Music Q&A:
Beans on Toast

The cult national treasure is on tour with his latest album A Bird in the Hand. He plays Carlisle Brickyard (6 Feb), Hull Adephi (12 Feb) and Manchester Gorilla (13 Feb)

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What informs your music and songwriting?
Life. The beauty, the hilarity, the magic and the tragedy of everyday life. That’s what informs the lyrics anyway – the music is informed by the few chords I can play on the guitar…

How have you evolved as an act over the years?
I’m actually more proud of how consistent I’ve been rather than how I’ve evolved over the years. I’m a creature of habit that lives by the “if it’s not broke” mentality. That said, I’ve been doing this a long time so naturally there has been some subtle musical and personal evolutions. I’d like to say my songwriting is a bit more concise these days and I certainly don’t get anywhere near as hammered as I did when I was starting out, both on or off stage. Does that count as evolving?

What are you up to at the moment artistically?
Just about to hit the road, UK tour kicked off at the end of January and goes throughout February, leading straight into a run of shows in mainland Europe and then my first ever tour of Australia bringing me back to Blighty just in time for festival season. The tour is aligned with my latest album A Bird in the Hand, which came out in December last year. I’ve also started to write my new record ready for release at the end of this year, which is where my creative head is at but it’s too early to go into any details about that.

What’s on your rider?
Cold beers and healthy snacks.

Tell us your most embarrassing or surreal experience.
Walked on stage to play a guest harmonica solo, but I was drunk and confused and it was the completely wrong song and wrong part of the set. It was a Frank Turner show in an arena to about 10,000 people. Once a chicken appeared out of thin air on stage at a gig in Cleveland – to this day I have no idea where it came from, nobody claimed it after the show and we had to foster the poor scared little thing out to a new home. Not sure which one was surreal and which one was embarrassing though.

What song do you wish you’d written?
Ooh Ah, Just A Little Bit, Gina G. Really captured the hearts of the nation, I thought.

What’s your worst lyric?
“Everybody used to love the tracksuits, nobody knew that he was fucking corpses.”

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