Beans On Toast in Leeds
Beans On Toast
Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Saturday 11th March 2023, £16.50
On Sale Now
Promoter(s): Jack Simpson
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British alt-folk troubadour Beans on Toast became a festival staple in the late 2000s, twisting an age-old genre with a D.I.Y. approach and contemporary concerns. Beginning with his 2009 debut album, Standing on a Chair, Beans on Toast became a prolific force, self-releasing a new album of original material on December 1st of every subsequent year. By the end of the 2010s, his studio output numbered 11 albums.
The project of Essex native Jay McAllister, Beans on Toast first came to the public's attention after opening Glastonbury Festival in 2005. As a self-professed "drunk folk singer," McAllister quickly found a home and an audience on the festival circuit, but it wasn't until 2009 that he released his debut album. Fans' patience was rewarded with Standing on a Chair. It was a sprawling, 50-track record that set out McAllister's stall as a teller of tales concerning matters of the heart, politics, and alcohol and drug use. Despite his low-key and often humble approach, he attracted some notable names for its recording. Mumford and Sons' Ben Lovett produced the album, and fellow Londoners Emmy the Great and Frank Turner provided backing vocals on a couple of tracks.
Given the relatively slow gestation period of Beans on Toast's first record, the subsequent follow-ups came with an uncharacteristically disciplined regularity. Every year following the release of Standing on a Chair, the singer/songwriter issued an album on December 1st, which also happens to be his birthday. In 2010, he put out Writing on the Wall, which he co-produced with Ian Grimble; the follow-up, 2011's Trying to Tell the Truth, was produced by Frank Turner; his fourth studio album, Fishing for a Thank You, led to a headline slot at London's Scala; and 2013's Giving Everything landed him a spot on the iTunes singer/songwriter chart.
Subsequent years saw the release of The Grand Scheme of Things and Rolling Up the Hill, in which he continued to plow a furrow of smoky-voiced, acoustic guitar-backed musings. 2016 saw the return of McAllister with his eighth studio recording, the mostly guitar-less A Spanner in the Works. 2018's A Bird in the Hand, was largely concerned with matters of love and the birth of his daughter. A year later, McAllister ended his first full decade of recording with Beans on Toast's 11th album, The Inevitable Train Wreck.
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