Another year, another birthday for Jay McAllister, aptly codenamed Beans on Toast. Staying true to his birthday tradition, he’s opened a new tin, and this one has little sausages of optimism in it.…..
Aptly named, because I like Beans on Toast, as much as I like beans on toast, and I really like beans on toast, for the tastiness in its simplicity. There’s a poignant message here, without overthinking. Nothing on Survival of the Friendliest, his new album released this Wednesday via Bot Music, is indulged with riddles and cryptic clues, the motives are clear and precise.
Just as the title of last year’s album, Knee Deep in Nostalgia, summed up the running theme of parenthood and reminiscing on your own youth, so does this abridge. Survival of the Friendliest is Three Little Birds, or Don’t Worry, Be Happy throughout; in the face of depressing times, the simple but effective prose is not to let problems get you down. The result is indie-folk goodness, with sunny side of the street vibes. Beans on Toast presents a charming premise, and executes it perfectly, leaving you uplifted and smiling no matter what the weather might throw at you.
The boundless negativity of social media, political grandstanding, scandal and undesirable news are mentioned, but tossed aside in favour of eternal hope and optimism, peace and possibilities. It’s filled with environmental references, trees, stones on a beach, endangered species, yet advocates the notion the planet is naturally rejuvenating, and man’s effect can be reversed by the will of human kindness.
Taking its title from Humankind by modern thinker, Rutger Bregman, the book’s positive philosophies play a pivotal influence in shaping the course of the record. If this Always Look on the Bright Side of Life thought might be this long-established protest singer changing his tune, it suits. The Commons the only exception to the rule, even this track has cheery and carefree undercurrents, through the banjo riff. Written earlier in the year, with old friends Blaine Harrison and Jack Flanagan of the Mystery Jets, Survival of the Friendliest is the wonderful and entertaining ride I’d expect from Beans.
Delightfully carefree, the opening song, A Beautiful Place sums the premise as well as the album title, Stones is simply stunning, and the conservation theme runs until Tree of the Year. Not Everyone Thinks We’re Doomed projects the aforementioned faithful sanguinity, so, so cleverly it’ll give you goosebumps.
Even the album’s love song advocates the allure of marriage, as he charmingly chaunts “Let’s Get Married Again.” Garnished in sentiment perhaps, but there’s reality driven into his words, “It’s something we’re now going to do” Jay grinned. This is honest song writing, delivered with cheeriness, buoyancy and effervescence, but more importantly it rubs off, leaving you in high spirits; musical Prozac!
A Night Of Extreme Violins Andy Fawthrop Yes, I know it’s not in Devizes, but it’s pretty darned close. And it was definitely worth the … Continue reading “REVIEW – Gigspanner @ Pound Arts Centre, Corsham – Tuesday 29th November 2022”
Something I’m personally impartial about, though DOCA’s carnival consultation flagged it as a major issue for many, the recent date changes of carnival is set … Continue reading “Devizes Carnival Returning to Traditional Date”
Salisbury-based acoustic rock duo John Illingworth Smith and Jolyon Dixon play The High Post Golf Club, between Amesbury and Salisbury this Friday 2nd December, and … Continue reading “Illingworth Celebrate Their 100th Gig!”
No point in amending your bad behaviour now, far too late; you’ve got to have been good all year round to get on the good … Continue reading “Weekly Roundup of Events in Wiltshire: 30th November – 6th December 2022”
Another fantabulous evening at Devizes’ tropical holiday resort, The Muck and Dunder rum bar, where Bristol’s boom bap trio I’ve been hailing since day dot, … Continue reading “Mighty Mighty; The Scribes Storm the Muck!”
By Lorraine Briggs The last time Otway played Trowbridge was in July 2003 at the Village Pump Festival, he returned last night to a gig … Continue reading “Dr John Otway Rocks Trowbridge’s Pump”
For the first time, Devizes will have its own life-size interactive Advent Calendar starting from the 1st of December. Devizes Adventure is a community event … Continue reading “Devizes First Ever Life-Size Advent Calender”
You’ve got to love social media for its provision into the ethics of those in positions of power. It’s beggar’s belief why no-one in the … Continue reading “Unemployment is a Choice, Says Wiltshire PCC Phillip Wilkinson”