Beans On Toast on tour again

Beans On Toast

Although Beans On Toast has just-this-minute wrapped up an extensive UK tour on the back of his newest album The Inevitable Train Wreck, today he is pleased to announce another….

The Coming To A Town Near You Tour will see Beans playing a string of shows through March and April, many of them off the beaten track. In his words, he’s doing the tour because he “loves it”.

Speaking about the new tour, he says: “turns out there’s still lots of towns in the country that I haven’t ever played.”

The dates are a mix of new ground for Beans, plus some old favourites (hello Bristol), plus also find him playing some slots opening for festival favourites Ferocious Dog.

19 March BOURNEMOUTH The Anvil
20 March BRISTOL The Attic
21 March FROME 23 Bath Street
26 March BARNSTAPLE The Factory
27 March WESTON-S-MARE Loves
28 March SHAUGH PRIOR The White Thorn Inn
29 March WORTH MATRAVERS Square & Compass
02 April LONDON Nells *
03 April SHOREHAM-BY-SEA Ropetackle Arts Centre *
04 April TUNBRIDGE WELLS The Forum *
09 April MARGATE Oolbys Soul Cafe
10 April CHELMSFORD Hot Box
11 April BOOTLE Little World Cafe
12 April STAINES The London Stone
16 April LEICESTER O2 Academy 2 *
17 April SETTLE Victoria Hall *
18 April SETTLE Victoria Hall*
23 April CARDIFF The Globe*
24 April BUCKLEY The Tivoli*
25 April SHEFFIELD The Leadmill *
30 April STOWMARKET John Peel Centre

He’s a hippy, a punk, a poet, a drunk, a die-hard romantic and an eternal optimist. Singing simple songs that tackle big issues. Political protest songs for the modern day, honest and open Love songs. Songs that will make you laugh, but also make you think with no holds barred honesty and quick wit.

The Beans On Toast live show is an odd and unpredictable experience. A singer, songwriter and storyteller his self-deprecating quality is not something you often see, but it breaks down the barrier between musician and audience, creating a sense of equality.


‘World Gone Crazy’ – official video:

Video Wall 12

Welcome to our final Video Wall of the year which also affords us a peek into 2020. With that in mind we begin with SAM LEE and ‘The Garden Of England’ which is from his new album Old Wow, released next month.

Another track from an album on 2020’s releases schedules.  Here’s ‘Botany Bay’ by ANTOINE & OWENA from their album Something Out Of Nothing which is due for release in March.

We won’t apologise if you’ve seen this before because anything by BEANS ON TOAST is worth watching at least three times. This is ‘On And On’.

FERRIS & SYLVESTER wind up their year with a single, ‘I Dare You’. If you’re lucky enough to live in mainland Europe you can catch them on tour in the spring.

Toronto duo The Cassidys recently released their debut album, Tula. This is the second single to be taken from it, ‘Cannonball’.

JOE ASTLEY released this single a couple of weeks ago. It’s called ‘Revolution Postponed’ which is horribly true.

We’ve searched high and low for a video from ROBB JOHNSON‘s brilliant new album, Eurotopia, which we will be reviewing in the new year but he’s playing his cards close to his chest at the moment. In the meantime, here’s a song he’s recently uploaded, ‘The Playing Fields Of Eton’.

‘Could Have Been You’ is a single from the EP Hear My Voice by PIERS FACCINI.

Finally something for Christmas. ‘Cry Back Moon’ has just been released to subscribers only by TALITHA RISE so please don’t tell anyone that we’ve posted it or we’ll all be in terrible trouble.

BEANS ON TOAST – The Inevitable Train Wreck (BOT Music)

The Inevitable Train WreckEvery year since 2009, Jay McAllister has released a new album of protest and social comment songs on his birthday, December 1. He’s now 39 and The Inevitable Train Wreck is his eleventh. I have to confess that albums in recent years have done little for me, but this, quite possibly because he’s working in collaboration with Lewis and Kitty Durham from Kitty, Daisy and Lewis and has tapped into the rock ‘n’ roll rhythms of Chuck Berry and Otis Redding’s classic Atlantic soul grooves is his strongest in some time.

It’s the former, from when the title comes, that kicks things off with ‘World Gone Crazy’, a state of the nation protest boogie about how “the ship is sinking” delivered in his familiar Chas ‘n’ Dave vocal complete with catchy singalong chorus. It’s followed appropriately enough with the sunny day woodwind coloured jauntiness of ‘England I Love You’ recollecting the hottest day on record when an unelected leader moved into No 10 and, as you might assume, has much to do with Brexit and his observations on the country’s changing social and political climate where “hate is on the high street” as we hand power to those in charge by turning on ourselves. The same summer also backdrops the snare shuffling, brassy ‘Lost Poetry Department’, where the heat and the inability of the train to take the strain resulted in him leaving his guitar, Martin, on the luggage rack in Guildford.

Finger-snapping and upright bass pinion ‘Extinction No 6’, another lifted from today’s headlines number, this time inspired by Greta Thunberg as he sings of climate change and the legacy we are leaving our children to the cooing of back-up vocals before the tempo shifts midway to a frantic funky flurry that comes on like Ian Dury on amphetamines.

Another sunny goodtime swing carries ‘Saying No To Robots’ which, like the funky, horns a go go ‘Logic Bomb’, taps into worries about the glitches and exploitable weaknesses of modern technology where computer crashes and hackers can bring things to standstill or worse, or, as he expounds on the monologue bridge of the former, artificial intelligence renders the need for humans redundant..

Introduced by wailing harmonica, as per the title, ‘Rich vs Poor’ addresses more traditional protest territory, which may be why it’s the one that most calls to mind Bragg and Guthrie, albeit veined with his individual wit than can turn out lines like “it will be the loaf of bread versus the upper crust”.

Simply strummed, ‘Mountains’ slows things down for a song which, in its sentiment about surmounting the obstacles before you, is essentially his take on ‘Climb Every Mountain’ from The Sound of Music. And, while we’re out in the countryside, the fact that he’s played Glastonbury on numerous occasions doubtless led him to write ‘Take Your Shit Home With You’, a rap across the knuckles for those who reckon it’s okay to leave their £30 pop-up Argos tents and the rest of the rubbish behind when they go home.

The Inevitable Train Wreck ends with, first the call for love and honesty in ‘Truth Be Told’, another motoring-along boogie, here with Kitty and Daisy calling back the chorus line and honky tonk piano taking it to the close, and finally, returning to politics with references to Donald and Boris, ‘On and On’, which attacks the placing profit over people, the widening inequality divide and how, while more people die of obesity than starvation, of old age than lack of medication, we live in a time when “more people take their own lives than die in wars”. And yet, he still manages to leave on an upbeat, positive note, declaring “I believe the world’s worth saving …and we can keep on singing, because life goes on”.

If he carries this form over into his 40s, then perhaps he can really help switch the points and stop things going off the rails.

Mike Davies

Artist’s website:

‘On & On’ – official video:

SINGLES BAR 46 – A round-up of recent EPs and singles

Singles Bar 46Swiss-based BLACK SEA DAHU’s new EP, No Fire In The Sand, conjures the ghostly sound of Mediterranean waves that carry the swell of spooky folk-rock music.  BSD’s music has been described as “songs that Eurydice sadly sang in the aftermath of Orpheus’ forbidden glance”. These songs are ancient echoes still lingering in very modern memories. Magical music never ages.

‘Rhizone’ and ‘Thaw’ stretch with acoustic beauty, as a subdued guitar, keyboard, and percussion frame Janine Cathrein’s melancholic magnetic vocal. Comparisons can be made with The Dead Can Dance. This music sings with a haunted soul.

The title track dives even deeper in Stygian darkness. It’s a lonely soul of a song, yet the melody shimmers with brief moonlight. Again, the tune builds slow momentum with double-tracked voices, quelled percussion, keyboards, and a patient electric guitar that plucks silence into a strange lullaby.

The seven minute-plus ‘Demian’ begins with a simple guitar and Janine’s voice. The song gets electric and percussive. But it’s still a dreamy dance. By mid-song, the deep web of instruments simply bounces with dark mantric soul.

Finally, ‘How You Swallowed Your Anger’ has a slow acoustic and psychological pulse. An accordion is added to the mix. Words drip like Salvador Dali’s surreal time. And the melody quietly spins in a ghostly dance and then dissolves into a run-off groove filled with memories that come and go, like the ageless Mediterranean tide that flows through the music of Black Sea Dahu.

Singles Bar 46Originally one half of American folk-rock duo The Story alongside Jennifer Kimball, JONATHA BROOKE has been around for quite a while, working as both a solo artist and in tandem with names that range from Katy Perry to Patty Larkin, nothing up ten studio albums, including a collection of previously unrecorded Woody Guthrie lyrics. The Imposter (Bad Dog Records) is her first new material in three years, a five track EP opening with the swaggering title song, pizzicato violins, accordion and tuba giving a gypsy jazz feel, a lyrical spin on the emperor’s new clothes that harks to artists’ nagging doubts that what they do is a waste of time and that they’re a “Liar, Loser, Phony/No one ever says so, but I know it’s true/Poser, lightweight, cheapskate/The wanna be, the woe is me”.

That creative mind swing between confidence and uncertainty veins the EP, with the brass-brushed bluesy speak-sing slink of ‘Fire’ declaring “I’m in the ring, and I’m a knockout, so watch out” and “I’m not shutting up/Until you agree that I’m extraordinary” while’ on the woodwind and cello-coloured, relationship-based ‘Twilight’ she sings “I love you, not perfectly, not well/But I love you, and I’m leaving soon, so fare thee well”. Set to a shimmering show tune pop arrangement, ‘Revenge’ is basically about how things come back to bite you (“My best laid plans played a killer last hand on me/And you got the last laugh”) but then she again switches it around with “I’m nothing if not resourceful/I’m flexible in a pinch/I’ve got this, I can top this. It’s a cinch”.

It ends with the moody piano, flute and classical string quartet ballad ‘True To You’, a simple hymnal (“How much will it cost, Lord?/I will bear this cross, Lord/I will walk through the night/Through the valley I’ll fight/But must I be alone, Lord/To be true to you?”) that sounds like it should be a dimmed lights showstopper in some Broadway musical, a reminder, of course that she wrote her own musical theatre piece, My Mother Has 4 Noses, about caring for her mother in the last stages of dementia. Brooke has no need to question her artistic worth or integrity, she’s the real thing and when she sings “I’ll be parading high fives on the way outta here”, you can’t help but agree she fully deserves to.

MARISA JACK & DAVY are Marisa Straccia, Jack Sharp and Davy Willis a somewhat diverse trio. They got together in Bedford a few years ago to play at the events they were promoting and have been honing their craft since then. They have been praised by Nicola Keary and Jinwoo and have been dubbed “earthy” and “weird” but in reality they are just approaching the songs in their own way.

Their debut EP is Bring Us In and consists of five traditional songs and one from the celebrated Kipling and Bellamy songwriting partnership. The set opens with ‘Bring Us In Good Ale’ taken at a stately pace with just enough reverb on the verses to suggest monks processing through their cloisters. They maintain that feel as their arrangement of ‘Bushes & Briars’ will put you in mind of a mediæval bard. ‘Nottamun Town’ is a bit weird, you know, and Marisa Jack & Davy emphasise the strangeness of the lyrical contradictions. This is the full version of the song pretty much as recorded by Jean Ritchie.

‘Oak & Ash & Thorn’ comes from Kipling’s mystical period and is also a bit weird and this reading does nothing to negate that. ‘The Sun Rises Bright In France’ is a song of longing and ‘Bows Of London’ is one of best version of the ‘Two Sisters’ story. Whatever happens, Marisa Jack & Davy should be huge before too long.

Singles Bar 46An early Christmas arrival comes from THE MINING Co. with Three Kings (PinDrop), wherein Michael Gallagher offers up five festive treats in his quest to recapture his own memories of Christmases past and a more recent one spent in Spain. Recorded in Andalucia with producer Paco Loco who also contributes Spanish guitar on two tracks.

The first parcel under the tree is the banjo and strings accompanied ‘Long Way To Christmas’ which would seem to draw on Jona Lewie influences  and a Roy Wood kiddies chorus,  followed by the dreamy and smooth Johnny Mathis tones (and Glen Campbell colours) of  ‘Christmas No 1’ (with, yes, sleigh bells). Military snare (a la ‘Little Drummer Boy’) provides the tinsel on ‘Wild Gift’ (from where the album’s Biblical reference title comes), the final trimmings being the Latino samba sway of ‘Ghost Writer’, where his voice finds its deeper range, and the childhood nostalgia of ‘Holloway’, with its picked Spanish guitar and muted rumble of drums, when “every morning was Christmas Day”. One for your Santa wish list, I think.

Singles Bar 46GLORIOUS LEADER’s ‘Borderline’ is the first single from the up-coming EP My Kingdom, which is a wonderful collection of ethereal songs that walk in the acoustic footsteps of the human heart.  Kyle Woolard is the one-man talent here. He’s on leave from the very fine band The Anatomy of Frank, whose album South America was described as “a melodic folk-rock masterpiece.

This solo record travels into intense personal soil; yet as Walt Whitman wrote, “For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you”. So, these songs resonate as a totem for sensitive folks who enjoy a really nice melody. That first song, ‘Borderline’, sings, “I guess we’re all trying to make it work”. That sort of sums up modern life.

As reference points, imagine music filled with the intense quietude of Paul Simon’s ‘Duncan’, Magna Carta’s ‘Living In The Land Of Ulysses’, and the entirety of Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago.

The rest of the songs echo that gentle melodic pulse. ‘Onism’ has a passionate and irresistible chorus (with great handclaps!). ‘Sweet Louisa’ brings a ukulele, strings, and heavenly harmonies. ’Kyla’ is strummed and slow, and it dances with a few electronic sounds. ‘The Wide Sargasso Sea’ has David Crosby’s ‘Guinevere’ depth. This tune has “green eyes”.

The final song, ‘Half Alive’, is confessional stuff. And it has a hymn-like quality that plucks, with that darn ukulele, some sort of vague hope for a better tomorrow. And that’s a really decent song for any record to sing.

Singles Bar 46Birmingham songstress KATHERINE PRIDDY follows-up her well-received debut EP Wolf, which sold out three pressings,  with a limited edition single ‘Letters From A Travelling Man’ (Static Caravan),  an upbeat, frisky Americana-styled number that takes its inspiration from her experiences of living on the road and the struggles of trying to maintain relationships alongside an unsettled lifestyle.  Paired with  the softer  slower strummed ‘Come and Go’ , a yearning for a  place to call home but  acceptance that everything must inevitably pass, where she duets  with Northern folk singer-songwriter George Boomsma, it’s released digitally as well as a limited run of collectable coloured vinyl alongside a postcard urging the listener to rediscover the lost art of letter-writing.

Singles Bar 46NAVARO release the first single from their forthcoming album. ‘The Fall’, written by Pete White, is described as an “autumnal hymn” and is simply built around acoustic guitar and keyboards with the band’s signature harmonies.

Singles Bar 46THE MAGPIES were originally formed in York in 2017 as a duo of Bella Gaffney and mandolinist Polly Bolton, expanding to become a quartet in 2018 with the addition of cellist Sarah Smout and fiddler Holly Brandon. Drawing on shared and individual influences to create a fusion of Celtic and bluegrass folk, they have a debut album arriving shortly, preceded by the gently flowing download newgrass single ‘Run, River Run’, written by Ganney and originally featured on Bella and Polly’s own self-titled EP, here given extra colour with fiddle and cello.

Singles Bar 46With Brexit in mind, BEANS ON TOAST released his single, ‘England, I Love You’, on October 31st.  It’s full of his familiar biting wit paired with a jolly tune and “patriotic” brass. The song is taken from his forthcoming album, The Inevitable Train Wreck which you will buy if you know what’s good for you.

Singles Bar 46ANNIE DRESSNER has a new self-released album due early 2020, meanwhile she has a taster single in ‘Nyack’, a simply fingerpicked, brushed snares shuffle named for the Orangetown village in Rockland County, New York, a song about memories, her childhood, her brother and leavings.

Siingles Bar 46DUSTY WRIGHT dedicates his acoustic version of ‘Bad Moon Rising’ to the world’s climate change warriors. It’s from his forthcoming album Can Anybody Hear Me? and despite its Dylanish harmonica it ‘s actually rather polite. You can hear all the words, though, possibly for the first time.

Singles Bar 46Israeli singer/songwriter MARBL has a new single, ‘The First Day Of The Rain’. It’s piano driven and drenched with strings and is rather lovely. We’re told that she’s into supporting abandoned animals but that’s not coming over here.

Singles Bar 46‘Battle Ready’ is the single taster and title track from the new EP by Manchester’s JOHN TILLER. It’s a powerful song with solid drums and ringing guitar. Americana but with a British twist.

Singles Bar 46

DARWIN’S DAUGHTER also gets into the festive spirit with ‘Snow Angels In The Rain’  (self-released), her first and last release of 2019, a gently lovely cello and fiddle-sprinkled ballad about transience that comes with a Christmas Edit which replaces the xylophone at the end with jingle bells. Ahh, bless.

Beans On Toast announces new album and tour dates

Beans On Toast

The cult songwriter Beans On Toast announces the title of his next studio album, plus an extensive run of UK dates for Winter 2019/20. A Climate Emergency?  Boris as PM?  Rail-melting heat waves?  A No-Deal Brexit? Beans’ new album could only ever be called one thing: The Inevitable Train Wreck.

For now he’s holding his cards quite close to his chest, but he’s promised “a rock’n’roll album about our dying planet”.

The new release from the Essex folk hero will find him searching for hope and change in what may be Earth’s darkest hour.

On-track for a 25 date tour across the nation this Winter, catch Beans On Toast playing songs from The Inevitable Train Wreck and his huge back catalogue at the following UK venues from 4th December 2019 and into whatever 2020 brings:

Tour Dates


31 – BRIGHTON The Haunt


01 – BRISTOL Trinity Center
06 – CARDIFF The Globe
07 – LEEDS Brudenell Social Club
08 – BIRMINGHAM Castle & Falcon
09 – NOTTINGHAM Bodega
12 – NEWCASTLE Tyne Bank Brewery
13 – EDINBURGH Old Dr Bells Baths
14 – MANCHESTER Gorilla
15 – LONDON Dome

Artist’s website:

Video Wall 11

Where to begin with the plethora of new videos that have arrived since last time?  With Paul Mosley & The Red Meat Orchestra and the single ‘Build Your Fire’ from his new album. We hope to be reviewing You’re Going To Die! very soon before it actually happens.

Skinny Lister release  ‘Second Amendment’ as a single from their album The Story Is… Do you think they have a point to make?

Belle Curves (great name, btw) are from new York City. Their new single, ‘Promise Of 95’ is about a road – to be precise, Interstate 95, which is now complete after more than 60 years. I guess you have to live in Pennsylvania or New Jersey to appreciate the significance.

The new album by Beans On Toast is called The Inevitable Train Wreck and will be available in early December. ‘World Gone Crazy’ is the first track to escape from the wreckage.

Radio 2 Folk Award nominees The Breath recorded ‘No You Keep it’ live. It’s really an advert for Stuart McCallum’s new guitar but what the heck?

Bruce Springsteen‘s movie Blinded By The Light is big news at the moment. Here’s a special lyric video for the song ‘I’ll Stand By You’.

Bluegrass veterans The Grascals release ‘Callin’ Your Name’ from their new album, Straighten The Curves.

Will Purdue is a  an alt-country singer/songwriter. This video for ‘Call My Name’, the title track from his recent EP was filmed around the wild west of Wimbledon and  Finsbury Park.

The Ghosts Of Helags are a new name to us. ‘The Santa Rosa Song’ is the Scandinavian duo’s new single.

Mipso are a quartet from Chapel Hill, North Carolina and mix together all the influences you’d expect.  ‘People Change’ is from their album, Edges Run, and the band start their UK/Europe tour tomorrow.