No, I’m not talking about the handy go to meal of every poor student in the UK. I’m talking about the alter-ego of British folk singer Jay McAllister. After being recommended to go and watch this geezer at Glastonbury, and then returning for more at Boomtown, I had to catch a glimpse of him at this small venue in Plymouth.
It was typical Westcountry Mizzle of the 29th November as we stomped our way through the puddles to The Junction, Mutley Plain Plymouth. After handing in our tickets, we headed inside to a small pub with only one table (which was of high demand). A mixed bunch were entering through the doors; young students, middle aged men and hippyish women all trundled in looking a tad bedraggled.
The first support act, Will Varley, wasn’t very impressive – he had a generic guy with guitar sound going on and the crowd really weren’t interested as they kept babbling away.
Now the second support, they got the crowd going; a band from Kansas called Truck Stop Honeymoon who played slap dash country music. Foot stomping began to erupt, giggles at the lyrics and the general between song chitchat had great comedy value.Next up the main act, and Beans himself plodded through the crowd to the stage at the front, gathered his guitar and began to play. Having seen him a few times now, I was a bit disappointed as there was a lack of atmosphere in the bar; the crowd suddenly became desperate to argy barge their way to the front (which in a small venue is never good).
The sound, however, was brilliant. Opening with A Whole Lot of Loving, Beans also played M.D.M.Amazing and The War on War. The music itself was great but seeing him play at a small venue rather than on a big stage at a festival was a very different experience. The lively atmosphere was sadly missing; there were no hand written signs, there was no crowd unity, it was all a bit lacklustre.
On the plus side, Beans on Toast is a very talented musician and worth catching live.