Stories and Songs with Beans on Toast @ Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh, 19 Aug
What you see with Beans on Toast is exactly what you get: his set is simple yet hearty, promoting a more wholesome and optimistic worldview, one folk song at a time
The stage at Edinburgh's Voodoo Rooms is sparse but well-lit with a plain black backdrop – a set befitting fuss-free folk singer Jay McAllister, aka Beans on Toast. McAllister appears on stage barefooted with a small, very well-travelled electro-acoustic guitar.
He tells the audience that he's recently become a father, and although his rock'n'roll days may be over he sips at his lone pint while relating humorous and heartwarming tales from his book, Drunk Folk Stories. McAllister sings about his time as a music festival veteran, touring while under the influence and his intense love for his wife who tours with him, along with their baby daughter, as a family.
Stories and Songs with Beans on Toast is McAllister's Fringe debut and this evening’s performance is just one in a two-week long stint of shows this August. Although the novelty has begun to wear off, McAllister keeps the show fresh by playing a different set of songs each night from his extensive back catalogue and is more than happy to take audience requests. The atmosphere is relaxed yet spontaneous, like sitting down with an old friend the crowd hang on his every word and join in with every song.
McAllister’s simplistic verses really get to the heart of what matters. He covers everything from getting high on MDMA in MDMAzing, to more ethical concerns such as chicken farming in The Chicken Song and world leaders' obsessions with war and violence in The War on War in a non-patronising manner.
A bit like the much-loved student staple, what you see with Beans on Toast is exactly what you get: his set is simple yet hearty, promoting a more wholesome and optimistic worldview, one folk song at a time.
Stories and Songs with Beans on Toast runs at Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh until 26 Aug