Music, Featured

9th March 2023

Beans on Toast at Future Yard | Review

British folk singer Jay McAllister, also iconically known as Beans on Toast, is back for an extensive 30-date ‘Back Out On The Road’ UK tour. His captivating new single ‘Back out on the Road’ is written and performed in true Beans style. After being a fan of Beans for a good few years, seduced by his attentive lyrics and sanguine tunes, I knew I had to take a trip over the Mersey to Future Yard in Birkenhead.

The Support: Tommy Arch

Welcoming me to Birkenhead was the incredibly talented folk-soul singer-songwriter, Tommy Arch. By the time Tommy came onto the stage, Future Yard was filling up rapidly. Although a seemingly small(ish) live music venue, with a capacity of 280, Future Yard has a lively buzz to it. There is a bar to have a drink in before you head into the indoor live room and an additional bar in the live music room itself. Whilst the venue was full, there was plenty of space to move around and it wasn’t overly crowded. This made it a relaxing and pleasant atmosphere, where everyone was there to appreciate the live music calmly.

With an age-ranging audience, from students like me to an elderly couple who tore up Birkenhead on a Wednesday night, Tommy instantly gathered the whole crowd’s attention through his humble charm. I particularly liked his song The Cold Side of the Bed. Tommy’s music has a catchy ring to it, leaving the crowd able to embrace the lyrics and form an instant liking to him.

Tommy’s music in his own words

‘Someone recently described what I do as a ‘soulful folky kind of thing’, which I think isn’t far off. But that doesn’t mean I’ll be screaming and strutting about the stage in sunglasses and a shiny suit. It doesn’t mean I’ll wear a waistcoat and a straw hat and sing about fair maidens and bonny lasses, either. I just try to write songs that mean something to me and hopefully mean something to you too’.

The Main Event: Beans on Toast

Following the support of Tommy, self-proclaimed honorary Scouser Beans on Toast claimed the stage and instantly captivated the audience’s attention. Smiling at the audience like he is reuniting with an old friend, Beans felt like a witty storyteller, who would happily share a pint of beer with you. Although his music pays close attention to the unpleasantries of society, his voice remains unapologetically and refreshingly optimistic. You cannot help but take a liking to Beans on Toast. He creates an individual tie with each member of the crowd. The raw honesty illuminated in his songs presents Beans as a modest friend who allows one to inspect the thoughts floating around his mind.

Beans: The Optimistic Critic

His music’s simplistic nature juxtaposes the issues outlined within them as he highlights the problematic society we live in. However, rather than letting his music be damned with melancholy, Beans reclaims this voice. He turns it into a buoyant one advocating for the celebration of all the pleasantries in life and uniting with the human spirit. His attitude is dangerously contagious as you leave his live show feeling uplifted with a little spring in your step.

One of my favourites from his loose set list were his new single Back out on the Road, which he determines it is, “a love letter to live music, independent venues and the wonderful people who frequent them”. Beans also paid recognition to the strikes, celebrating key workers in his song Jamie and Lily. Additionally, he played the first song that converted me to a fan of Beans on Toast A Whole Lot of Loving, which captures the whole nature of who the artist Beans on Toast is: the perfect combination of the critic and the optimist.

Beans on Toast at Future Yard, Birkenhead

For more information about Beans on Toast and to view the rest of the tour dates, visit – don’t miss out.