By Max Modell
When I spoke to Beans on Toast last month, he promised at his Clwb Ifor Bach he would be coming out bright eyed and bushy tailed, and he wasn’t wrong. The energy levels of him and his band were off the chart and it was very clear they were all good mates, sharing a laugh between songs and flashing look during many of the more humorous moments in Beans on Toast’s songs.
The energy levels were matched by an eager audience who were hanging on every word, be that in a song or a hilarious anecdote. Beans on Toast played off this energy, riling up the audience with political statements, rants about the weather forecast and by declaring his tour Weatherspoon’s boycott, a decision which will out undoubted cost Spoons thousands across the duration of the one-month tour. It was these moments, along with the social advocacy in songs such as “Bamboo Toothbrush” and “The War on Wars” which led to his feel-good folk show, having a punk atmosphere.
However, all of this was an added bonus to what we all paid to see, the music. And boy did Beans on Toast deliver. Keeping it simple, he was backed by piano, bass and drums, while playing his trademark small guitar. With his albums being very organic, mostly replicating his live setup, no detail from the records were lost in their translation to the stage. If anything, Beans on Toast managed to add value you to them, with his stories and charisma. Making the show feel more like a night down the pub with mates than a normal gig. A welcome change when you consider the number of musicians who just come on stage, play their songs and leave, without truly connected.
The combination of all these details and the atmosphere of love which filled the room, mean I refuse to accept anyone could have left the gig without being a better person and grinning from ear to ear. It is rare for a gig to have such a positive impact, and I can’t help thinking if everyone went to a Beans on Toast gig, then maybe we would all be a bit nicer to each other and live in a less hostile social climate.