Beans (aka Jay McAllister) normally drops one album a year but clearly lockdown has left him with little else on his plate and we get two. They’re both self-explanatory in their titles.
Knee Deep In Nostalgia sees man-of-the-people poet and guitarist Beans looking back fondly at his past and his likes, from memories of favourite teachers to a tribute to Willie Nelson, clearly a Beans hero. We particularly like Your Old Mate Beano, a song about Australians’ fondness for adding an “I” or an “O” to all words, such eski, barbi and of course Beano. We once created an email address to talk to an Aussie using the same formula and got stuck with a nickname for life because of it. Buggo, as Unlucky Alf might say. It’s a slick album, not least because Beans’s mate Frank Turner, restrained from his incessant touring, produces.
The Unforeseeable Future reflects on the pandemic, to more varied results. Human Contact is about how Beans misses that thing and it could last as a song – it’s about being nice, basically – while Chessington World of Adventure is more rooted in the pandemic, and more of the moment.
Beans is always good value for money, warm hearted and witty and his lyrics have a way of lodging themselves in your head.
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