Gigs

Live Review: Beans on Toast, Bodega (28/10/13)

Beans on toast is a great dish – cheap, quick and easy to prepare when you’re hungover, it is a firm student favourite. Much like his culinary namesake, Beans on Toast is simple, unpretentious and enjoyed by all. Just one guy with an acoustic guitar and a pint, BOT rattles songs off effortlessly and his gigs are absorbingly fun.

Jay McAllister, as he is less commonly known, looks more like the guy who might fight you at a bus stop for not ‘sparing a little change’ than the charming vagabond that he is. Think  charismatic busker, or that guy who wanders around a festival playing guitar and smoking weed. He is very friendly, eager to please, and draws a crowd wherever he goes.

Much like his culinary namesake, Beans on Toast is simple, unpretentious and enjoyed by all.

His shows are full of rambling banter and songs that stop half way through for Jay to call a heckler a dickhead and talk about why Leicester is shit.

beansontoastbodega

The self-titled ‘drunk folk-artist‘ stumbles on stage to raucous applause. The crowd is a mix of drunk students, even drunker locals and people who look like they gave up drinking before most of the younger lot were even born. He sets the tone of the gig by bashing away at four-chord progressions on a worn out old guitar and keeps this up for the whole thing.

The crowd is a mix of drunk students, even drunker locals and people who look like they gave up drinking before most of the younger lot were even born.

His songs are all bouncy English folk which he shouts in a not-quite-singing Keith Richards style croak. The crowd provide backing vocals upon BOT’s request and then later on, the setlist. He shouts “what do you wanna hear next?” which leads to a back and forth about which of his songs are the least shit.

While it does get a little repetitive, it is all very communal and he is only on for an hour so no one really minds. BOT plays with the calm enjoyment of someone who’s just jamming along in a room with his friends.

While his songs are a bit crap, and everything is done on a whim, he pulls it all off with a self-deprecating passion and charm that you can’t help but laugh along with.

Crowd favourites ‘M.D.M.Amazing’, ‘I Fancy Laura Marling’ and ‘Blowjob For The Blues’, all receive great applause, as do his musings on the state of the UK music scene, drugs and Libya. He plays and chats like a much less pretentious Frank Turner and finishes the gig with an extended encour, leaving the crowd chanting for “one more tune!”

While his songs are a bit crap, and everything is done on a whim, he pulls it all off with a self-deprecating passion and charm that you can’t help but laugh along with.

Jack Revell

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