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“Without a second thought he hopped down into the crowd and formed a circle in the centre of the room where he proceeded to sing and dance with crowd for the next few songs.”
Whilst everyone was out shopping for great deals on ‘black Friday’ I was at The Shipping Forecast being treated to a night of acoustic music. The day had been hectic for many and everyone deserved a night of brilliant music, something that the acts didn’t fail to provide. The first two support acts ‘Thom Morecroft’ and ‘She Drew the Gun’ indulged the crowd with brilliant songs and musicianship, warming everyone up for the next support.
Will Varley was a musical comic. Every song had the audience singing and laughing along and on occasions, with song topics such as the annoyance of self-service check out machines, had everyone cheering along in agreement to what he was saying. Despite all of this some of his songs such as ‘King for a King’ showed a more intimate side to his lyric writing but a humorous undertone still remain, keeping the gig upbeat for the main act.
It was sure to be a good night for Beans on Toast, it was his first ever sold out show and everyone was ready to celebrate. Having seen Beans supporting Frank Turner on his own earlier this year I was excited to see the introduction of a banjo and harmonica to the stage as it allowed Beans himself to interact more with the audience, and that’s exactly what he did. Whilst singing ‘Things’ Beans noted he couldn’t see the audience at the back due to the low ceiling and without a second thought he hopped down into the crowd and formed a circle in the centre of the room where he proceeded to sing and dance with crowd for the next few songs.
One thing unique when watching Beans on Toast live is the little intervals in songs where he takes the opportunity to tell anecdotes to the crowd or voice his opinion on a certain topic. Whilst some of the subject matters of his songs can be quite political Beans never fails to keep the mood light-hearted and even at times had the audience take part in ‘sing alongs’ to songs such as ‘Oil’ and ‘The Chicken Song’, something that the rather joyful audience excelled at.
Of course Beans played some of his most iconic songs such as ‘Harry in a Helicopter’ and at times even let the audience choose what they wanted to hear, but the highlight of the night for me was the reggae-like song ‘Charlie’ which Beans even sang in a reggae style voice, getting the crowd dancing even more than they were before.
Beans is known to sing about what he thinks and for many of his songs I found myself, along with the audience, laughing and agreeing with what he was saying. He produces some of the most truthful music I have heard and knows how to make the crowd feel part of the show. With the release of his new album ‘The Grand Scheme of Things’ earlier this month Beans on Toast will no doubt keep charming and cheering up audiences for years to come.