Review: Beans on Toast at The Wedgewood Rooms in Southsea

The Rampant at the ramparts of Portchester Castle in 1967. L to r: Peter Richardson (aka Ritchie Peters  they turned his name around) vocals, Ron Hughes guitar, Ken Hughes (his brother) drums, Don Golding bass, Mick Cooper Hammond organ.

NOSTALGIA: Still Rampant after all these years – the band that just keep giving...

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It was an unusual end to what had already been an entertainingly odd gig.

Self-proclaimed ‘drunk folk’ singer Beans on Toast, aka Jay MacCallister, had ostensibly finished the gig. But as people began to filter out, he acquiesced to shouts for more, inviting the remaining crowd on to the stage. As a result he played his final few songs with about 30 people sitting around his feet.

Earlier in the gig we had already seen someone removed from the stage, and then the venue, by security – even though he had initially been invited up there by Beans himself. And several songs were sung from among the audience – including one while sitting on an obliging gent’s shoulders.

With numbers taking in drinking, drugs, sex, social responsibility, anti-capitalism and consumerism, as well as several really quite sweet odes to his fiance, it was a wide-ranging set.

Beans knows his crowd though, and there’s an admirable lack of political correctness in his tackling of certain subjects – a ‘rant’ on the government’s attempt to censor online porn probably got the biggest cheer of the night.

While he may say his wilder days of drug-fulled hedonism are behind him, Beans’ gigs are thankfully still a long way from any notions of staid respectability.