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Gig Review: Beans on Toast at Rescue Rooms

26 February 22 words: Richard Davies
photos: Richard Davies

Beans on Toast performed at Rescue Rooms and we headed down to check it out...

Usually a solo performer, Survival of the Friendliest was a more collaborative album with a richer sound as a result, and on this tour, Beans was accompanied by Kitty Liv and Jack Flanagan to bring the full experience of the album to the live crowds on the tour. The band came out initially and they played a number of tracks from the new. The set opens with the outstanding A Beautiful Place, a song about the beauty of the natural world around us, and a happy uplifting song, followed by Blow Volcano Blow about loving life, and freedom (and animal cruelty through the link to animals in cages). Other highlights of the first part of the set included Not Everyone Thinks We’re Doomed which felt so poignant today of all days, I’m Home When You Hold Me, a song about love and feeling at home, and N. D. M. Amazing a song about experiences at festivals. 

Beans is never happier than when he’s in front of a live audience. It’s far more than a concert, he chats and laughs with the audience, and you come away feeling like a friend and having been a part of the experience. What set list there was goes out of the window as Beans stands alone on the stage, asking the audience for their favourites songs from his back catalogue they want to hear.

After a fantastic rendition of Major Oak (which brought rousing cheers from the locals) we had another conversational interlude as Beans told us about how his record player had been hijacked and he seemed to only hear the Frozen 2 soundtrack, but again made the crowd laugh as he recounted how talking to another Dad he had explained that the film, was actually about our colonial history!

A highlight for me was the wonderful track Album of the Day, about spending time with his daughter and playing an album right through, how it was meant to be heard by the artist, and using music to Following World Gone Crazy and Humans we got a brilliant cover of the classic track Break on Through by The Doors. Another conversational and humorous interlude as Beans talked abut doing lockdown wedding performances which made the crowd laugh, we returned to the theme of love and friendship with Let’s Get Married Again, and Love Yourself.

Beans, Kitty and Jack left the stage and came back on for the inevitable (and eagerly awaited) encore. We got an extra four tracks, starting with Things, another new track Back Out on the Road celebrating the return of live shows, and in particular saying thanks to the venue operators, the fans and the staff that make shows so special. We then had the tongue in cheek Harry in a helicopter, in which the crowd roared their approval on such a dark day for the Ukraine as he sang the line “War is bad and killing is wrong”. Finally we had the classic On and On. 

With a main set of over an hour and a half, full of laughs and fun and outstanding music, the crowd finally left thoroughly entertained. Beans is a man full of a lust for life, happiness at being alive and he wants to share this and the wonders of the world around us with everyone. Quite simply one of the best shows I’ve been to for a long long time and I can’t wait to see Beans live again. On a dark dark day, a breath of fresh air of hope and joy and love. Amen to that.

Beans on Toast performed at Rescue Rooms on Friday 25 February. 

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