BEANS ON TOAST Reveiw – 28.02.22

Beans on Toast Review

By Samuel Holland

Review for Ay Up Duck Radio’s Sugarmill Show

On Monday 28th February, The Sugarmill was blessed with 3 amazing solo acts as part of a rescheduled date due to covid-19 preventing the original date from going ahead. The lovely lads at The Sugarmill Show asked me to write the review for the rescheduled show, and I have to admit I really enjoyed attending and writing this review for them.


Ruby J (@rubyjofficial)


The first act of the evening was 16 year old local music prodigy Ruby J. I have had the pleasure to see Ruby play at many acoustic nights over the past couple of years, but seeing her at the Sugarmill was a completely different and jaw dropping experience. She breezed through her set almost like it was nothing, starting with her latest single ‘Lover Man’, which is a lovely cross between blues and country which was very pleasing to the ear.


Heavy comparable to artist such as Tash Sultana and Paloma Faith, Ruby rose to stardom when she was chosen by Paloma Faith herself to be on her team for the Voice Kids in 2020. Showing an incredible amount of confidence and swagger in her performance that night, it is safe to say that she has only got better since and she continues to improve with every show that passes by.


Ruby also performed her singles ‘Full time Lover’ and ‘Hold on’, before crashing into an incredible cover of ‘Lonely Boy’ by the Black Keys. Putting a scintillating country spin on a rock and roll classic. I was simply blown away by the amount of confidence and the level of maturity that she possesses at such a young age. She also finished her set with another exhilarating cover of ‘Crazy’ by Gnarls Barkley, which put the cherry on top of a fabulous performance.


Having attracted attention from promoters such as SJM and This feeling, it is safe to say that even bigger things are coming for Ruby in the near future. And I would recommend catching her before her ticket prices sky rocket. Watch this space people, I can guarantee that Ruby J is going to become an international sensation.


Kitty Liv (@kittylivmusic)


Next up on the agenda for the evening came Kitty Liv, a multi instrumental blues/country artist who is accompanying Beans for his entire tour. This was my first time seeing her and it was mint. Born in Camden Town, Kitty has been playing music and performing since a very young age, and she is now embarking on her own solo project, with her debut EP releasing at the back end of 2021.


I instantly drew comparison to Jimi Hendrix when it came to her guitar playing and vocal style. Her setlist featured many twists and turns with a nice blend of boppy acoustic numbers with a couple of slower more intimate songs which discussed topics such as falling in love and loving your mates and who you are. The setlist was very well structured and you could tell that a lot of thought had been put into it.


One of many absolute gems from Kitty’s set was her song ‘The River that Flows’, the title track for her latest EP. This song caught my attention instantly with its Hendrix style clean guitar and powerful vocals. She then closed out her time on the stage with a mesmerising harmonica performance. In between the harmonica performance there was some acapella verses slipped in there which added to the immersion of the song. I’ve never seen anything like it at The Sugarmill before and it was a very pleasant surprise to me.


Kitty Liv has got a very exciting future ahead of her as she continues to show off her talents on the tour with Beans as well as having her new album coming soon, she is certainly one to keep your eyes on. Having seen her perform for the first time, I was very pleasantly surprised and I am very excited to see what she has in store on her new album.


Beans On Toast (beans.on.toast)


This was my second time seeing Beans on Toast at the Sugarmill, and after the first time I knew I had to come and see him again. Currently touring his 14th album, ‘Survival of the Friendliest’, the Essex born folk singer had to unfortunately postpone the original date due to testing positive for covid-19 only hours before he was scheduled to perform. But I can say with certainty that it was worth the wait.


I knew it was going to be a good night as soon as I arrived because the first thing I could see was Beans in the pub next door having a few games of pool with fans. I also noticed he was standing amongst the crowd during both Ruby J and Kitty Liv’s performances. I have never seen somebody have such a connection with their fans as he does.


Accompanied by Jack Flanagan and Kitty Liv interchanging between bass and lead guitar, Beans and his band got stuck straight into it. Starting off with ‘A Beautiful Place’, the first track from his new album which had a very new and fresh sound with the mixture of lead guitar, bass and a stomp pedal. One thing that hasn’t changed are the clever and honest lyrics which have been a mainstay throughout his vastly successful career.


This was followed up by ‘World Gone Crazy’ from his 2019 album ‘The Inevitable Train Wreck’. Beans on Toast loves to crack a joke with his audience, taking time in the middle of songs to tell a story and have a laugh with everybody. Even taking time to discuss the current issues in the world such as covid still lingering about as well as the ongoing issue in Ukraine and wishing for a peaceful solution which I thought was a nice touch.


After a little while rocking out with the band, Beans took the performance into his own hands, starting it off with arguably his biggest song, M.D.M.Amazing which featured on his debut album ‘Standing on a Chair’. He also admitted that it was funnily enough the only song which he has ever lied on, changing the end of the final verse to give the song a happier ending than what actually ended up happening in real life.


A tradition at a Beans on Toast gigs is the audience requests, and the audience brought some fantastic songs to the table with the highlight being ‘Harry in a Helicopter’ from the 2013 album ‘Giving everything’. The band then returned and played a few more hits before finishing with ‘Logic Bomb, a funky number which talks about hacking computers. It was a very good way to end the set with the band.


It’s not a Beans on Toast show without an encore, and he didn’t disappoint. Closing out with On & On, the final track from ‘The Inevitable Train Wreck’ which discusses the problems with politics and the higher powers choosing profit over people, however he also talks about seeing things differently and the positives of life, such as the fact that there has never been a safer time to be alive. My favourite thing about Beans is that no matter how bad things get, he always seems to find a positive in the situation and turn bad to good.


Beans on Toast is a one of a kind character. With his incredibly positive outlook on life and his connection with the fans, there is truly no one like him and I am looking forward to hopefully seeing him return to The Sugarmill in the near future.


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© Samuel Holland 2022
Contact: SugarmillShow@gmail.com







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