Q&A: Beans on Toast

The singer/songwriter Beans on Toast about his music and influences.

By Helen Walpole

Helen: You just finished touring some towns in the UK that are a bit off the beaten track. What particularly did you like about playing smaller venues in smaller towns?

BOT: Travelling is one of the many benefits of being a songwriter, I have a love of exploring new places and that was the thinking behind that tour. I come from a small town and no bands ever really came by to play and I couldn’t understand why. There’s a lot of magic out there.

H: How do you find your songs translate to, say, larger venues, or venues in the US – do you do things very differently, or does your approach stay the same?

BOT: My approach stays exactly the same. I enjoy all gigs and give them all the same energy. Big or small, at home or abroad, as long as I’m enjoying myself I feel I can put on a good show. How the songs translate is up to the crowd, I guess, but I feel the reaction is pretty similar across the board.

H: Neo-folk seems to be having a bit of a moment right now – artists who grew out of venues like Nambucca – Frank Turner, Laura Marling and yourself are all enjoying success. Did you ever expect neo-folk to take off in this way?

BOT: Neo-Folk! I’ve never heard that term before, I like it, but I think folk music is a good enough pigeon hole if we’re gonna have one. I used to Live at Nambucca, before the fire. Laura played a few times and it’s there that Frank and I became good friends. I was pretty
hammered around that time and probably not making future musical predictions, but it was clear that musicians like Laura and Frank were destined for greater things, for sure.

H: What’s the main thing you hope people will take home with them after they come to see you play?

BOT: To enjoy themselves and to be nice to each other.

H: You’re a regular act at Boomtown Fair every summer – what is it about this festival that keeps you coming back?

BOT: It’s an incredible event, a brilliant display of humanity that welcomes some of the greatest art and music from around the world. What’s not to like? I’m honoured to be invited back every year. I feel like part of the family / furniture.

H: Do you have any unexpected influences, whose music sounds totally different to your own at face value?

BOT: For sure, I think the days of people listening to one genre of music are long gone. I enjoy country and western, hip hop, New Orleans Jazz and old time rock n roll all in equal measure. I also enjoy some reggae in the morning and some late night drum and bass. It’s
incredible, having an endless supply of all recorded music for a tenner a month. I, for one, get my money’s worth.


Helen Walpole

This article was published in our November 2016 issue.

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