Alt-folk troubadour Beans on Toast twisted an age-old genre with a D.I.Y. approach and contemporary concerns. The musician, real name Jay McAllister, first came to the public’s attention after opening Glastonbury Festival in 2005. As a self-professed “drunk folk singer,” McAllister quickly found a home and an audience on the festival circuit, but it wasn’t until 2009 that he released his debut record.
Fans’ patience was rewarded with Standing on a Chair. It was a sprawling, 50-track record that set out McAllister’s stall as a teller of tales concerning matters of the heart, politics, and drink and drug use. Despite his low-key and often humble approach, he attracted some notable names for its recording. Mumford and Sons’ Ben Lovett produced the album, and fellow Londoners Emmy the Great and Frank Turner provided backing vocals on a couple of tracks.