Beans On Toast: The Loft, Southampton

If there was ever an upside to the confusion, uncertainty and misery that is gradually engulfing everyday life in the UK, it is that Essex-born troubadour Beans On Toast has never had so much material to work with. Beans, the moniker of 42-year-old Jay McAllister, has assiduously documented and detailed British life across 15 albums and almost two decades as a musician, developing a cult following for his blend of upbeat optimism, barbed social commentary and stirring protest songs.

Turton and Wyke victorious in Central Sussex CC TT

Paul Turton secured a remarkable victory at the Central Sussex CC hilly 10-mile time trial on Saturday - less than six months after suffering a broken hip in a mountain bike accident. Having at one point feared he may never ride his bike again, the 2022 SPOCO South East champion had surgery to insert screws into his pelvis, but returned to his turbo just a week later. In chilly temperatures peaking at just 5 degrees, Essex-based Turton took victory in the men’s TT bike category by clocking 24-

Frank Turner

Frank Turner delivered a timely reminder of his status as one of the UK’s standout live acts as he brought the latest stretch of his ‘never-ending tour of everywhere’ to a close at Portsmouth’s Guildhall. Turner, as ever, is touring manically with this show, the penultimate of a two-month, 16-date tour across the UK ending with Xtra-Mile’s 20th anniversary party at O2 Shepherd’s Bush on 9th February. Following this, the 41-year-old will resume his relentless schedule with a tour round North Am

Kawala: Trinity Centre, Bristol

It is no great controversy to say that everything is a bit rubbish at the moment for most people. Rising costs, falling wages and war in Europe are enough to bring anyone down. Step inside Bristol’s Trinity Centre on Tuesday night, though, and London five-piece Kawala may just make you forget all that, if only for an hour. Armed only with their now trademark energy, earnestness and a handful of anthemic pop tunes, they appear to be the perfect antidote for, well, the real world.

The Thrill Of Doing It Right: GUM on gearing up for LP5 | Gigwise

A lot has happened since Jay Watson, a.k.a GUM, put the finishing touches on his fifth and latest solo album. Recorded a year ago, he has since become a father and seen the music industry almost entirely shutdown amid the coronavirus crisis. Now Out In The World, the 10-track album that defies any conventional labelling, is out 12 June, just as his native Australia emerges from lockdown. On why he finds the creative process to take so much time, Jay said: “I think I spend a short amount of time

Interview: Beans on Toast on lockdown, live streams and cultivating positive change | Gigwise

“After my last album I didn’t want to write a record abut the end of the world,” admits Beans On Toast wryly. Now, thanks to nine weeks and counting of enforced lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Essex-born singer-songwriter is facing that very scenario. With two singles – ‘Strange Days’ and ‘Human Contact’ – already released, each accompanied by a live-streamed gig, a full album and follow up to 2019’s Inevitable Train Wreck is already on its way. And today, the musician is releasing

Live Review: Lewis Capaldi at Wembley, London, 12/03/20 | Gigwise

Not even a pandemic is strong enough to halt Lewis Capaldi’s unlikely rise to pop superstardom. Having survived his own bout of illness - described graphically early on in his set - there was barely a suggestion that the 23-year-old Scot would call off either of the two sell-out nights at Wembley SSE Arena amid the Coronavirus outbreak as he continues his biggest headline tour to date. Indeed, so packed was the 12,500-capacity venue that very few of his following appeared to think better of th

Live Review: Bear's Den at Eventim Apollo, London, 20/02/20 | Gigwise

If you’re going to bring the curtain down on a defining period of your music, this is the way to do it. Billed as the last shows from their So that you might hear me era and ten whirlwind months on from the release of their third studio album, Bear’s Den imbued the evening (20 February) with a sense of closure from the very opening strings. It's only Brussels and Amsterdam left on this defining tour. With well-judged support from fast-rising Australian Gordi (who has developed a compelling line

Album Review: Leif Vollebekk - New Ways | Gigwise

'An album that rewards long-time listeners but is equally comfortable at sharing its heartbreak to newcomers' An album that rewards long-time listeners but is equally comfortable at sharing its heartbreak to newcomers, Leif Vollebekk’s New Ways is a startling, intimate record that delves deep into the musician’s world. Starting with the slow-burning ‘The Way That You Feel’, there’s never a rush as Vollebekk pushes gently through this painstakingly collated selection of stories from his life.

BWW REVIEW: CHEMISTRY, Finborough Theatre

Charting the blossoming relationship between political analyst Jamie and Brown University dropout-turned-bartender Stephanie, after meeting in the office of their psychiatrist, Chemistry is a worthy entrant into the growing pantheon of plays about mental health. The two are carefully pitched as opposites: Stephanie the depressive and long-time patient, accepting of her hand, and Jamie the manic and newcomer to the world of pills and prescription, determined to return to his former life.

BWW Review: BILLIONAIRE BOY, Richmond Theatre

Adapted from the 2010 book written by celebrated author, actor, presenter and talent show judge David Walliams, Billionaire Boy brings to life familiar morality tales for a young audience. Walliams' reinvention as a children's author currently spans 12 novels, seven picture books and four collections since his first was published in 2008. Billionaire Boy follows his other novels Mr Stink, Ratburger, The First Hippo on the Moon, Gangsta Grannie and Awful Auntie onto the stage.

Green Man Festival Review Brecon Beacons

James Ayles takes a trip to the Brecon Beacons for Green Man Festival and is rewarded with a gathering crammed with diverse music, culture and community. Entering its 17th year and boasting one of the most eclectic UK festival line-ups descending on the picturesque Glanusk Park in mid-Wales, it is little surprise that Green Man once again sold out in record time. What is perhaps a little more surprising is the sheer diversity of the 20,000-strong revellers present.
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