Beans on Toast @ Gorilla, Manchester

I have to admit this was one special show to watch. I have loved the music from Essex based singer-songwriter, Beans on Toast for quite a while now. His brutal honesty, clever wordplay and simple yet memorable melodies have always been intriguing to me. I also really like the new album The Inevitable Train Wreck. I think it was a step in the right direction to have a full backing band behind him with this album and subsequently the tour. 

I can’t overstate how awesome this is to watch live because it makes the live shows so much more dynamic and interesting to listen to. Also, this show is at Gorilla in Manchester. Though not my favourite venue, it’s definitely got a special kind of atmosphere. The crowd was packed in tight for this sold-out show, so let’s discuss what happened on this night.

First up on stage was the interesting and soulful singer-songwriter, Tensheds. I had never heard anything from this guy before but damn, I would be lying if I said that he didn’t leave an impression. He was definitely a presence, playing the keyboard with passion and such technicality and his voice was really impactful. Sounding like a blues singer version of Iggy Pop, he was a great and forceful presence that let you know his passion. His songs were beautifully composed with excellent lyricism.

The really stripped-down sound made the sound feel raw and organic, it was almost like hearing a singer in a late-night blues club. So I definitely enjoyed this. It was a solid opening to the night and certainly fits with the Beans on Toast brand of music.

Following a short break, it was time for the man himself, Beans on Toast. Rapturous applause filled the venue as they started the set. Like I said before this whole “touring with a backing band” thing is new so the majority of the crowd were new to this too and, the manchester faithful rolled out the red carpet for them. The setlist was filled to the brim with the most songs, I think, I’ve heard in a two-hour time frame. They were just cranking them out one after the other. At the same time, it didn’t feel rushed in the slightest, with the frequent breaks to banter with the crowd about Valentines Day, Brexit and other shenanigans that this man gets up to. The wasn’t a dead moment of the set at all, the songs were flowing and quick as the beer. The packed out venue was singing along at every moment of the night. From the newer material to the old standards, it didn’t matter the crowd were loving it and so was.

I Never in my life have I felt the atmosphere of a nightclub turn into that of a festival tent but it happened here. The sheer joy on the face of the band spelt it out, they were loving it in Manchester. Even toward the end of the set when the crowd were throwing out suggestions for songs. He kept on smiling and playing. You can tell that he lives for this! An absolute bar-burner of a night. A night filled with love, laughter and music… I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a Friday night.


Mick Birchall

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