Beans On Toast on life on the road, the Clapham Grand and his new book

For many people, celebrating a nine-year anniversary would seem strange.

Yet for Essex-born drunk-folk pioneer Beans On Toast, it just seems to make perfect sense.

Soon to embark on a nationwide tour to mark a decade since debut release ‘Standing On A Chair,’ it was only long after arrangements had been made that the 37-year-old, aka Jay McAllister, realised he’d got his calculations wrong.

He said: “I just thought that ‘Standing On A Chair’ was ten years old. By the time I figured out it was only nine, the button had been well and truly pressed.

“One of the reasons I am a song writer is you don’t need to be particularly good at maths.

“I just started laughing at myself, there’s not much else you can do.

“Next year it’ll be the seminal nine-year anniversary tour since my second album.”

First coming to prominence with 2009’s ‘Standing On A Chair’ and through his work with Frank Turner, Beans has gained a cult following for his frank and honest lyrics, dealing with everything from politics to religion, chicken farms and love.

Since then, he has opened for Turner at Wembley, toured extensively through Europe and North America, conducted a small town celebation, and played every festival you can name, yet the Braintree troubadour remains resolutely down to Earth.

And now, in addition to these past achievements, he has also found time to release a book.

Titled ‘Drunk Folk Stories’ it comprises ten tales from his rather storied life on the road, and promises to be every bit as entertaining and intriguing as the man himself.

H said: “I was on tour in Germany by myself and I needed a bit of a project to keep myself occupied

“I started getting down stories, it is not something I have done before and I’m just glad there are people who want to read it.

“When I got around to doing it I really started enjoying it. It is a little bit out of my comfort zone.

“What an incredible feeling it is getting  your hands on your own book.

“There is just something about getting this book back and physically holding it in your hands that feels great.”

Starting in Brighton on May 2, the 15-date tour visits more intimate venues suitable for conversational style, and the musician admitted he is most excited about the tour’s final show at Clapham Grand on May 18.

He said: “The Clapham Grand is one I am looking forward to, it is a great venue.

“A very good friend of mine Ally Wolf is promoting the show. He features heavily in my book.

“We go a long way back so it’s special to be able to share the night there with him. It’s definitely one I’m really looking forward to.

“We’ve tried to find venues that are suitable for it.  It’s still not going to be serious – my worry is people fearing they can’t go to the toilet or to the bar.

“It’s still got to be fun and relaxed, it’s just the show will just be a bit more chatty and digging a little bit deeper into the songs.”

For all the success he’s had, Beans is determined to just keep plugging away.

He said: “The good thing about folk music is old people are allowed to sing it so moving forward there might be more tours like this.

“I just want to keep it interesting. I am always looking to do something new but in many ways I am looking to do exactly the same.

“It is about sticking to my guns and hanging in there.”

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