boot eh? Bastards.
Their live shows are energetic affairs and they are crafting a fine art in club, pub, beer festival and café gigs, playing for the people if you will, who are after all, the most important accessory to any musical success story. The Beggars are most definitely a people band. Amiable but admirable, they accept their praise with grace. Good band, good people. Not even an ounce of bullshit; these are not a self-obsessed, genre riddled, trilby wearing, brogue modeling, skinny tie obsessed gang but honest folk, carving a crust with the audiences pleasure highest on their agenda.
Indeed, Barclay has a keen desire to re-locate to a small fishing town in Scotland, drummer Will Young (yes, hoho) has a weakness for Philosophy, Ruston lives on a boat and bassist Matt Turtle is a budding journalist. Fashionistas I think not; scenesters, think again. If you’re ever in and around Cardiff check out Café Capesso, The Social, Buffalo Bar or Tiger Tiger to see if they’re about and you will not be disappointed, no siree. Become a fan, and make them famous immediately, they would be gently grateful.