Review by Karis King
“The world is dying, shit is getting serious”. This is a great opening line, which painfully communicates the fact that the current state of affairs worldwide is anything but ‘Cushty’ – the title of the ninth studio album by British folk singer and political provocateur Jay McAllister, or Beans on Toast as we better know him.
Listening to Beans on Toast always feels like a conversation you might have with a mate in the pub, that escalates as the restraint and conventions of everyday life are washed away by a wave of beer. Throughout ‘Cushty’, the conversation covers everything from the dangers of technology to the farce of celebrity culture. McCallister’s songwriting is phenomenal and beautifully poetic in an approachable and intimate way, which sets him apart from many protest singers.
Lacking the synths of his previous album, Beans on Toast has returned to the acoustic folk-vibe he started out with – this time with the welcome addition of fiddles and accordion. He has been criticised for his consistent delivery of ‘camp fire’ style music, but these critics are missing the point. The lyrics are the defining feature of Beans on Toast‘s tunes. Jay McCallister doesn’t want to be a world famous musician – he just wants to tell his opinions to anyone who’s listening and he wants the world to be a better place.
Don’t we all?