Beans on Toast is a man who has a lot to say, and on Friday 25h November, the 7th Night of his 3-week tour around the UK, we were witness to his humble preaching of love and life. Constellations was intimate, quirky and crammed-full of free spirits like Jay McAllister (Beans on Toast), and all were eagerly awaiting his indie/folk set.
Beans on Toast was supported by Sky Smead and Ten Sheds. Sky Smead, a light-hearted American country singer, gave the gig positive vibes with sing-a-longs and upbeat country anthems backed by the sound of his harmonica and twangy country accent. Ten Sheds, a two-piece rock band, gave us all a flavour of what happens when rock becomes theatrical. The lead singer of Ten Sheds sat singing at his piano, accompanied by intense guitaring, and gave the audience a totally unique experience of emotional heavy rock. With his long half-shaven hair dangling down onto the piano keys as he winced on each note, Ten Sheds’ gravelly Tom Waits sounding voice got the crowd sufficiently excited. By this point in the evening the crowd were warmed up and many beers had been drunk. One guy even came staggering over to advertise vegan sausages, a perfect example of the eccentric characters filling the small space, all there to see Beans on Toast.
Around 10pm Beans on Toast appeared on stage, wearing a baggy graphic shirt and a beer in hand, he was ready to rant about the political state of the world and lull us with tender songs of being with a loved one. As guitar strings were fiddled with and microphones were adjusted, we were given a friendly and heartfelt welcome by Beans on Toast. The song which began the set resonated with me the most. In this opening song, he complained about the various musical deaths this year, Brexit, Trump and other topical reminders of how awful 2016 has been for us all. Beans on Toast has a real knack for capturing something poignant whilst keeping it personal with lyrics which are light-hearted, witty and relevant.
The performance was thoroughly enjoyable and off-the-scale liberal, at one point we were encouraged to channel our ‘inner-tree’ and sway whilst he sang ‘Afternoons in the Sunshine’. His expression and purpose were so sincere that it was hard to dismiss his overall message, of promoting love and peace. As the set progressed Sky Smead and Ten Sheds reappeared and formed Beans on Toast’s backing band. By the end of the set they had become one communal band and the crowd absolutely love it.
This quirky set lingered with me and, even if only temporarily, set me at peace with the world with songs like ‘The War on War’. It was a set of musical talent with nothing but good intensions behind it. If you ever see that Beans on Toast is playing near you make sure you attend, because you will have a truly great time with his brand of love and folk-rock.
Featured Photo Credit: Beans on Toast