With another year coming to a well overdue end, that can only mean one thing. Christmas? Nah, something much more exciting than that. Becoming a tradition in its own right within the Xtra Mile Recordings family, it’s time for a new Beans On Toast album. Everybody’s best mate Jay McAllister has returned with his 8th collection of brilliantly infectious folk jams and based on the way this year has gone you bet he has some things to get off his chest.
The thing that Jay has that sets himself so far out from the rest of the “bloke with guitar” pack, is his complete and utter lack of worry over what people think of him. Utilising brass, strings, electronics and everything in between, he probes at whatever subject is niggling at his frontal lobe and whatever he is feeling passionate about at that given moment.
The closing down of music venues (‘The Drum Kit with Gap’), the benefits of weed (‘It’s Only Natural’) , the price of war (‘Money For War’); no stone is left unturned and nothing is held back, especially on the vivid and inspiring ‘2016’. This makes for a wholly joyous and thought provoking listen without ever becoming too preachy and pedantic.
Honest, cheeky and brilliantly human, Beans On Toast continues to be the voice of the common man with a pint in his hand and a fire in his soul. ‘A Spanner In The Works’ doesn’t mess with his well tested formula but instead intensifies the messages he wants to put across. The result is nothing more than another wonderfully innocent and big-hearted set of songs that are made to make you smile your biggest smile and to be shouted with mates after one two many Smirnoff Ices. We all need a bit of happiness right now after all, don’t we?
’A Spanner In The Works’ by Beans On Toast is released on 1st December on Xtra Mile Recordings.
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Words by Jack Rogers (@JackMRog)