Alex Armitstead renews his acquaintance with a Beans on Toast performance, at The Brudenell on 5 February……….though the smile remains long after!
Beans on Toast is a guy who is a comedian and a folk artist wrapped into one. His laid-back attitude on stage provides a great atmosphere and his amusing lyrics will leave you with a constant grin throughout his performance.
Before the gig started, a quick conversation with a couple of punters in the smoking area gave me a good idea of the type of guy that Beans is. I was told stories from die-hard fans about gigs he had performed which ended in him leaving the stage and joining the crowd for a few pints afterwards. One couple even told me a tale of the last time he was in Leeds, in which he ended up joining them when the venue closed in a “search for more booze”.
Jess Morgan was the opening act and provided a nice warm-up for the night of lively music that was to come. Beans walked on stage at half nine, barefoot, with a can of Guinness in his hand. There was a good five minutes of chatting to the crowd before he actually began performing, and by the time he began his hilarious Chicken Song the crowd was already in stitches.
Before this concert, my experience with Beans on Toast was a couple of festival performances that had faded into distant memory, and this was an excellent refresher course. Every time his music comes on when my phone is on shuffle, I almost always end up late to wherever I’m going. Beans simply has a way of making you completely relax and see the brighter side of things.
It is clear after the first half hour of this gig that Beans on Toast has a massive loyal following. The crowd was filled with people wrapped up in his merch and the place was absolutely packed. When he sang one of his best hits A Whole Lot of Loving, the entire crowd sang along, including some of the bar staff.
The main thing that I took away from his performance is that this man is a born entertainer. He made constant jokes about his age and the people in the crowd, and also claimed that his band gets better every night, so this was the best performance they had ever done. He also never took anything too seriously. He came in early on one song and forgot the lyrics on another, and even called his mum to wish her happy birthday during the performance.
It must be mentioned that Beans does spend some time talking about his political views. However, it is always in a very relaxed way and made no difference to the night. He made jokes about Major Oak and BP and launched bamboo toothbrushes into the crowd, and I have to mention that 10% of the profit made from his T-Shirts goes towards saving trees, which is a nice touch.
There is no doubting Beans is a great performer and an all-round nice guy. He sang songs about all kinds of topics, ranging from drugs at festivals to songs about his young daughter. He ended the show by letting everyone know that he’s “not fucking bored of this” in regard to the number of performances he puts on, and he is the first live act that I have seen who did an encore without leaving the stage first (“Do I have to leave before I do the encore or can I just stay here?”).
Beans on Toast at the Brudenell was a brilliant night full of happy folk music and comedy. I would recommend seeing Beans any chance you get, and there are still many venues yet to be hit on his tour.
GLASGOW Stereo 8 February 2019
NEWCASTLE The Cluny 9 February 2019
HULL Adelphi 12 February 2019
MANCHESTER Gorilla 13 February 2019
LEICESTER Dryden Street Social 14 February 2019
BIRMINGHAM Castle & Falcon 15 February 2019
BRISTOL Thekla 16 February 2019
EXETER Phoenix 20 February 2019
TRURO The Old Bakery 21 February 2019
PLYMOUTH The Junction 22 February 2019
NOTTINGHAM Rescue Rooms 23 February 2019
OXFORD The Bullingdon 24 February 2019
TUNBRIDGE WELLS The Forum 26 February 2019
BRIGHTON Patterns 27 February 2019
LONDON The Garage 28 February 2019
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Alex has a vast range of interests and is an avid fan of sports, film and music. He is currently doing a degree in Journalism and has aspirations to be a sports journalist.