The Reverend Beat-Man and Delaney Davidson

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The Reverend Beat-Man and Delaney Davidson


“We had a Sunday school teacher who was visiting from New Zealand,” Beat-Man recalls, “and he really took the wind out of our sails. He said it was better to have faith in something – at least you have faith.”

The Reverend Beat-Man began playing music in his early teens; a few years later, and the Reverend invented himself as a one-man band performer, initially as Taeb Zerfall and subsequently as Lightning Beat-Man. As Lightning Beat-Man, Beat-Man donned a mask, adopted a manic, confrontational stage show involving rock’n’roll wrestling and took himself to the edge of the physical and psychological precipice. “I’m not sure what experiences people have had when wearing a mask,” Beat-Man says. “The mask takes control of you – you’re playing a game with the face of the mask. You can jump over borders when you’re wearing a mask.”

In the aftermath of a broken back sustained in a particularly wild show, Beat-Man decided the Lightning Beat-Man persona had to be retired. Beat-Man had previously toured the United States and became impressed with the evangelist preachers with their combination of religious rhetoric and capitalist ideology. Beat-Man stripped his show back to its essential musical elements and re-invented himself as Reverend Beat-Man. With songs like Jesus Christ Twist pushing the boundaries of religious tolerance, the Reverend Beat-Man has embarked on his own unique journey of religious salvation. “I normally get a good reaction when people to the shows. Sometimes they see the names of the songs, and they are not sure what it’s going to be like, but people come out of my shows happy. Some of my songs are just about me being pissed off, and Jesus is perfect to blame for being pissed off!” he laughs.

Along the way Beat-Man gathered around him a loose-knit community of kindred garage trash spirits, including New Zealand musician Delaney Davidson. Davidson met the Reverend while cooking hamburgers at a barbeque in Switzerland (“His dad wanted to beat me up at a Christmas party,” Davidson laughs). Davidson ended up touring with Beat-Man, having realised he and Beat-Man shared a common philosophical outlook in addition to the pair’s common musical influences.


“We both share a fixed philosophy on life,” Davidson says, “and that’s if you think you know what to do, go out and do it, and don’t fuck around waiting.”

Beat-Man has also gone on to form his own Voodoo Rhythm record label, releasing bands such as The Monsters (in which Beat-Man plays) and John Schooley. The critical aspect of a Voodoo Rhythm artist is their individuality. “I don’t think there’s much difference between alternative music on radio and the mainstream,” Beat-Man says. “I think everyone has something special, and I’m trying to find that.”

As for the label motto, Beat-Man says he’s ruined a few parties in his time. “When I was playing in the early 1990s when techno music was being played everywhere I was completely destroying every party I played at,” he laughs. “But now days we are even getting whole Voodoo Rhythm parties.”