This Beans On Toast article was written by Zoe Anderson, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Ben Kendall.
Beans On Toast is the musical equivalent of a snuggling into a big duvet flowery under a tree on a summer night. He’s the kind of all singing-all-dancing folk act that you’ve probably stumbled onto at Boomtown Fair on Sunday afternoon. He’s almost impossible not to love, mainly focusing on the topics of love, drugs and very liberal politics in his acoustic songs. Islington Assembly Hall was to be the last stop on a countrywide tour for Jay McAllister, and he certainly managed to spread the love far and wide on Thursday night.
The large function hall was bathed in its characteristic disco-ball lighting and the early evening crowd was happily enjoying a beverage or two as they waited for the support act. Truck Stop Honeymoon are an oddball country duo straight from the great plains of Kansas. Their set was full of clunky, bucktooth country tunes that were extremely endearing. They recently recorded an album with Beans On Toast and have joined him throughout his UK tour. The pair were delightfully quirky and chatted in length with the audience. Their banter was so endearing that their one-liners, jokes and stories could have been genuinely lifted from a Tarantino Film. The highlight of their set was ‘Bad Attitude’ which allowed their doghouse stand-up bass to come into its own, bluesy light. Both players swapped and changed their instruments multiple times during the set, giving their songs a full range of Americana tones.
Beans On Toast bounded onto the stage soon after their set ended. In many regards, his act is fairly simple, featuring mainly acoustic guitars and some heartfelt, warm lyrics. Launching firstly into ‘Don’t Believe The Bullshit’ the audience joined in with amazing lyrical recollection. Obviously there were some big fans in the building and it was lovely to watch them get involved and really enjoy themselves. Beans On Toast, for all his focus on love and peace, is also highly outspoken politically, and this is reflected all the way through the set, both in his audience interaction and his lyrics. “We should take the Boomtown boom box and put it on the Gaza strip, maybe then people would dance rather than fight” he chortled sadly as he reflected on the events in Paris in the last month. He then reflected, “this probably would be an ignorant idea.”
Beans On Toast comes from the festival folk scene that has propelled acts such as The Undercover Hippy and The King Porter Stomp into fame, and he carries with him the same positive charm that they do. Many of his songs are love songs, and visible “awwhs” emitted from the audience throughout his hour and a half set. And speaking of love songs, his most famous tune ‘MDMAmazing’ was played at about the half waypoint. A tale of festival love and heavy recreational drug use, the song is always a crowd favourite and things were no different on Thursday. After finishing his well-loved tune he mused that “people always wonder if I’ll ever get bored playing MDMAmazing, and I’m like, of course I f****** wont, it’s the one everybody wants to hear”. This was obviously, met with much applause.
Beans On Toast spent the rest of his show climbing on the sound equipment, jumping around in the crowd and jamming with Truck Stop Honeymoon for a song or two. It was a delightfully positive set to be a part of and had a real feel-good vibe to it. Yes, all of his songs might sound the same, but his act isn’t really about that. Beans on Toast’s strength is in how much of an everyman he is, and this is reflected so strongly in his catchy and relatable lyrics.
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